REVIEW: GREEN LANTERN: EMERALD KNIGHTS

CAST (VOICES)
Nathan Fillion (Firefly)
Jason Isaacs (Peter Pan)
Elisabeth Moss (Mad men)
Henry Rollins (Heat)
Arnold Vosloo (The Mummy)
Tony Amendola (Stargate SG.1)
Steve Blum (Wolverine and The X-Men)
Grey Griffin (Justice League: Cosmic Clash)
Kelly Hu (The Vampire Diaries)
David Kaufman (Superman: TAS)
Roddy Piper (They Live)

Billions of years ago, the Oan scientist Krona was obsessed with uncovering the origins of the universe, and he created a machine that’d allow him to pull back the curtain and witness that initial spark of creation. This forbidden quest created an antimatter universe and led to Krona’s transformation into a being of pure energy. The consequences of his actions placed the entire universe — multiple realities, even — in grave danger, prompting Krona’s fellow Oans to rechristen themselves the Guardians of the Universe.

To atone for the havoc that Krona had wrought, the Guardians created an interstellar police force known as the Green Lanterns…creatures from one end of the universe to the other possessing great will and the capacity to overcome fear, each gifted with a power ring that is perhaps the most powerful weapon in creation. Despite the eons that have come and gone since the formation of the Green Lantern Corps, Krona’s destructive grip has yet to be fully eradicated. He’s planted a seed of destruction in the Oan sun that marks the very center of the universe, and the shadow demons he’s unleashed are devouring any Corpsmen they come across. As the Guardians rally the troops for what may be the greatest threat they’ve ever faced, seasoned Green Lantern Hal Jordan fills rookie Arisia Rrab in on the history of the Corps — its proudest moments and greatest figures — all of which will prove key to overcoming Krona once and for all.

Emerald Knights is handled so startlingly well here. Its visuals and storytelling both flow together wonderfully. The five very different stories that make up Emerald Knights all come together in its final moments, feeling very much like parts of a greater whole. It helps that all of the segments woven throughout the movie are consistently engaging. There’s not one I’d point to as a favorite or a disappointment; they’re all great. Even though this anthology by its very nature is continually bounding from one story to the next, Emerald Knights still feels intensely focused. These stories are short but immediately establish a sense of character and purpose, and the fact that there are such dazzlingly well-choreographed fight sequences, strikingly fluid animation, and an appropriate sense of awe and cosmic wonder maintain that initial adrenaline rush. The Lanterns that make up the Corps are on one hand strange and alien, and yet they do come across as a cohesive whole. Its characters are injected with enough personality that I almost forget their inspired, otherworldly appearances, and it doesn’t hurt that they’re brought to life by vocal talent like Firefly’s Nathan Fillion and Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss either.

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