Wednesday, August 31, 2011


 This summer has been a barrage of comic book adaptations, with Thor, X-Men: First Class and Green Lantern all hitting the big screen with gusto. Green Lantern looked promising from the previews, with Ryan Reynold's and his wit being matched up with some impressive visuals. As a kid, I was always a Batman and X-Men fan, so to be honest I know next to nothing about the Green Lantern story, but it looked interesting enough to warrant a watch.  


The movie gets off to a quick start with a voice over giving a brief overview of the creation of the Green Lantern Corps millions of years ago by the Guardians of the Universe. The universe was divided up and each sector was assigned a Green Lantern to protect it from threats like Parallax, the evil, fear-inducing demigod that enjoys wreaking havoc around outer space. Luckily, one purple-faced alien Green Lantern by the name of Abin Sur (Temuera Robinson) was able to defeat Parallax and trap him on some forgotten planet.

Unfortunately for Abin Sur and the rest of the universe, some idiot aliens crash-landed their spaceship on said planet and released the greatest evil in the universe, which could have easily been avoided if these interstellar aliens had thought to invent an iPhone with GPS on it. Regardless, Parallax is released and is mad as hell, and goes on a rampage, destroying planets, killing fools, and just being a general pain in the ass. He faces off with Abin Sur and mortally wounds him, but not before Abin Sur manages to escape on his spaceship and make his way to Earth.


  While Abin Sur hurtles his way towards Earth in agonizing pain with an oozing chest wound, hotshot pilot Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is late for work as usual. While flying a mock dogfight with his wingman Carol Ferris (Blake Lively) against some unmanned drones, he tries to show off and ends up crashing his jet. Abin Sur's ring ends up choosing Hal to be the first human Green Lantern. Hal is transported by the ring to the Green Lanterns' home, where Sinestro (Mark Strong) teaches him how to think and fight like a Green Lantern. He then returns to Earth to protect the planet and most importantly, Blake Lively, from being gobbled up by Parallax.


Ryan Reynolds has enough charm to carry the movie, but the end result is a forgettable comic movie. Charisma isn't enough to make for a good action movie. Iron Man had Robert Downey Jr and his loads of witty charm, but it also had an interesting take on the origin story, and a sharp script. In this movie, Hal becomes a Green Lantern and starts kicking ass in about 10 minutes. There's no development, no obstacles to overcome except his tendency to be an asshole most of the time. Blake Lively is there as eye candy, Mark Strong's Sinestro is only there to set up for the inevitable sequel, and the rest of the cast is forgettable.
The CGI ranges from some outstanding close ups to the mediocre. Some of the best scenes in the movie come early, with the dogfight between Hal and Carol's F-35s and the drones being pretty slick, and the attack on Coast City by Parallax is awesome as well, as the big cloud of evilness and fear smashes through buildings, cars, and wreaks serious havoc every where. Apart from a few standout moments, Green Lantern is definitely not up to par with the best comic book movies. To be honest, the Green Lantern might be the most difficult of the comics to adapt to the screen, but you can't fault them for trying.

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