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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Quick Review: Green Lantern

I was worried about "Green Lantern," based on the DC Comics character. Face it, once you get past Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman you're dealing with DC's second string. And look at the trouble DC's parent company, Warner Bros., has had turning their properties into films. They had to go back to basics with the Batman films after what Joel Schumacher did to them (and struck gold, to be sure). Their first Superman franchise reboot took forever and was not as successful as they wanted, so now they're trying again with a different director, star, etc. And Wonder Woman's been stuck in movie and TV limbo. So a Green Lantern movie would have to be done right to cross over to the public at large. The box office may ultimately tell a different story, but for me, it wasn't a huge success.

Ryan Reynolds isn't terrible as Hal Jordan, the test pilot who is chosen to become the newest Green Lantern of Sector 2814 (that would be the one that includes Earth, of course) and receives the green ring that grants him superpowers. (And, as you can see, he's pretty, although he doesn't show much skin in this movie.) But the plot is splintered, veering between Hal's getting the ring and learning how to use it and meeting other members of the Green Lantern corps, and the threat of an entity known as Parallax (the essence of fear, which is represented by yellow, although the entity itself seems to be a smoke monster), and the relationship between Hal and Carol Ferris (Blake Lively), and then to Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard), a scientist who gets a piece of Parallax inside him and mutates into a villain himself, although he doesn't do all that much, really -- the character and actor are both pretty much wasted here. And to explain the history and mythos of the Green Lanterns and the Guardians who created them, and how green is the color of willpower, able to confront fear, and so on, took a lot of narration. I didn't dislike this movie as much as others, but it's still a disappointment. My grade: C-plus.

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