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    Green Lantern: First Flight Review

    By | July 28th, 2009
    Posted in Reviews | % Comments

    To say that we here at Multiversity are Lantern fanboys (and girl) is to put it lightly. Green Lantern is very easily one of our top heroes, and is probably my third favorite comic book character of all time. He’s definitely my favorite hero character. What with Geoff Johns’ resurrection of Hal Jordan in Green Lantern: Rebirth, his popularity is spiked up exponentially. It’s pretty obvious then that DC would cash in on a bit of this popularity and make an animated film of him, right up there with Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman (the Trinity, pun intended). This is where Green Lantern: First Flight comes in.

    As far as the plot goes, it’s pretty basic to the character: Hal Jordan is the test pilot for Ferris Air when an alien named Abin Sur crash lands near the testing grounds and summons him. Hal is summoned by the Guardians and is tested for his aptitude as a Lantern and brought under the tutelage of Sinestro, the number one Lantern. Hal proves himself time and time again, but when framed for a murder he didn’t commit, Hal has to find out who did it and save the day. Voice acting comes from greats such as Michael Madsen (Kilowog), Christopher Meloni (Hal Jordan), and Tricia Helfer (Boodika), as well as featuring appearances from lots of famous Lanterns such as Tomar Re, Kanjar Ro, and someone who remains unnamed but I’m pretty sure is stupposed to be G’Nort.

    To say that it deviates from the actual origin is to put it lightly, however. There are obvious nods to his original origin, but all things considered this is a brand new interpretation in a similar way that Geoff Johns’ recently re-did his origin story. Abin Sur has a new killer, and Sinestro’s eventual plunge into the dark side of Lantern-dom is also re-interpreted, although to some degree the Sinestro “Corps” is still a present entity. There are no mentions of Parallax, and Oa is also in it’s original incarnation as opposed to the latest one that is essentially a giant floating power battery in space. The question, in the end, is “Are these changes OK?” I would say yes and no. On the positive hand, the story flows well enough to get by. I can see how this interpretation could work out, and it could appeal to new fans who are not familiar with the vast Lantern mythos. The color spectrum is a big entity to tackle with, and it’s more than an hour and a half movie can handle on it’s own. However, on the negative hand, fans of the original Lantern stuff will obviously feel a tad bit slighted by this move on DC’s part. Let’s face it – the Lantern’s origin isn’t hard to tell at all. They don’t need to get into the creation of the universe with the Monitors and early versions of the Guardians, nor do they really need to explain the stuff about Manhunters, but I feel that some of the changes they made really lose the impact the original stories give. Also, a big thing about the Lanterns is that they can not kill, so giving one member the ability to is just ridiculous in my opinion. On top of that, the existence of the yellow entity is really mulled over briefly, and the explanation the movie gives is nowhere near as good as the one Johns’ invented for the Sinestro Corps.

    As far as everything else goes, I think the film is a winner. Aside from the Guardians and their ridiculously goofy heads, the animation is great. Everything flows very smoothly, and there’s one fight scene in some kind of hyper speed that is really fun to watch. The voice casting is really top notch, and all the choices made were excellent, especially Michael Madsen as Kilowog (I died when he said “poozers”). There are enough hardcore Lantern references to keep any fanboy complacent at the very least, and the recitation of the Lantern oath made me smile ear to ear. I think, if nothing else, this showed me how well a Green Lantern feature film could do with Ryan Reynolds. People worry that Reynolds will be too much like himself and less like Jordan, but I think Reynolds will be able to pull this role off incredibly well. Hal is a ladies man who is slightly sarcastic and very defiant – that sounds like Reynolds to me, especially in The Nin9s. Also, knowing that the Green Lantern movie (live action) is intended to be the first of a trilogy makes me believe that they’ll be able to tell the epic grandiose of Hal’s rise as well as Sinestro’s fall much better than an hour and a half animated film.

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    So all in all I’d recommend Green Lantern: First Flight. It’s a fun movie, and it’s very well animated. DC Animated films are pretty good, all things considered, and unless you’re a real stickler for continuity I think you’ll enjoy it. I myself am a huge stickler for continuity but I’ve found myself relaxing and taking things as they come in regards to movie and television adaptations, and I ended up enjoying this for what it was. Honestly, I’m just happy to see a Green Lantern movie, animated or not, and have it be relatively close to normal. While I would have definitely done things differently, this just about hit the majority of my expectations.

    Final Rating: B-

    Matthew Meylikhov

    Once upon a time, Matthew Meylikhov became the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Multiversity Comics, where he was known for his beard and fondness for cats. Then he became only one of those things. Now, if you listen really carefully at night, you may still hear from whispers on the wind a faint voice saying, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine is not as bad as everyone says it issss."