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‘Green Lantern: Beware My Power’ (review)

There is so much out there to watch and so little time. Plenty of great shows and movies, all vying for our attention.

DC Animation has a pretty good hit to miss ratio, so I was happy to hear that Green Lantern was getting his own animated movie. I was excited to see it was going to feature John Stewart. This brings us to the pertinent questions. Does Green Lantern: Beware My Power do right by John Stewart?

Is it worth the time and effort?

This film introduces John Stewart as a veteran suffering from PTSD. Seeing an homeless individual being attacked, John jumps to the rescue. Highlighting his heroic virtue, we see an Oan delivering John the Green Lantern ring.

John wants to get rid of the ring, and finds himself visiting the Justice League.

After the usual fisticuffs when heroes are first introduced, Green Arrow volunteers to help John Stewart travel to Oa to get rid of the ring. With a missing or possibly dead Hal Jordan, Green Arrow volunteers for the space mission.

Now this is when the movie becomes a bit muddled. It changes focus from John Stewart, a man overwhelmed by the intergalactic weapon he now wields, and centers on a reignited feud between two planets. John and Green Arrow find Oa destroyed and the Green Lantern Corps demolished.

Hawkgirl is also there and they also spar before figuring out they should be working together. Before long they are joined by Adam Strange. All together they find themselves smack dab in the middle of the Thanagarian-Rann War.  Has with any war that features two sympathetic sides, there is an antagonist waiting in the wings. Since the title hero is Green Lantern, we know this can only mean Sinestro.

DC animated films are either 85 minutes or set up as two volumes at 85 minutes each. Green Lantern: Beware My Power promises to give the spotlight to John Stewart, but at a too brief 87 minutes it attempts to introduce a half dozen characters and an intergalactic war. Ultimately, it struggles under its own weight while forgetting it’s titular main character for long stretches. I’m certain a movie titled The Thanagarian-Rann War would not sell to the casual viewer, but the movie’s title feels a little unfair.

What I can appreciate is that the character design was top notch, the animation is sharp. The DC Animated movies, for movies that go straight to digital release, are technically well made and Green Lantern: Beware My Power lives up to that standard.

Extras are slight with a featurette and two bonus cartoons.

The voice work is excellent. Of particular note is Aldis Hodge, who will be playing Hawkman in the upcoming Black Adam live action film, interestingly enough. He does great expressive work, even if the dialogue doesn’t always do him any favors. (“Talk to the hand….the one with ring” yikes) He and Jimmi Simpson as Green Arrow manage to have good chemistry, to the point that I wish this had just been a Green Arrow/Green Lantern team up.

So, does Green Lantern: Beware My Power do right by John Stewart?

Almost but not quite. Is it worth your time?

If you are a completist of the DC Animated Universe, it’s fine. Otherwise you might consider skipping it.

 

 

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