Weekend Review – “Green Lantern: First Flight”

In the first few seconds, we meet test pilot Hal Jordan, who is as adept at hitting on his boss as he is at running a flight simulator. Abin Sur crashes on Earth, and uses his ring to summon an appropriate replacement….

Cast and Crew Information

Christopher Meloni as Hal Jordan
Victor Garber as Sinestro
Tricia Helfer as Boodikka
Michael Madsen as Kilowog
John Larroquette as Tomar-Re
Kurtwood Smith as Kanjar Ro (oddly, he also voiced John Stewart’s prosecutor on the “Justice League” animated series)
Larry Drake as Ganthet
William Schallert as Appa Ali Apsa
Malachi Throne as Ranakar
Olivia d’Abo as Carol Ferris
Richard Green as Cuch
Juliet Landau as Labella
David L. Lander as Ch’p
Richard McGonagle as Abin Sur
Rob Paulsen as the Weaponers of Qward

Written by Alan Burnett
Directed by Lauren Montgomery

Availability Information

Available in single and double disc DVD editions, as well as a Blu-Ray edition.

Blu-Ray Bonus Features

The following bonus features are on the Blu-Ray edition. I assume that, unless otherwise noted, the same features are on the two disc DVD edition. Bizarre capitalizations are reproduced from the packaging.

  • Behind the Story with Geoff Johns: The New Your Times Best-Selling Writer Discusses the Mythology of the Green Lantern
  • BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVE: A Look at the Symbolism of the Ring in Literary Lore – and as Reimagined for Green Lantern
  • Behind the Scenes of Blackest Night, The Epic DC Comics Super Hero Event in Which the Dead Rise
  • Green Lantern Corps Character Profiles of Sinestro and the Guardians of the Universe
  • Exclusive Sneak Peek at DC Universe’s Upcoming Superman/Batman: Public Enemies
  • Duck Dodgers Series Episode The Green Loontern – I’ve been looking for this one for years. Duck Dodgers’ laundry is confused with Hal Jordan’s at the dry cleaners, and Duck Dodgers ends up with Hal’s ring.
  • Bruce Timm Presents 5 Bonus Cartoons – Specifically, these are the Justice League episodes titled The Once and Future Thing (both parts), The Return, and Hearts and Minds (both parts).
  • Explore 3 Other DC Universe Animated Movies – Specifically, Wonder Woman, Batman: Gotham Knight and Justice League: The New Frontier


In the first few seconds, we meet test pilot Hal Jordan, who is as adept at hitting on his boss as he is at running a flight simulator. Abin Sur crashes on Earth, and uses his ring to summon an appropriate replacement. Hal Jordan’s simulator is ripped off its moorings and carried out into the desert where Hal is inducted into the Green Lantern Corps, an intergalactic police force. By the time the movie hits the eight minute mark, introductions are over, the opening credit sequence has rolled, and Hal’s on the way to Oa to meet the Guardians.

High Point

There’s something about hearing the Green Lantern Oath spoken in unison by that many voices that just makes me forget how cheesy it came across in the 1960s.

Low Point

There are certain liberties taken with one member of the Corps that I’m not entirely happy with.

The Review

The originality is light. This is a condensed version of Hal Jordan’s origin, and it does that very well, but it’s certainly been done before, and more than once. I give it 3 out of 6.

The animation early on seems a little choppy. Once Hal leaves Earth (which doesn’t take long at all) it gets a lot smoother. It really looks like some Earth scenes were “proof of concept” footage while others were done with the money that was left over once the rest was finished. Once the opening credits finish rolling, it’s smooth sailing. I give it 4 out of 6.

The story is very well arranged. There’s a lot that can be packed into an origin story, and this does it nicely. Essentially, this isn’t just Hal Jordan’s origin, but also Sinestro’s, and both are told effectively with the backdrop of Kanjar Ro and the Weaponers of Qward moving things along. I wouldn’t have thought they could cover this many bases this well in a 77 minute movie, but they did it. I give it 5 out of 6.

The voice acting was well done. I’d have preferred a deeper voice for Hal, but Meloni’s got the right attitude and expression to let me overlook that. The remaining cast members are better, with Garber doing an excellent Sinestro, Smith performing equally well with Kanjar Ro, and Madsen and Helfer working Kilowog and Boodikka effectively. I give it 5 out of 6.

The production is generally well done. The editing and storyboarding have to be well done to tell this much story so quickly, and they are. My only quibble is the number of instruments in the orchestra for the music. The melody is sufficiently heroic, but the scale of the Green Lantern Corps and its story just needs to have twice as many instruments to be properly represented. (Frankly, I wonder if there really was an orchestra, or if there was just a digital mix of synth; the sounds were just too uniform.) As I said, that’s my only quibble on this end, but it’s not a big one. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response is great. Green Lantern is quite literally the reason I read any significant amount of DC’s product. There’s something about the Corps that I really like, and I hold the adaptations of it to a pretty high standard. This team easily met that standard, and then some. They found a way to take more than one or two major storylines and do them all well in just 77 minutes. I give it 6 out of 6.

Overall, this is an entertaining movie in its own right, and one that sets the bar pretty high for the live action movie due on June 17, 2011. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Green Lantern: First Flight receives 33 out of 42.

2 replies on “Weekend Review – “Green Lantern: First Flight””

  1. I watched the standard def DVD and while there were special features, I don’t remember any of them being as interesting as the ones described on the Blu Ray.

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