Does Green Lantern’s Light shine above the rest?
The summer of 2011 seems to be the season for comic book super hero movies. Already this summer we have seen: Thor and X-men: First Class enter the movie theatres and each has provided its own spin and super hero experience. This weekend, Marvel’s super heroes take a break while D.C. sends in one of their own ringers to take the reign of entertaining the audience. The Green Lantern, starring Ryan Reynolds, centers on the daredevil pilot Hal Jordan (Reynolds) who is irresponsible, immature, and a daredevil willing to break the rules. After a few minutes of Top Gun like flying scenes, arguing with his child hood friend Carol Ferris (Blake Lively), and some quality time with a young nephew Hal Jordan is transported to the dying Abin Sur, a purple pink alien who is evidently the strongest warrior of the Lantern Core. Here Hal receives the mystic Green ring and begins his journey of becoming a galactic guardian.
I have to admit these first scenes were funny, exciting, and set up the background of Hal Jordan pretty well, and kicked the movie off to a good start. However, it wasn’t long before weaknesses of the movie begin to show. After arriving at Oa, the planet of the guardians, we get to meet some of the other Lantern core members. A variety of species of aliens, which look like souped up versions of the aliens from Star Wars, make up the galactic guardian force. Unfortunately most of these soldiers do absolutely nothing in the movie, which makes the lantern core seem useless, weak, and perhaps stuck up depending on how you view the movie. The exceptions to the rule are Kilowag, Tomar-Re, and Sinestro who actually show off the green ring skills in some exciting, albeit short action scenes.
Eventually trouble in the form of Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard) arises, but many may not find this villain very threatening or sinister. Instead Hammond’s character is more of a bulb headed, yellow eyed, revenge seeking nerd who seems to have to go to the bathroom throughout most of his screen time. My friends laughed at this villain more than cringed finding his howling moans annoying and his telekinetic abilities weak. I think the directors of this movie focused more on Parallax, who has been completely made over from the comics, who still didn’t have the most centered role in the film. The menacing cloud floated more than anything, but the CGI work combined with the sinister voice still makes him incredibly sinister looking and threatening.
So what else to say about this movie? Well for one thing women will love Ryan Reynolds in this movie. That classic, charming, and fast mouthed comedy prevails in this movie and women who love the movie “The Proposal” will fall in love again with him. A few of the audience members were also wooing and drooling over his physique, which is shown off both in and out of the uniform. Guys however also get an eye treat as Ms. Blake Lively shows off her beauty to the camera. Her character, other than being beautiful, has a combination of traits that make her a dynamic character to the film instead of a typical damsel in distress, which adds to the movie. The man that they picked to play Sinestro was also well done as the actor, Mark Strong, captured that pompous, arrogant, and serious nature that defines the Sinestro character.
The other thing that I must complement on is how well the CGI work was for this movie. It’s not easy for one to make the powers of the Green Lantern shine, but this movie did a good job at portraying the abilities of green energy without being too flashy. The forging of weapons, the power beam shots, the generation of fists and vehicles were sharp, crisp, and not eye blinding, which was a positive for me. I do however wish there was more action and scenarios that required the use of the ring, even if it wasn’t Hal Jordan using the powers. I still think the biggest disappointment to this movie was the fact that the other Lanterns really did nothing and showed off no advanced techniques that we’ve seen in comics past.
Overall Green Lantern was a decent movie that was fun, entertaining, and visually impressive. Although rushed and crammed with information that took years to establish in the comics, I still think that Green Lantern had a lot of positives that will make most audience members applaud and laugh. The eye candy that Reynolds and Lively provide is probably the biggest selling point of this movie, and I must warn that fans of the comic series may be upset with the direction the movie took. I hope that if they do a next movie, as hinted about halfway through the credits, the CGI work stays the same, but there is a lot more involvement by the other Lanterns. Overall I give this movie a 7.0 or 7.5.
Recommended audience: Ryan Reynold and Blake Lively fans and those who like comic book movies
Audience to avoid this movie: Big fans of the comic book, fans looking for lots of action, and anyone who gets annoyed of the stars of this movie.
Check back tomorrow for my take on The Art of Getting By.