Green Lantern: First Flight (Two-Disc Special Edition) DVD Review

Full of enough action to please the kids, the story will do nothing to endear adults to these animated features.
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The title First Flight is detrimentally accurate, as little back story into the life of our hero, test pilot Hal Jordan (voiced by Christopher Meloni), is provided prior to him receiving his green power ring, and taking off on his first flight. He is quite skilled at using the powerful piece of jewelry, and the only explanation given is that he had been practicing. Sadly, this is a huge opportunity lost. Seeing our hero adapt to his new role would not only have been entertaining, but it would have endeared him more and allowed him to become relatable to the audience. Instead we have a guy that we don’t know and don’t care about, whose motivation is muddled at best, thrown into an obvious plot full of turns you will see coming a mile away.

The more interesting tale here is that of Sinestro (voiced by Victor Garber), a senior member of the Lantern Corp who is assigned to guide the rookie Jordan, and who would eventually become an arch enemy of the Green Lantern. Whereas one would imagine that Green Lantern: First Flight would provide the origin of The Green Lantern in some detail, more of the history of the Sinestro character plays out here. He is displayed in this outing in a far more mature fashion than the childish clown-like versions of past DC offerings and is the most enjoyable aspect of First Flight.

The animation does excel as the art is powerful and reflects the classic look of the characters while still allowing for the appreciation of the technology used to create them. The sound and music too are top notch as a theatrical environment is created for what is unfortunately a story only worthy of a Saturday-morning release.

The packaging boasts over two and a half hours of extras, which was enough to warrant a second disc, unfortunately, it all appears to be nothing more than self-serving filler. Disk one contains the feature and creatively named trailers for other releases from the DC Universe.

Disk two contains an interesting feature titled “Behind the Story with Geoff Johns” who discusses the mythology of the Green Lantern. The insights into the character are certainly interesting and entertaining, but also laugh-provoking to anyone who has watched the feature, as Johns divulges the key elements to a successful Green Lantern story, and one realizes that First Flight contains none of said elements.

The character profiles are somewhat redundant, and sadly the Duck Dodgers Series Episode "The Green Loontern," in which Daffy Duck accidentally receives Hal Jordan's Green Lantern suit in a dry cleaning mix-up, contains more depth of story than the feature. Rounding out the collection is a two-part episode of Justice League Unlimited presented as two of Bruce Timm's favorites. Not real clear as to why these are included, and one would have to be a fan of the series to appreciate them.

Recommendation: Over the history of the Green Lantern in print and animation, objects created by the ring to resolve situations often were inconsistent both in creation and use as they tended to be a bit too cartoonish for the target audience. The same could be said for Green Lantern: First Flight. Kids may enjoy the action, but the story should have contained depth and detail worthy of any fan regardless of age.

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