It’s been two years since the animated “Green Lantern: First Flight,” and we’re at the peak of Lantern Fever with the new theatrical movie coming out next week.
So it was only logical that Warner Bros. would go green for its latest direct-to-video animated feature, “GL: Emerald Knights.”
It’s too bad the film does little to generate excitement for the franchise.
It’s an anthology film, with several short stories narrated by but not featuring Hal Jordan (wasted voice of Nathan Fillion). He’s helping calm the nerves of new recruit Arisia (“Mad Men’s” Elisabeth Moss) as they face an Oa-shaking threat from Krona.
So we get the origin of fan-favorite GL Kilowog (a great Henry Rollins), the story of Mogo and Bolphunga (former wrestler Roddy Piper), Laira’s (Kelly Hu of “Phineas and Ferb”) story and more before the entirely anticlimactic ending of the bridge story.
With so much going on, it’s hard to form an emotional attachment to the piece if you’re not already a major “Green Lantern” fan. Sure, it’s kinda fun to see some of these stories (Kilowog’s was the best), but the sum total was rather blah.
When I heard Nathan Fillion was doing the voice, I was excited. I love “Firefly” and “Castle,” and he’s great to the geek cause. And I wish he’d been cast as Hal Jordan in the live-action “GL” film. So it was a major disappointment to hear him used so little and get to show such limited range.
The animation is standard quality for these releases. Each varies in style a bit. The framing story has a more anime feel, especially for Arisia’s big anime eyes. Overall, it reminded me of Filmation in its “He-Man” and “Ghostbusters” days. The backgrounds had those hard-drawn edges and the same style of coloring. It was a nice retro effect, if intended.
But Fillion, the character and fans deserve better, especially this summer. GRADE: C