Actors: Nathan Fillion, Elizabeth Moss
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Warner Home Video
DVD Release Date: June 9, 2011
Run Time: 84 Minutes
Slice of SciFi Rating: 2.0 out of 5.0
Disjointed storytelling detracts from solid voice casting and some stunning visuals.
When news broke that a Green Lantern movie was coming to the silver screen, the on-line casting couch targeted actor Nathan Fillion as someone who might make a good candidate for the lead role. One enterprising fan even went so far to create a trailer with Fillion as Hal Jordan.
Alas, it wasn’t to be and Warner Brothers and DC cast Ryan Reynolds instead.
Warner Brothers animation stepped up to the plate and decided to give fans a glimpse of what might have been with Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, casting Fillion as the voice of the Hal Jordan Lantern for the feature length animated feature. Released as a tie-in to the big-screen release of Lantern later this week, Emerald Knights has a solid voice cast and is visually stunning.
It’s just a shame that the overall concept of linked stories of the Lantern corp never fully gels. Told as flashbacks by the Hal Jordan Lantern to a young recruit, the animated feature looks at several pivotal moments in the history of the Lanterns. These segments may serve a greater purpose in helping flesh out things there weren’t time to get to in the upcoming feature film, but here they feel a bit disjointed and many fail to sustain their ten or so minute running time. The linking story of a threat to all of the Lanterns is interesting enough, but the pieces aren’t all enough to hold Emerald Knights together.
Warner Animation has attempted these short films to flesh out a universe before with the same limited success. Batman: Gotham Knights hit DVD before Dark Knight hit theaters and was supposed to fill in the gaps between that movie and Batman Begins. Comparing the two, it strikes me that Emerald Knights would have been better served to come between the first Lantern installment and its sequel, giving audiences a chance to be introduced to the characters shown here and have greater investment in them and their storylines.
But as with all Warner animated releases, it’s not just the feature that should draw in fans. This release is packed full of extras on the making of this animated feature and if you’re a Lantern fan, you’ll probably be delighted. As a relative new comer to the Lantern universe, I found them interesting enough but was far more compelled and intrigued the first look at the upcoming Batman: Year One feature. While we don’t see any footage from the highly anticipated animated release, we do get some hints of how this pivotal storyline will come to life in animated form later this year.