DC Comic’s has been focusing on direct-to-video animated movies for a few years now with great success. Past movies like Wonder Woman, the Batman: Gotham Knight and the Justice League: New Frontier have really set the bar and assured fans that they’ll be watching a quality movie. Unfortunately Green Lantern’s first full length movie falls short. Green Lantern: First Flight makes for a poor introduction to Hal Jordan. Considering the fact that they’ll be filming a live action Green Lantern movie soon you’d think they would have wanted to put out a film that captured the character and what being a Green Lantern is all about.
First Flight gives us a very brief background as to how Jordan, voiced by Christopher Meloni, became a Green Lantern, but lacks any background as to just who Jordan really is. The scene were Jordan becomes a Lantern felt very rushed and gave me an uneasy feeling for the rest of the movie, a movie that’s only an hour and 15 minutes to begin with. As soon as the ring slips on his finger Jordan is parading around like he’s a Green Lantern veteran, which makes it somewhat unbelievable. To make matters worse, the movie deviates a little too far from current comic continuity.
Once a Lantern, the story focuses little on the relationship between Jordan and his mentor Sinestro, voiced by Victor Garber, and more on epic space battles. We see that few in the Green Lantern Corps like, or trust, Jordan since he’s a human. It’s their prejudice’s against humanity that make it difficult for Jordan to be accepted, but by the end he’s welcomed by all. Becoming welcomed was the challenging part, both for Jordan and for the viewer.
Everything feels rushed, you never get the sense that Jordan’s learning on the job. You never get the sense of amazement of his surroundings. For someone who has just become an intergalactic police officer and is surrounding by thousands of different aliens he’s pretty nonchalant about it all. In no time at all, Jordan is in space and fighting alien bad guys as a Green Lantern. It’s as if he’s been there and done that, and it makes it all a bit unbelievable.
The animation is what you’d expect these days, a blend of traditional cell animation and cgi. Thankfully it blends in well and looks great. The big space battles look great and there are really no complaints that can be made, although there were a couple times where Sinestro wasn’t his usual red self in scenes, but they were quick and barely noticeable.
The voice acting is typically top class, Meloni and Garber do an excellent job with Jordan and Sinestro. Tricia Helfer voices Boodikka while Michael Madsen makes a great Kilowog. Kurtwood Smith sounded a bit out of place as Kanjar Ro. Every time he was on screen, I kept thinking about his That ’70s Show character and his infamous line, “Don’t make me put my foot up your ass.” Overall though, they did a decent job with the voice casting.
Overall, First Flight is somewhat disappointing. We get no character development and even though it’s always fun watching big space battles you walk away feeling empty. You feel like you’ve been rushed through something and it makes it difficult to care about the characters. You learn more about Hal Jordan from the Justice League: New Frontier movie, and that’s sad since he was a bit player in that. Still, fans of Green Lantern will probably enjoy this since they already know his background.