Thursday, October 29, 2009
Green Lantern: First Flight
Green Lantern: First Flight (2009)
The other night I was flipping through the on-demand cable movies and scrolling through the G's I came across this one. I hadn't heard of it before and saw it was current and was pretty curious. It had two names I recognized; Christopher Meloni from Law and Order fame, and Michael Madsen, who's been in just about everything. I like both these actors, especially Meloni, so I clicked it without much more thought than that.
Honestly I thought it might have been live action, I wasn't expecting much, but I was in the mood for some zoned-out couch potato action. I was pretty surprised when it started up and was animated, but I had already clicked it, so I was committed.
It was an origin tale, and focused on the original lantern, Hal Jordan. It modernized the tale somewhat, putting Hal as a test pilot in today's modern era, and from the get-go, it opened up the entire Green Lantern Corps, which was nice to see.
The animation itself was pretty lackluster, very average. It certainly had its moments, but they were more because of what was being portrayed and less with how it appeared on screen. So the animation wasn't the best, but the musical score was a little better. It wasn't a masterpiece score or anything, but it wasn't awful. The voice acting was probably the best of the physical factors, and it was full of character and emotion in all the right amounts. The bigger names weren't overpowering or distracting in their roles either.
As Hal Jordan becomes the newest member of the Green Lantern Corps, a rarity for a human, he is given a crash course in his new role. Sinestro, a veteran of the Corps, takes Jordan under his wing as an apprentice. The two begin tracking down leads about a galactic super weapon that uses yellow energy (the bane of green energy, thus the Corps' powers) and the plot twists begin to tighten on the story. Many of the members of the Corps, most notably the brute Kilowog, make regular appearances with speaking roles.
It's not the most child-friendly movie either. It has some adult themes too, and a good deal of violence, including a few grisly deaths. The obligatory speedbump of yet another retold origin story was thankfully brief, and the movie opens up to a wide world of sci-fi goodness packed with aliens of all size and shape. The role the Corps plays is that of police detectives, and they are seen in the same light in space. I've always enjoyed the sci-fi nature and bigger picture of the Green Lantern mythos, and less of the solo, Earth-bound superhero member of the Justice League. In this respect the movie did wonderfully. The story wasn't bad, it wasn't the best, but it moved along fairly well. It's pretty succinct, even for a feature-length film, and it could've been stretched out much longer if need be. Much of the mythos of Hal Jordan and the Corps are laid out efficiently and they're given their due.