Green Lantern

Green Lantern was always going to be a tough one. He has a set of powers that are, except for the flying and super strength, hard to explain. Being able to create any object you can think of out of green energy is not the first thing that leaps to mind when thinking about super powers. Plus the source of his power, an ancient race of immortal aliens, called the Guardians, who have found a way to tap into emerald colored energy of will power and have channeled it through a network of rings to create a galactic police force is a melding of super hero story and space opera that has always struck me as cosmically esoteric. There’s no telling what a theater full of Ryan Reynolds fans are going to make of it.

Despite all that GL is a major figure in the DC universe, an important anchor of the Justice League, and he has legions of passionate fans. You don’t get to be in that position unless you’re striking some kind of primal chord. So who am I to judge?

Even with that elaborate back story, the set up for Green Lantern is pretty straight forward. The Green Lantern for our sector Abin Sur, played by Temuera Morrison, is caught unaware by cosmic baddie Parallax, voiced by Clancy Brown, and mortally wounded. The ring brings him to the nearest inhabited planet, Earth, where it chooses Hal Jordan, played by Ryan Reynolds, to be the next GL for the sector. Jordan doesn’t really understand the situation and the first time he uses the ring it is for selfish reasons. It whisks him off to Oa, the planet of the Green Lanterns, for some training. Overwhelmed by the strangeness of it all, Jordan quits and returns to earth. But it turns out that Parallax is still on the loose and determined to extract revenge on the Guardians (He used to be one, but got kicked out and imprisoned by Abin Sur when he sought to harness the yellow colored power of fear.) and Earth lies in his way. It’s up to Hal to save the planet.

I enjoyed Green Lantern a lot, but the more I think about it the more flaws I see. Most of all, it feels rushed despite its 105 minute running time. The scenes on Oa are mostly about computer generated alien vistas and the characters there, some of whom are very popular in their own rights, are given short shrift, except for Mark Strong’s Sinestro. Also the screenwriters (there are seven of them) don’t seem to know what to do with Carol Ferris, played by Blake Lively, who is Hal’s childhood friend/ex-paramour/boss/future love interest. She gets rescued a couple of times and at one point distracts the villain long enough for GL to recoup and go on the attack. But for the most part she’s just there.

Admittedly, I’ve never followed the comic book but most presentations of Hal Jordan that I’ve seen have portrayed him with more gravitas than what Reynolds brings to the role. Now maybe they plan to have him mature in the sequels but frankly, I’m not sure that Reynolds can pull it off. He was able to be convincing in the lighthearted comedy bits but when things got serious, his face became like an expressionless mask.

But as I said, I enjoyed the film despite its faults. It’s a pretty film with great effects, especially the suit and the CGI designs of the aliens and Oa. It’s funny in places and the acting is just good enough to make you care about the characters. And the best thing about it is the way they handled the cosmic back story in a serious, matter of fact way, not drawing attention to it or trying to hide it. In this world immortal ancient aliens and galactic police forces exist. Nothing more need be said.

I had high hopes for Green Lantern, namely because of the previews, and the director, Martin Campbell who has a couple of good action films under his belt. Those expectations weren’t entirely met but the film is good enough.


1 Response to “Green Lantern”

  1. 1 Ajie Kurniyawan September 21, 2011 at 11:12 am

    This Movie is So Cool… I love it!
    After browsing about an hour finally I found this movie on novamove here

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