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Monday, June 20, 2011

MOVIE REVIEW: GREEN LANTERN

Fanboys rejoice! Green Lantern is here! With the advent of the new wave of DC superhero movies like Batman Begins (2005) and Superman Returns (2006) as they try to compete with the already powerful Marvel Studios franchises like X-Men and Spider-Man, the next big superhero turned movie star is of course the "Emerald Warrior" himself: Green Lantern!

"In Brightest Day,
In Blackest Night,
No Evil Shall Escape My Sight,
Let Those Who Worship Evil's Might,
Beware My Power,
Green Lantern's Light!"
- Green Lantern Oath


Test-pilot Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is cocky, foolhardy and irresponsible! After he crashes an expensive fighter jet during an experimental test of unmanned planes, Hal is fired from Ferris Aircraft! That night he is mysteriously whisked away by a strange, green energy only to find a crashed space-ship with a dying, purple alien named Abin Sur (Temuera Morrison), who gives him a strange ring and a lantern that gives him powers! Soon Hal is taken to the Planet Oa, where he learns about the Guardians of the Universe and the Green Lantern Corps. As he is trained to use his new powers by a variety of bizarre aliens like Tomar-Re (voiced by Geoffrey Rush), Kilowog (voiced by Michael Clarke Duncan) and Sinestro (Mark Strong) a powerful, evil, force known as Parallax (voiced by Clancy Brown) is encroaching on Earth, destroying everything in it's path!


While fans like me have been waiting a long time this movie, I fear that it has unfortunately not lived up to the hype, like so many other comic book movie disappointments. While the movie's intentions may have been well founded they, like so many others, never seem to consider the immensity of the Green Lantern story as they try to cram so much back-story and characters into one movie! At first the story seems close enough to the original Green Lantern origin story with Abin Sur giving Hal Jordan the ring and with the introduction of the Guardians, The Corps. and Sinestro, but the movie has already presented the audience with so much. And with those (most likely in the majority) who are unfamiliar with Green Lantern, you would think that would be enough, but NO! To satisfy the ever ravenous fanboys, the producers of the movie dive right into Green Lantern's already complex history and dig up a minor villain: Hector Hammond, Peter Sarsgaard) AND not to mention: PARALLAX, who is one of the most powerful entities in the Green Lantern world! Ryan Reynolds seemed like the perfect choice to play Hal Jordan, already experienced with parts in comic book movies such as Marvel's Blade: Trinity (2004) as Hannibal King and in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) as Deadpool (who he will be reprising in his own movie in 2014?!). Reynolds brings his own characteristic attitude to Hal Jordan. While his cocky, irresponsible attributes seem like an unlikely combination to be true to the seemingly fearless, space-cop character. Most often he come off as a very generic superhero with little appeal. As he gets beat down by Kilowog and Sinestro he actually ends up quitting! Even his green constructs seem bland and sometimes campy from a machine gun, to a catapault and even a hot wheels race track!
Opposite Reynolds, is Blake Lively as Carol Ferris, Hal's somewhat bland love-interest. While Hector Hammond (whose origin is changed to better suit the movie) is made out to be the villain in this movie he proves to be simply an annoyance and at times laughable compared to Parallax. SPOILER: While comic fans know all to well that Sinestro will inevitably become Green Lantern's arch-enemy, it seems like a wasted teaser between the credits with Sinestro putting on the yellow ring (forged by the guardians?)!
The whole movie is so overwhelming with over-the-top, fantastic CGI, plus countless, bizarre alien creatures, even the story is full of convoluted (and unnecessary) exposition and two-dimensional characters! It's all just TOO MUCH! The makers of the movie try so hard to include everything possible in an attempt to appease both the insatiable fanboys and a tireless movie audience already overexposed to elaborate CGI (and also 3D) effects. What is all this hype and anticipation worth if we are met with disappointment again and again...?