Green Lantern: First Flight (2009, 77 minutes)
Plot: Neophyte Green Lantern Hal Jordan finds himself immersed in a plot to find a weapon that could destroy the Green Lantern Corps.
Source Material: Essentially this is the classic origin story from the Silver Age but with a more modern approach. All the basic elements are there with a story of the first human ever to join the corps, Sinestro’s turn, the basics of the corps. This is all very standard material, though there are elements of the Geoff Johns run with Sinestro becoming a Yellow Lantern, albeit with a different version of the yellow impurity.
Animation: It’s TV level really. Maybe a bit flashier during the action sequences but nothing that stood out or grabbed me. It’s just all rather generic. Backgrounds tend to be rather flat. Character designs all feel a bit alike. Motion is fine though. It’s definitely serviceable but unnotable.
Script: Strangely weak despite coming from animation veteran Alan Burnett. The plot is really a pretty thin excuse to chain action sequences together without even a scene of character development for Hal Jordan. There’s next to no origin for Jordan, who gets the ring before 3:23 into the film then immediately jumps into the plot. None of the characters get any more fleshing out either, save for Sinestro who hogs the film and might even have the most screen time.
Voice Acting: A bit mixed, but I feel like the script had an effect. Christopher Meloni brings far more character to Hal Jordan than was on the page simply with his typical swagger. This is very much Stabler with a power ring but it works great. Victor Garber is good as Sinestro but he never conveys even a moment of subtlety. Tricia Helfer is third billed for an absolute nothing role as a GL who inevitably turns. Michael Madsen was fun as Kilowog though.
Final verdict: This is pretty thin stuff I fear. The movie was undercut sorely by Justice League: The New Frontier telling the origin, which prompted the filmmakers to cut it to a precredits scene. What we’re left with is an origin movie without any real sense of an origin. Hal Jordan doesn’t really have any arc and neither does anybody else. This is just a movie where things happen. That said, it isn’t ugly even if it’s not notable on an animation level and I love Meloni and Garber. If you’re a GL fan, you might not hate this.
Oh and yes, the live action Green Lantern was better.