Friday, July 24, 2009
Nothing new to say here. As many of you who have read my reviews before on these direct-to-video animation efforts by comics' Big Two, it basically boils down to this: DC good... Marvel bad. And while Marvel deserves a Most Improved award for their last release, Hulk vs., DC—by way of Warner Premiere—just keeps getting better and better. Their latest release, Green Lantern: First Flight—designed to prime the pump for the parent company's upcoming live-action movie starring Ryan Reynolds and directed by Martin Campbell (Casino Royale)—streamlines the traditional superhero story to get right into the good stuff. Before the credits roll, we are treated to one of the quickest superhero origin stories ever put on film. Test pilot Hal Jordan (Christopher Meloni) is summoned by the dying alien Abin Sur, an intergalactic cop known as a Green Lantern. They are so called because they wield a ring powered by an immense green-energy-emitting lantern located on the planet of Oa, at the center of the universe. After the credits, other Green Lanterns led by the veteran Sinestro (Victor Garber) show up looking for their fallen friend and take Jordan to Oa. There, a committee of blue-skinned elders known as the Guardians, skeptically agree to assign Jordan to Sinestro for training. In a Training Day-like scenario, Jordan soon learns that his mentor has grown bitter and resentful towards his bosses and is getting ready to stage a coup. Hilarity ensues. Well no, not really. One of the most rewarding qualities of DC's animated movies is their refusal to dumb the story down for kids. Whether it's The New Frontier's exploration of superheroes against a more realistic and turbulent fifties and sixties backdrop than the one comics provided, or Wonder Woman's examination of sexual politics, DC has more on their mind in these PG-13 releases than Marvel has ever had. First Flight may never attack any topics as substantial as the aforementioned, but it is still a nifty morality tale about the dilemmas one can face if they blindly follow authority. And what's the last time you saw the subversion of the establishment in a cop thriller? Green Lantern: First Flight is available Tuesday, July 28th on Blu-ray, Standard DVD, and Two-Disc DVD.