Green Lantern

Green Lantern
Made in: USA
Language: English
Director: Martin Campbell
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Tim Robbins, Mark Strong, Angela Bassett
Year: 2011

Synopsis: Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is a highly skilled test pilot. He's bold, brash, and cocky with a reckless streak that can also be defined as irresponsible. However, he's haunted by the death of his father, Martin Jordan (Jon Tenney), who was killed in a plane crash when Hal was just a boy. That has left an emotional scar on Hal that surfaces at the worst possible moments.

As Hal tries to work things out with fellow pilot/former flame Carol Ferris (Blake Lively), an evil force in the far reaches of space starts making trouble. A mortally wounded alien named Abin Sur (voiced by Temuera Morrison) crashes to Earth after an encounter with the massive evil entity known as Parallax (voiced by Clancy Brown).

Abin Sur is part of a group of intergalactic warriors known as the Green Lantern corp, whose headquarters is on a distant planet called Oa.

Abin Sur chooses Hal, the first human in the corp's history, to be his successor. Hal inherits the powerful ring, which gives him super powers. The ring also possesses the ability to turn its energy into anything that its wearer can imagine. But to be a true member of the Lantern, one must be fearless.

As Parallax, which feeds on fear, threatens Earth and an opportunistic scientist named Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard) gains evil powers of his own, will Hal be able to face down his past demons and save the day?

The Good: With great special effects and some fun action sequences, Green Lantern is entertaining and good natured if you don't take it too seriously. Ryan Reynolds, known more for comedies, was a pretty good choice as a superhero.

I thought he did okay, and although he does manage some laughs, he could have been just a little more of a wise-ass.

Hats off to the special effects team who really brought the power of the Green Lantern ring to life. Throughout the movie, we definitely get a sense of the ring's near infinite power.

Watching Reynolds as the Green Lantern is pretty fun, and the actor's inherent goofiness often works well as a contrast to all the more serious stuff happening in the story.

The Bad: There's just way too much information to cover. The film opens with a lengthy explanation of the guardians and the planet Oa.

Then there are pretty involved subplots which include a defense contract, a corrupt senator (played by an underused Tim Robbins), Hal Jordan's past, his previous romance with Carol, and the history they have with Hector Hammond.

Most of those elements aren't really tied in that well. Also, the death of Hal's father doesn't seem like a convincing source of his weakness.

It's not clear whether or not Hal is trying to live up to his father's legacy (there's no emotional connection there because we don't get to know his father all that well), or if he feels responsible for his father's death (which wouldn't make sense because he clearly isn't).

On top of all that, there's the superhero adventure that the audience wants (and paid) to see.

Who would like this movie: Green Lantern is for you if you like superheroes who aren't meant to be taken too seriously. The film has its fun moments, and it's light-hearted enough to be enjoyable if your expectations are low (or if you're drunk).

Die-hard comic book fans will most likely be more critical and nit-picky.

As a movie, the story is a bit clumsy but manages to work through the most important parts of the superhero formula. It's not an extraordinary summer blockbuster by any means, since it seems as though the filmmakers were playing it safe and sticking to a more by-the-numbers approach. But compared to previous superhero big-screen adaptations (such as Ghostrider), it's not a failure.

(2 and 1/2 stars out of 4)

Review written by: Joe Yang

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