Monday, September 15, 2014

Review: Green Lantern: TAS "Razer's Edge"

You know, this might mark the first time I've said something controversial. Near as I can tell, I'm going against popular opinion... but I don't much care for Razer.

Let me once again put this out there.

Never before have I needed this picture so much.
I'm not here to tell you what to think, but I will be honest in telling you what I think. Now let me speak my piece.

First of all, this will sound really odd, but Razer needs to take some acting lessons. I know that doesn't make sense, because he's a CGI creation, but bear with me. He rarely emotes.Not his voice, not his body, not his face.

It's very off-putting. There's nothing really wrong with the voice, nothing really wrong with the design, and nothing really wrong with the animation. But when you put them all together, you get a character that even Steven Wright would call "wooden."

I get that I'm applying human standards to an alien, but he's supposed to be a humanoid alien with ostensibly human mannerisms. Like emotion. I mean, he's not supposed to be a Vulcan. He's like a CGI Anakin Skywalker, and even the official CGI Anakin Skywalker is miles ahead of this character.

Actually, you know what? That just it. Razer is just Anakin Skywalker from Episode III. I mean, think about it. Wooden acting, evil glares 24/7, and Razer even has the same backstory as Anakin Skywalker.

Wants to gain power to protect the one he loves: Check 
Loses her: Check 
Gives into his anger and becomes evil: Check

Not enough? Here's one more.

Anakin went back for his mother, only to find her dying. Razer went back for his wife, only to find her dead.

They even look like each other.
Razer is a petulant little self-hating brat who annoys me to no end, because all he does is whine and rage. He's not "dark." He's not "edgy." He's just an overly-emo blank slate of a character that middle schoolers on DeviantArt draw making out with Aya, because he's so "tortured" and I should really take a step back.

Let me start over.  If you like this character, that's fine. But he really rubs me the wrong way.

Back when I was in high school, I would create my own characters. And they would always be loners, and tortured, and have dark pasts, and all that jazz. Because I was fifteen and didn't know how to create a three-dimensional character and I was a sucker for angst. That's what Razer is. He's a "tortured soul." And I outgrew liking that kind of character. It might just be the crotchety old man inside me telling the kids to get off his lawn, but even though Razer is the kind of character I would have loved when I was in high school, I don't love him now.

Don't give me that look, you guys.
Having said all that, I have not given up on the character. I will give the character a chance to develop. After all, one of the best things about this show is its long-term plots. Who knows? I might like Razer by the end of his story arc.

Her story arc is beginning, as well. She's learning about what it means to be a Green Lantern, and clearly sees them as an ideal to live up to. She's gradually becoming less of a female version of Data and more of an actual character. But we'll save the major stuff for next time.

Honestly, I didn't find his antics too annoying, but I can understand how someone could hate this character. It's really a credit to Rob Paulsen's experience in comedic voice acting that he's not another Jar Jar Binks. Well, not to me. Your results may vary.

It's just an excuse to explore Razer's past (his edge, if your will) and give him a reason to join the team. I guess it succeeds, then. The villains themselves are barely memorable, and that's just a problem for the entire series. Oh well.

As for the execution, this episode is packed. As you may have noted from the Recap, the POV keeps going back and forth and back and forth and such and so on. There's too many characters, as well. Goggan, Myglom, Razer's wife, etc.

This show has a problem with characters, in an odd sort of way. Because this is a space-based show, all the characters are weird, by human standards. This requires attention to detail, and it also means that there's a lot of detail to shove into a show for these characters that may or may not be seen again. I mentioned last time that Fronty had basically as much focus on him as Kilowog did.

If Goggan had been excised from the script, the episode would have been able to put more focus on the more important characters. All you have to do to the script is turn Myglom and the Spider Guild into prisoners that broke free of their bonds, had no where to escape to, and took over. From there, have the Lanterns rescue the real wardens. Boom. More time to spend on character development and pacing.

All in all, it's not a bad episode per se, but a lot of the enjoyment factor comes from whether or not you like Razer or Goggan. Luckily, Goggan isn't a main character.

See you next time.

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