13 March 2011 | bob the moo
Solid little comic book animation despite jumping right into the action as if only fans will be watching
Test pilot Hal Jordan is in a simulator when he suddenly finds himself transported into the desert where he meets a dying alien, is presented with a green ring that gives him great power. It is not very long before others come with the same power and he learns that he is not unique but that the "ring" has chosen him to join an elite intergalactic police force (the Green Lantern Corps). He joins with the leader of the group to be trained but he finds that his natural style doesn't sit well beside the more cruel and fear-based method of police favoured by Sinestro.
Coming to the Green Lantern as a completely casual viewer with no knowledge of him I will say that this film didn't come over as quite abrupt to me because I was introduced into the creation of this character in about the first 30 seconds of the film! I guess this is a necessary evil since, unlike the forthcoming Hollywood film, many people picking up this animated film will already be at very least familiar with the character so backstory and development of the character might annoy them – and they are in the majority here so fair enough. That said, once it gets past this and the Green Lantern Corps are introduced, I did sort of forget that my initial feelings were that I had been thrown in at the deep end, because the plot became pretty simple, the characters pretty obvious and the action pretty engaging by virtue of keeping lots happening.
Although I came to it thinking it would be a kid's affair, it is actually pretty strong in terms of action and plot; OK it is still comic book material but I did like it and in a way not knowing the story actually helped me because I didn't already know what was happening. The motives of Sinestro were hardly a surprise (Hello? His name sounds like "sinister") but I was still reasonably engaged by it all. The animation worked well because it allowed me to accept all these little trolls and rings that make things of all shapes (Baseball bats! Fans!) because it was fantasy – I'd be interested to see how they pull this off in live action because I'm not sure if the story will be the same but the trailer looks so-so at best. The voice work is solid enough – reasonably big names but I wasn't really ever thinking "oh, who is that it's on the tip of my tongue", although Meloni, Garber, Madsen, Smith and others all do pretty good jobs.
I'm sure I'll see the live-action blockbuster at some point, but for this animated film I did rather enjoy it. It has a solid plot and although some of the powers of the Lanterns were daft, the animation and the pace of it all made it work pretty well. Solid little comic-book animation.