"GREEN LANTERN" MOVIE REVIEW
I have always thought that Green Lantern was the coolest among superheroes as a child. He fights crime wearing a powerful accessory – the mythical ring that grants him the ability to create anything his mind can imagine.
Plus, Green Lantern was not as popular as Superman or Batman, so as a child, I deemed the character an underdog. I latched on to his every word as he uttered the lines “In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight.”
So I was happy as a child getting his first Green Lantern promo ring when I heard that Warner Bros. Pictures was producing the first ever full-feature adaptation of the DC Comics superhero. And I’m still happy after watching the film although it could have been better.
The film version is bogged down by too many expositions. Being a second-tier property, the filmmakers felt the need to over-explain the character’s origins. In the comic book world, Green Lantern first appeared in All-American Comics in 1940 and the character has evolved over time.
Through the years, many Earthbound members have worn the powerful ring namely Alan Scott, Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner, John Stewart, Kyle Raynor, and Jade. But Hal is the most popular of the bunch, so in the film version, we get to see his story.
Hal, played by Ryan Reynolds, is a cocky test pilot who becomes the chosen one to wear the ring. You see, in our mysterious universe, there’s a powerful force that exists to protect our peace and justice. They are called the Green Lantern Corps. Warriors sworn to keep intergalactic order.
But there’s a new enemy on the horizon called Parallax threatening to destroy the balance of power in the Universe. Now, the fate of mankind lies in the hands of Hal. But first, he must overcome his fears.
Fear is ultimately the greatest villain in “Green Lantern.” In the film, yellow is the color of fear while green is the color of will. Hal is chosen for his pure willpower and determination.
Director Martin Campbell, the guy who gave us “GoldenEye” and “Casino Royale,” trades his James Bond skills to go Green. As expected, Campbell is adept into bringing the larger-than-life action scenes into the big screen, but he’s weighted down by the uneven script.
The screenplay, written by Greg Berlanti, Michael Green, Marc Guggenheim, and Michael Goldenberg, tried to cover a lot of the mythology surrounding “Green Lantern.” The result is a hyper-visualized movie that leaves some subplots behind.
Besides Hal’s inheritance of the powerful ring, he must also deal with his daddy issues. He saw his father (John Tenney) killed in a test flight. And then there’s his childhood sweetheart, Carol Ferris (Blake Lively), who runs an aerospace company that Hal works for.
But wait, there’s more! Hal must also worry about Hector Hammond played by Peter Sarsgaard who is covered in make-up resembling the character in 1985’s “Mask.” He’s the nerdy scientist who becomes the agent of Parallax on Earth. And then there’s also Thaal Sinestro (Mark Strong) the leader of the Green Lantern Corps.
You got all that?
The film did not succeed in finding the right balance to tell all the stories, but at least, Reynolds is game to don the Green suit. The filmmakers know that the actor’s strongest suit is in comedy so he’s given enough comic lines to take us to the next scene.
Lively was actually believable as a co-owner of an aerospace company, while Sarsgaard was given unintentionally funny lines that did not help the actor emerged through gobs of make-up.
But “Green Lantern” has enough excitement needed for viewers to enjoy the film in 3D. The production design is commendable, and once we learn the origins of our superhero, we are in for the long haul. “Green Lantern’s” light still shines brightly, my inner child is happy.
RATING: “GREEN LANTERN” GETS 2 ½ KISSES
Country: United States