Movie Review: GREEN LANTERN (2011)

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong

Written by: Greg Berlanti/Michael Green/Marc Guggenheim/Michael Goldenberg

Directed by: Martin Campbell

Buy Green Lantern on DVD (or 3D Blu-ray/Blu-ray/DVD Combo)

On my drive back after seeing Green Lantern, a thought occurred to me: I’m getting really sick of superhero movies. It was fun in the early 2000′s when X-Men and Spider Man proved that taking source material from a comic book could equal both box office success and create a watchable movie to boot. Hell it got even better when Christopher Nolan entered the fray and took the genre to a whole other level with Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. With those two movies, the fanboys and film snobs could finally join hands and sing kumbaya around the campfire. Yes sir, comic book movies created a world where nerds and not so nerds could become super best friends.

Countless superhero flicks later, and the schtick is finally getting old; although not a complete wash, Green Lantern doesn’t exactly break the bank or challenge the conventions of the genre. While it does have the advantage of being larger in scope (the entire Universe is involved after all), it sticks to two planets and whenever it comes back to Earth, it loses all of its steam. But hey, there’s a whole lot of CGI so that fixes everything, right?

Ryan Reynolds stars as Hal Jordan, a test fighter pilot who is super arrogant and super suave (our initial introduction has him sleeping next to a very sexy blonde, because that’s how he rolls). While arrogant, we quickly also learn that he irresponsible, late to his job and having to wrap a present on the way while almost getting into a car crash. This guy is totally NOT a superhero, am I right? The test flight, which is meant to sell the Air Force on new A.I.-powered fighter planes, goes awry and almost ruins the sale much to the chagrin of Carol Ferris (Blake Lively, an ironic name to be sure) whose father created said drones. Oh and they used to bang; there’s that too.

Unbeknownst to Jordan, he’s about to get a big wake up call in the form of Abin Sur (Temeura Morrison, or Jango Fett as you’d probably know him as), an alien from another galaxy who has crash landed on Earth. Sur belongs to the Green Lantern Corps, an intergalactic piece keeping force that is the best of the best in the universe. Fatally wounded from a battle with an entity he was trying to keep imprisoned, he sends his ring to find the most qualified successor to his powers. To the shock and awe of anyone watching the movie, it picks Jordan.

And thus begins Jordan’s change, as he learns to overcome his fears and strengthen his will, which is the most powerful force in the Universe (like the Force, but a guy’s name instead and with a sweet lantern). He is whisked away to Oa, the planet which houses the Corps as well as the immortal Elders who help guide the universe from their obscenely large perches while wearing obscenely large robes. He meets the Corps leader Sinestro (Mark Strong), who doesn’t believe he’ll be a worthy successor to Sur because he’s a mere human and humans are lesser beings. But still, Jordan begins training alongside a bird-looking dude and a giant monster-looking guy voiced by Michael Clarke Duncan who says “poozer” to the delight of the four comic book fans who get that. Under their tutillege, it looks like Jordan will become a competant hero yet!

And he’ll need to be, as Parallax is looking to eat the shit out of other worlds and use their fear to fuel him. He also ends up with a disciple on Earth in the form of Dr. Hector Hammond (the always awesome Peter Sarsgaard) who, while performing some experiments on Sur’s body, becomes fused with Parallax blood. Will Jordan finally summon the will and the confidence to take down these two threats, get the girl, and make funny funny jokes?

To read the rest of the review, head over to Man, I Love Films!

 Grade: C

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