Green Lantern: First Flight,
2009 [Rated PG-13]
One of DC's more popular "2nd tier" super-heroes finally gets a treatment worth talking about! Make no mistake, this is a serious movie. In a surprising move DC has dropped all pretense of a kids movie and gone straight to young adult and those who act like them. Cursing, blood, death, and torture are drizzled throughout the film just enough to give it an edge.First Flight
follows test pilot Hal Jordan
as he is bestowed the power of the Green Lantern by dying Lantern Abin Sur.
Unsure of the newest recruit, the Guardians
allow their most decorated and respected Lantern, Sinestro, to take Jordon under his wing in the hunt for Abin Sur's murderer. While investigating Jordan discovers that all is not what it seems and discovers Sinestro's hatred for the passive Guardians and his plot to clean up the universe and give it the order he thinks it requires, under his rule of course.
Some of the best action scenes I have seen in any animated film and make no mistake, this is an action film! While there is certainly some 'heart to heart' moments they film dispenses with a lot the usual back stories and just asks the viewers to go along with it. Fans and more DC knowledgeable people may find faults or see the twists and turns more easily than I did, but I don't think they will have any less fun. I have no clue how closely the events follow what might be considered 'cannon', so I welcome any thoughts or comments on the matter.
Growing up I was never much of a "GL" fan to be honest. I didn't read any of the books and what I saw on the occasional Super Friends
is all the Green Lantern I was exposed to. I just never got it. He looked cool enough but why did he make giant tennis rackets and baseball gloves with his ring? What was with the giant green things? I didn't understand!
It wasn't till I watched an episode of Justice League, Season 2's "Hearts and Minds", where GL, John Stewart
, gets his butt handed to him by Despero
, and loses his nerve and thus gets retrained, that I began to understand the power of the ring. The ring is an extension of the willpower and the imagination of the wearer. A bridge between the two. A swarm of enemy missiles hounding you like bees, swat them with a flat hand or a fly-swatter. Need to catch a meteor hurtling to the planet below, use a catchers mitt. It all actually kind of makes sense!First Flight
has plenty "giant sports gear moments" to be sure, but we also see what limits, or lack thereof, the ring truly has in the possession of a person with the willpower and the desire to use it. (Two words, smashing moons!)
A great film and a fun watch! Visually breaking from the styles of the DC animated series of late and creating persons that look a bit more real and detailed was a wise choice for this film. Voicing the film is Christopher Meloni
, Victor Garber
, and Tricia Helfer
. All excellent choices cast by the DC animated mainstay Andrea Romano.
Check it out if you are a GL fan, and if you are not, this may change your mind.