Christopher Meloni as Hal Jordan / Green Lantern (voice)
Victor Garber as Sinestro (voice)
Tricia Helfer as Boodikka (voice)
Michael Madsen as Kilowog (voice)
John Larroquette as Tomar Re (voice)
Kurtwood Smith as Kanjar Ro (voice)
Juliet Landau as Labella (voice)
David L. Lander as Ch’p (voice)
Sneak Peek of the upcoming DC Universe title “Superman/Batman: Public Enemies”
Featurettes of “Superman Doomsday,” “Justice League New Frontier,” “Batman Gotham Knight” & “Wonder Woman”
Behind the Scenes of “Blackest Night” (the Epic DC Comics Super Hero event in which the dead rise)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Running Time: 77 Minutes
The following is the official description of the film:
“When pilot Hal Jordan accepts a mysterious, powerful ring from a dying alien creature, it transforms him into a Green Lantern, one of an elite force of heroes who patrol the universe to ensure peace and justice under the leadership of the Guardians of the Universe. Unsure of their newest recruit, the Guardians assign Hal to their most-honored Green Lantern Sinestro for training, unaware that Sinestro wants to overthrow the Guardians and create a new order he’ll control. It’s a battle of might and willpower as Hal must prove his worth by defeating Sinestro to save the Green Lantern Corps. Voiced by a stellar cast including Christopher Meloni, Victor Garber, Tricia Helfer and Michael Madsen, this DC Universe original animated adventure bursts with action-packed shakedowns, showdowns and spectacular visuals as Green Lantern uses his powers and imagination to make the impossible real!”
“Green Lantern: First Flight” is rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action violence.
While I don’t regularly read DC Comics, I had some familiarity with Green Lantern. I knew his basic story, his powers, and the Corps he’s a part of. So I was curious to see how they’d take the character and portray him in this animated feature film. After all, this is probably some indication of what they might do with a live action film. They could take a couple of routes with him. They could show him superheroing around Earth or turn it into a space adventure. They opted for the second one.
If you’re going to have a story set in space, you might as well go all out with it and that’s exactly what they do. They introduce a wide variety of imaginative aliens. They even manage to throw in a creature cantina ala Star Wars. There are a bunch of different ships, planets, weapons, and cities. The production design on this is great. The action is also quite exciting. There are some impressive action sequences including a dogfight of sorts in hyperspace, a chase with an alien thug in an underworld, and more. It builds up to the grand finale and the ultimate battle between Sinestro and Hal Jordan. When they finally resort to beating the crap out of each other, the sheer power behind their blows is beautifully portrayed in the animation and sound effects.
Though you have the spectacular action and the intergalactic setting, the heart of this story is a good cop / bad cop tale. Ultimately Hal is the rookie cop that must take down the more experienced and jaded veteran cop. And it works pretty well. Christopher Meloni is quite familiar with the cop role as Hal Jordan. After all, he has played one for years on “Law & Order.” He does a great job transitioning from live action to animation. Victor Garber also does a remarkable job as Sinestro. I don’t think he’s done much voice acting, but he’s very good at it. He perfectly embodies the pink villain. (And really, who hires a guy named “Sinestro” to be a hero???) Tricia Helfer is also good as Boodikka. Michael Madsen actually sounds like Nick Nolte as he voices Kilowog. John Larroquette voices Tomar Re, but I didn’t recognize him at all.
Overall “Green Lantern: First Flight” is a fun action adventure that should please comic book fans. However, it’s not for kids. There’s a lot of profanity in it that you probably don’t want younger kids hearing or repeating. There are also some gory deaths such as a character being impaled and another being crushed through a hole in the side of a ship. There’s also a bizarre scene where an alien woman moans in pleasure, but then screams in agony as Sinestro tortures her. It was a bit weird. I don’t think any of the gore or language did anything to improve the film. It certainly didn’t do enough to make it worth losing the money coming from families that might have bought “Green Lantern.” Anyway, heed the PG-13 rating.
I was sent the single disc version of “Green Lantern: First Flight.” Believe it or not, there are no ‘making of’ featurettes included on this DVD. You get looks at the making of the new “Superman/Batman: Public Enemies” movie as well as “Wonder Woman,” “Justice League: The New Frontier,” and other films already out. The only “Lantern”-related featurette shows DC Comics’ “Blackest Night” series. Think of it as DC “Zombies.” Anyway, if you want any featurettes on the making of this movie, you have to get the Blu-ray or the Two-Disc DVD set.