Green Lantern

This time it’s DC’s turn to throw down in the comic book movie summer schedule. Surprisingly, they chose one of the more unknowns in the roster with Green Lantern. I like this comic and used to collect it as a kid, I’ve thought for awhile that this would be a cool movie especially from an effects standpoint.

Unfortunately it didn’t quite turn out to be what I had hoped for…

You can see that they really went for it with this film. It’s grandiose as far as design and story as it’s set in 2 worlds, Earth and the home of the Green Lanterns – Oa. Part Top Gun, Star Wars, and super-hero movie, you’d think this would’ve been huge but somehow it manages to be underwhelming.

The storyline is ok, your average reluctant hero that has to face great responsibility. But maybe that’s it… It was just kind of an average origins story. We’ve seen it before, but it’s just another variation to the same theme. While not original, these set ups can still be done in an original way, be it emotional or informative or whatever. Spiderman is a good example of a character going on an emotional ride at the age of 18 (played passionately by Tobey Maguire). Ryan Reynolds’ Hal Jordan character is on such a journey, with his big emotional challenge being fear alongside an additional albatross of responsibility. The problem with this for me was that Reynolds got locked into a fear vibe for too much throughout the movie, he didn’t go much out of that unless it was the occasional cockie dude he does (he does this well). I think some more anger and intensity would’ve been good. His fear presentation is kind of wooden.

The effects are interesting. There are times when they look right on the money, the suit (while it’s a bit cartoony color-wise) is impressively designed and animated, although I could’ve done without the glowy, happy, pulse energy thing that courses throughout. At other times, the effects look very “CG”, especially with Parallax. I’m not saying it’s not well done, it is very nicely done, but it still looks CG and has trouble keeping you in the moment of the terrible destruction he’s supposed to be reigning down.

Hal Jordan does to have a bit of a character arc towards the end, and you welcome it so he takes that weepy look off his face and grows a pair. Overall it was a good character to pick to put on the big screen but it was carried out in an average/bland kind of way.

Some good performances by Blake Lively as Hal’s love interest, Peter Sarsgaard (does a great job here as the demented Hector Hammond), Mark Strong as Sinestro, alongside Angela Bassett and Tim Robbins. A very strong cast across the board. The weak link unfortunately here was Ryan Reynolds. I hate to say that, I’ve seen him do better. I can see he tried but just wasn’t hitting the mark, like he was trying too hard (or worrying about the weight of a 300 million dollar film on his back. Yes, with production and marketing, it was that much.)

Worth seeing in a theater to make up your own mind as enough people liked it that there’s already a sequel that’s been (pun fully intended) green lit. And make sure you stay through the credits (again, the same thing every other super hero movie is doing).

reviewed by Sean McKnight