[Guest film review by Steve Oatney]
DC Comic’s Green Lantern character may not be as well known as Mickey Mouse, but then again, how many people who never read comic books had ever heard of Iron Man? Truthfully, I have friends who were as jazzed about Ozzy Osbourne’s song being part of the original Iron Man trailer, as they were about it being a superhero film. No joke. The Green Lantern Corps falls into the lesser known heroes category, but the history is there, with all of the makings for a great animated, or live-action, film.
The original Green Lantern character was created by writer Bill Finger and artist Martin Nodell in 1940, and published by DC. For those unfamiliar, Green Lanterns are heroes who wear power rings which utilize green element energy to physically create most anything the wearer can imagine. A power that rivals even the greatest superhero abilities, even those of Superman.
DC Comics may seem a bit overshadowed by Marvel Comics these days, with Marvel pumping out big-screen blockbusters like Iron Man and Spider Man (and their respective sequels) but DC has a niche and a fan base that cannot be ignored.
Again, for those who may not know, here is a quick rundown of each of the company’s well-known characters which have been brought from comic book pages onto the big and small screens: Starting with DC Comics, they’re responsible for some of the most globally well-known superheroes, including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, and Green Lantern. Marvel, on the other hand, has a full stable of thoroughbred horses of their own, including Spider-Man, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, The X-Men, and soon to come to theaters near you: Thor and Captain America!
Green Lantern: First Flight was a direct to DVD release in July starring the voice talents of Christopher Meloni, Victor Garber, Tricia Helfer, Michael Madsen, John Larroquette, and Olivia d’Abo. The 77 minute animated film retells the origin story of Hal Jordan’s journey in becoming a Green Lantern and his learning curve in becoming a universe protecting hero.
I’ve mentioned before how I feel about violence becoming more and more available to, and often aimed at, children. Appropriate, or not, most all animated “cartoons” are still often perceived as “kid’s stuff” by Americans. First Flight has some pretty intense violence and bloody fight scenes which, as an adult, I can appreciate and enjoy, but want to mention that the picture is rated PG-13, and that parents should consider this before allowing their pre-teens access.
All in all, First Flight is a somewhat typical superhero story-arc, but not in a dissatisfying way. I won’t give any spoilers, but they don’t call them super HEROES for nothing… wink wink. I’d recommend First Flight to those thirteen and up who enjoy sci-fi, animation, and superheroes. For the rest of you, see my review of Up in the Air. 🙂