Canister X Movie Review #35: Green Lantern: First Flight (2009)
Written by Alan Burnett
Directed by Lauren Montgomery
Runtime 77 min.
4.5 out of 5
Pilot Hal Jordan goes for the ride of his life when his test pod is mysteriously transported from the safety of an air force hanger to a rocky desert only to encounter a bizarre dying alien named Abin Sur, who had summoned Jordan via his powerful ring. Abin Sur dies and Hal’s world is turned upside down when he is introduced to the Green Lantern Corps, guardians of the galaxy. Under the tutelage of Sinestro, Hal learns to use his newfound power and witnesses, thanks to Sinestro’s words and actions, that the Guardians of Oa—those who created the Green Lantern Corps and the green lantern power battery—have grown soft in their approach to intergalactic crime. Sinestro believes a more stern approach is needed and so takes Hal under his wing to show him that might makes right.
The Corps faces a crisis as the Yellow Element—the only force capable of weakening the Green Element, which powers the Corps’s green battery on Oa—has been stolen. Should it be used against them, the Green Lantern Corps will crumble and the galaxy as we know it will no longer be protected and chaos and evil will reign.
Green Lantern, to me, has always been a cool character, yet he’s also always been an overlooked character outside the realm of us hardcore superhero guys. Batman? Sure. Superman? We know him even better. Spider-Man? Yeah, good movies on the big screen. But Green Lantern? Wasn’t he that green guy from that old Super Friends show, the one with that ring that does stuff and, um, well . . .
Green Lantern is an outsider character. He’s known and he’s unknown. I think of him like Superman, the difference being is he takes the ring off and he’s a guy like you and me. Superman doesn’t have that option because no matter what kind of clothes he’s wearing, he’ll always be a Kryptonian. Green Lantern: First Flight reminds us of that: that beneath the cool power ring Hal Jordan is just your average guy.
I really appreciated the origin tone of this movie and even more so that 99% of it didn’t take place on Earth. Here we got to get a solid look at the world of Green Lantern, which is an intergalactic one and not confined to a bustling Metropolis or an eerie Gotham.
To see the Green Lantern Corps—all those weird aliens with varied green uniforms—really added to the scope of what the Corps is all about and a visual reminder that humanity’s protection is only a small part of what they do. According to this movie, there are thirty-six hundred green lanterns, each with their own sector to watch over. Solid.
I had only a couple minor quibbles with this movie. I thought Hal Jordan dove into the Green Lantern thing rather quickly. He gets the ring and suddenly—BAM—he’s all green and knows what to do. He also seemed too casual and calm about all these alien encounters he suddenly finds himself having. If that was you or me, we’d be freaking out the second Abin Sur showed up, green ring or otherwise.
Likewise, Hal Jordan seemed to be the only guy who got back to wearing regular clothes when the ring came off, whereas everyone else still retained their uniform. I thought the uniform came with the ring. Take the ring off and you’re back to wearing whatever it was when you put it on.
Again, minor, but something I would have liked to have seen handled better.
I know that comic books and comic book movies are not as much for kids as they used to be. Once again this DC film has some foul language in it. Not impressed because it’s kids asking their moms for these flicks. It’s not like the old days where superhero cartoons were clean language-wise.
The action is great. The fights are cool.
If Green Lantern: First Flight is meant as a primer for the upcoming live action film, man, we’re in for a real treat and an awe-inspiring experience come 2011.
This flick is solid, enjoyable and fun. Check it out.