Recently released on DVD/Blu-Ray/Digital Copy/On Demand/LP/8-Track/Stone Tablet/Whatever is the newest animated feature from DC’s line of DTV flicks, Green Lantern: Emerald Knights. Despite there being a pretty great Green Lantern: First Flight movie released in 2009, this film doesn’t tie into that one, and attempts to try to fit them in the same continuity are, essentially, futile. This seems more intended to be a tie-in to the upcoming live action movie, featuring many of the same characters that are prevalent, such as Sinestro and Kilowog.
Emerald Knights isn’t like First Flight in that it isn’t one story. Much like Batman: Gotham Knight, Emerald Knights is a series of different stories, some original, others adapted from the comics. Unlike Gotham Knight, however, the animation style is relatively consistent throughout the film, so you don’t get the jarring change in styles from one story to the next.
There six stories in Emerald Knights,
- The First Lantern, which really is more about the first Green Lanterns, but is actually one of the standouts of the movie. The set pieces are extremely well done, and the action is intense.
- Abin Sur, which is essentially a tale of Abin Sur and Sinestro hunting down Atrocitus. Not bad, and fans will enjoy the tie-ins to the comics.
- Laira, the weakest of the bunch, where the titular character returns home to find that her family has taken a tyrannical rule over the planet. A pretty stellar fight sequence, but that’s about all there is to it.
- Kilowog, one that I know for sure was adapted from the comics (from the Tales of the Green Lantern Corps series) which features Kilowog as a rookie and the drill sergeant that made him who he is.
- Mogo Doesn’t Socialize, also adapted from a comic (I think by Dave Gibbons), which spends much too long revealing a punchline the majority of viewers will already know.
- Emerald Knights, the bookend pieces which are pretty well done, but feature a major villain that isn’t fleshed out enough to understand the impact of the character
Overall, Emerald Knights is an enjoyable experience, and definitely worth watching for fans of the character. I would venture to say that people unfamiliar with the Green Lantern mythos won’t find much to enjoy in the film. It’s quality storytelling and all that, but the anthology format really appeals more to folks who have at least a passing familiary with the characters and mythology of the Corps. Voice acting is solid all around, including Nathan Filion as Hal Jordan, Jason Isaacs as Sinestro, Elisabeth Moss as Arisia, Arnold Vosloo as Abin Sur, and Henry Rollins as Kilowog. A pretty stellar cast for a theatrical movie, much less a DTV one.
Green Lantern: Emerald Knights is available now, and well worth the watch for comic book fans. Others should tread carefully.