Directors: Christopher Berkeley, Lauren Montgomery
Writers: Michael Green, Marc Guggenheim
Stars: Nathan Fillion, Jason Isaacs, Elisabeth Moss
I’m assuming that this was DC and WB preparing the world for the then upcoming live action version of The Green Lantern and ironically in my opinion this is way better than the Ryan Reynolds big budget movie. That’s not to say that Green Lantern: Emerald Knights is a great movie, nor is it a bad movie. My feelings are that this was made for the fans that perhaps may have felt the previous Green Lantern Animated Film “Green Lantern: First Flight” was made for a more widespread audience. Personally I really liked First Flight.
Green Lantern: Emerald Knights is really a well told story that is constructed into the pending threat as the home planet of the Green Lantern Corps faces a battle with an ancient enemy and Hal Jordan (Nathan Fillion) must prepare new recruit Arisia (Elisabeth Moss) for the coming conflict by relating stories of the first Green Lantern and several of Hal’s comrades. It’s a great method in embedding previous adventures from the comic books that casual fans may not have read or heard of and that applies to the characters too. If like me, a casual fan I am listening to Jordan’s tales in the same vain as Arisia. So I thought that was a neat way of storytelling. The sub stories are actually really good and remain interesting throughout the films duration. Yes some of the alien characters and the animation in these characters looks and voices could be silly at times but the storytelling remained consistent and made me understand this universe a little more.
The cast again like most of these DC animated films are strong and Nathan Fillion is back (Last time as Steve Trevor in Wonder Woman from 2009) Jason Isaacs as Sinestro (last played Ra’s al Ghul in 2010’s Batman: Under the Red Hood) Elisabeth Moss as Arisia (I think this was his first and only time in the DC Animated Universe) Arnold Vosloo of Mummy fame playing Abin Sur (previously Bar-El in All-Star Superman from 2011) and Henry Rollins as Kilowog (Rollins has a long list of animated features including Batman: The Brave and the Bold Television Series. The majority of the cast have a history in comic book animations or live action and I feel this is important on how they come across in their voice acting. Here the likes of Fillion and co get it and what they have to bring to the table. In all of the DC Animated Universe Films I commend the voice actors as they have all done a sterling job in their roles and once more show us that even in voice they must perform to the peak of their game.
The action sequences are fast and furious. The opening scenes are quite graphic and sets the tone to the movie which worked well as the movies colours where bright throughout and I think with Christopher Berkeley (The Batman (TV Series) and Lauren Montgomery (Superman/Doomsday, Wonder Woman,Green Lantern: First Flight, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse) in the Directorial chair I knew we were in safe hands on where we were going with this movie. It might have been my mind playing tricks on me but I am pretty sure all the flashbacks had a different animation style to differentiate the storytelling. Some of the animation at times made the alien creatures silly looking at not at all menacing or superior and thankfully this is just nitpicking because as I said the storytelling was dominant here anyway. The Hal / Arisia animation interactions in between the stories was more traditional comic book look and both characters came across as teacher and student as it was intended.
Overall, Green Lantern: Emerald Knights may have been created with the core fanbase in mind but newbies like myself will be able to pickup and understand the plot easily enough and be taught some of the backstory to the other characters within the Green Lantern Core and it’s universe.
Personally I enjoyed the First Flight film as an overall experience but storytelling wise Emerald Knights is one of the best in the DC Animated Universe out there. My advice would be not to start your DC adventures here. Go back and watch them chronologically and embrace the build up to this cracking film from Christopher Berkeley and Lauren Montgomery. Highly Recommended.