Saturday, January 15, 2011

Green Lantern: First Flight - Review

Timm Strikes it Green

Added to the new and ongoing collection of DC Universe Animated features, "Green Lantern: First Flight," is a retelling of Hal Jordan's origin story with a twist and style that could only be achieved by Bruce Timm (Batman: The Animated Series creator).

Hal Jordan is a washed up test pilot who spends more time in simulators than actual planes. When Abin Sur, Green Lantern of Sector 2814 (that's us folks) is killed, his ring seeks out a worthy candidate - Jordan. Assuming this responsibility, he's taken to Oa, center of the universe where the Guardians, leaders of the Green Lantern Corps., decide to test and see if a human is worthy to hold the power of a ring.

I've always been a huge "Green Lantern" fan, and I think Bruce Timm nailed the tone of Hal Jordan in this story. He's unsure of himself, but knows when to step in and do the right thing, even if it means disobeying authority. He isn't overly brash, macho, or a womanizer, he's just himself. The action is well directed, and the way that the power of the rings is displayed and used looks awesome, especially on blu-ray.

The voice cast is incredible:

Christopher Meloni - Hal Jordan
Michael Madsen - Kilowog
John Larroquette - Tomar Re
Victor Garber - Sinestro

Not to mention a supporting cast that sound like actors, not cartoonish and shouting amateurs. Which I think can be said for just about everything that Timm has ever produced in the DC line of animated shows and films.

I think that many of the live-action superhero movies could take lessons from the way that Timm and the other people who work on and produce the DC Animated features approach the material and let it be it's own thing. Instead of trying to cater to certain people, they cater to the material and what makes it powerful storytelling.

In fact, I'd rather see these movies up on the big screen than the live-action adaptations. I think I'll be doing reviews of the other DC Animated films as well, mentioning their strengths and weaknesses.

If there's one thing that "First Flight" might lack in, it's the fact that you don't have a great deal of time to get to know the supporting cast of Lanterns. They're still well represented and played, but interactions with each of them personally would have maybe added a little more flair. But, as I understand it, most of these films have a strict limit on how long they can be. So no real complaints on this one.

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