Before any other sentient beings existed in the universe, a race of beings calling themselves the Guardians of the Universe harnessed the power of the “green element” (Ion), the greatest power in the universe, to create the Green Lantern battery. However, the battery has a flaw: the color yellow, the one part of the light spectrum that can resist green. The most concentrated source of yellow energy, the “yellow element” (Parallax), was hidden by the Guardians to prevent others from using it against them.
Test pilot Hal Jordan (Christopher Meloni) is recruited to join the Green Lantern Corps after the death of Abin Sur. He is placed under the supervision of respected senior officer Sinestro (Victor Garber), who is investigating Abin’s murder. Abin was killed while doing an undercover investigation of Kanjar Ro (Kurtwood Smith), who managed to locate and steal the yellow element. What no one realizes is that Sinestro provided Kanjar with the location of the element, in order to have it fashioned into a weapon of comparable power to the Green Lantern battery.
Jordan quickly comes to understand that Sinestro’s beliefs are not in line with those of the Guardians: Sinestro believes that the Guardians have reduced the Corps to the role of “trash collectors,” merely picking up the messes criminals create as opposed to proactively dealing with the problem. During a mission to capture Kanjar Ro, Jordan is knocked unconscious by Kanjar’s energy staff. Sinestro comes in and kills Kanjar, pinning the blame on Jordan. Jordan is stripped of his ring as punishment.
While Jordan waits to be taken home, Sinestro uses his ring to temporarily animate Kanjar’s corpse in order to access the data in Kanjar’s energy staff, allowing him to learn the location of Qward, where the yellow element weapon is being fashioned. Jordan convinces fellow Lanterns Boodikka (Tricia Helfer) and Kilowog (Michael Madsen) that Sinestro is not what he seems. They catch Sinestro red-handed, but Boodikka turns out to be in league with Sinestro and attacks Jordan and Kilowog. Sinestro escapes, and Boodikka is killed when Jordan tricks her into destroying Kanjar’s unstable energy staff.
On Qward, the Weaponers bestow Sinestro with the yellow ring and battery. Using its power, he lays waste to Oa, the yellow light easily overcoming the Green Lantern rings. The yellow battery (which in practice functions like a giant yellow ring) even destroys the green battery, killing countless Green Lanterns who were in space at the time. Jordan, having recovered his ring moments too late, pounds on the inert green element, breaking it and absorbing the whole of its power. Imbued with the full might of the green energy, he destroys the yellow battery by smashing two moons into it.
However, having exhausted most of his power to destroy the yellow battery, Jordan is left weakened against Sinestro, whose ring still holds a significant charge. After a pitched battle, Jordan uses the last of his power to knock Sinestro to the surface of Oa, where Kilowog crushes the yellow ring. Kilowog, his ring having regained some of its power, then saves Jordan from free fall.
Once Oa is rebuilt and the Green Lantern battery restored, Jordan is asked by the Guardians to lead the Corps in reciting the Green Lantern oath. Jordan then leaves for Earth to check in with his other boss, Carol Ferris (Olivia D’Abo), remarking on the long “commute.”
It was announced this summer that Ryan Reynolds would be playing Green Lantern in a long overdue live action film. I must say I can’t wait, it’s about time DC let some of their characters on the screen besides Superman and Batman (and Flash, if you count that short lives TV show in the late 80s).
A while back, I was extremely impressed with Wonder Woman. One of the special features on that DVD was a first-look at Green Lantern: First Flight. Since then, I’ve been counting down the days until I got to see this….I won’t go into the fact that Netflix was playing around with my emotions the past couple weeks and teasing that it was available. On this one, there is a first look at the next DC direct-to-DVD film, Batman and Superman: Public Enemies (don’t quote me on the title). The next countdown can begin!
We’ve all seen superhero films that spend the majority of the time dwelling on the origin. Thank goodness this is not the case here. Yes, they do go into the origin, but its more of a footnote version of it. No complaints from me about that. The reason they give for choosing to not go into the origin is that it is covered in-depth in Justice League: The New Frontier.
This is what I wish superhero movies on the big screen would be. It is faithful to the source material, not too dark, filled with action, and is just a joy to watch, just like reading the comic.
The voice cast here in top notch. Christopher Meloni, of Law & Order fame, is the voice of Hal Jordan/Green Lantern. Nothing to really brag about with him, but considering the character, he really works.
Victor Garber’s voice as Sinestro gave me chills. not because he’s scary or anything, but rather the fact that he is the perfect fit. The timbre of his voice is the perfect mix of maniacal villainy and sophisticated contempt.
Michael Madsen and Tricia Helfer work in their roles, as well. both are said to be stars of the film, but thir roles aren’t that big, yet they are enough to make mention of, especially Madsen, whose gruff voice seems perfect for Killowog.
The action and animation in the film are the main draw. The big climax at the end isn’t a surprise for any Green Lantern fan, but that doesn’t make it any less exciting. The animation impressed me because it appears that about 90% hand drawn. CGI has its place, and its not mixing animation styles, at least in my opinion.
Should you rush out and see this? Well, I’m not going to say that. If you not a fan of the character, or at least have a decent background in the Green Lantern lore, you will get a bit lost, but if you can get past that, then by all means rush out and enjoy. It is definitely worth the time!
5 out of 5 stars