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Published on June 16th, 2011 | by simeon


Green Lantern

Bursting onto the screen with a winning combination of action and dazzling effects DC Comics’ “The Green Lantern” has arrived to the delight of comic fans the world over. The film stars Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan, a talented but cocky test pilot who is haunted by the untimely passing of his father during a test flight when young Hal was a child.

Hal avoids commitment and leads his life as a brash individual who does things his way and answers to no one.
After a close call during a training flight that puts him at odds with his employer, Hal is enveloped by a green ball of energy which transports him to a crash site where he encounters a dying alien. While unsure of what he is seeing, Hal attempts to comfort and aid the alien creature who informs Hal that he has been selected for great honor. The dying alien bestows upon him a ring and a lantern and leaves Hal with far more questions than answers.

In time, through the powers of the ring, Hal is transported to an alien world called Oa where he encounters a myriad of alien creatures and learns that he has been selected by the ring to become a member of the Green Lantern Corps. The Lanterns act as interstellar peacekeepers with each of the 3600 members assigned to a sector of space to patrol and defend. Since there’s never been a human selected, the noble and fearless Lanterns believe that the ring must have made an error in selecting an individual who is more full of bravado than real courage.

The fact that Jordan is human and replacing the revered Abin Sur (Temuera Morrison), does not sit well with a powerful Lantern named Sinestro (Mark Strong), who torments and mocks Hal, literally pounding into Hal how unworthy he is. All the while, a deadly menace with the power to destroy Oa and the Green Lantern Corps named Parallax, freed from the prison he was placed in by Abin Sur, is laying waste to everything in his path including several Lanterns who seem powerless to stop him.

Jordan must also deal with Hector (Peter Sarsgaard) who, unbeknownst to Hal, has become infected by Parallax. As if his life wasn’t complicated enough, Jordan also has to address his feelings for his childhood friend Carole (Blake Lively). Hector, fueled by jealousy over Carole and Jordan’s relationship, and resentment for his for his politico father (Tim Robbins), becomes the embodiment of evil, requiring Hal battle his own doubts and shortcomings and stand alone against an enemy that is bent on destroying all life on earth.

While Lively is relegated to little more than a love interest in the film, Reynolds seizes the character and gives Jordan a vulnerability and sense of humor rather than making him all brawn and fooldhardiness. While much of the film that is devoted to the interplay between the characters and setting up the Green Lantern universe, the film has some amazing visual effects and solid action sequences that, although are presented in converted 3-D, come cross in a spectacular fashion.

While I avoid reading reviews in advance of the screener it had not escaped my attention that the film was getting severely panned by many old guard reviewers. I would question whether any of them had actually read the comic in which the film was based. Director Martin Campbell and his team of writers have crafted a solid summer action picture that not only delivers but is faithful to the source material. This is a comicbook based movie after all and whoever is looking for dynamic plots, award-winning acting, and complex and intertwined character development, will certainly miss the point. Plot and dialogue are usually kept in a simple and straightforward manner in summer action films and I believe Lantern actually goes a step beyond the usual summer offerings in this regard.

While the film is certainly resplendent with its amazing visual effects, it is, at its core, a human story about overcoming weaknesses and finding qualities we did not know we possessed. Many people are quick to lambaste films that focus solely on action and effects yet “The Green Lantern” attempts to add depth to the characters by touching on their past associations and their deep understanding of each other. While it would be impossible in a two-hour movie to go into the depth that a comicbook can, it was nice to see that some effort was made to flesh out the characters.

Yes, the film does follow a formulaic route in terms of a hero rising to the occasion and dealing with some inner turmoil and emotional conflicts which has been the staple ever since stories were first written. That being said, there is a delightful energy about the film and Reynolds’ enthusiasm for his part.

3.5 stars out of 5.

Second review by Chris Thompson

Based on the classic DC Comic series, “The Green Lantern” has arrived.
The Green Lanterns are cosmic police forces that are out to keep the galaxy safe from evil. The Green Lantern Corps was created by The Guardians, a race of immortals who harnessed the emerald power of will into a power ring. They also created a home world for The Green Lantern Corps known as OA
Directed by Martin Campbell, “Green Lantern” tells the origin story of Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds), a test pilot for Ferris Aircraft who works alongside the daughter of the owner Carol Ferris (Blake Lively). As the movie starts Green Lantern Abin Sur (Temuera Morrison) is being attacked by Parallax, a fear entity whom he had entrapped many years before.

Meanwhile Hal and Carol are helping test new computerized fighter jets for the military and whole Hal out flies the unmanned jets he crashes his jet in the process with devastating results. . that lead to layoffs and Hal being grounded by his employer.

Abin Sur crash lands on earth and tells his ring to find a suitable replacement to carry on his mission. The ring seeks out Hal Jordan and brings him to Abin Sur. Abin Sur gives his ring to Hal and tells him that he is now a part of the Green Lantern Corps. He also tells Hal that he must put the ring into a lantern and recite the oath to charge his ring. As Hal is trying to help him Abin Sur dies. Hal runs off as the government show up to investigate the crash. At home Hal tries a few times to figure out the oath with poor results. Eventually he touches the ring to the lantern and the oath just comes to him. Meanwhile a scientist and childhood acquaintance of Hal named Hector Hammond (Peter Saarsgard) is brought in to examine Abin Sur’s body and is in turn, infected by Parallax.

In time, Hal is transported to OA where he meets up with Tomar-Re (Geoffrey Rush) who shows him around his new base of operations.
Hal also meets Kilowog (Micheal Clark Duncan) who start Hals training. Sinestro (Mark Strong), resents Hal for getting Abin Sur’s ring, shows up to prove that Hal does not deserve to wear a ring. Sinestro then takes the best that the Green Lanterns have to offer to battle Parallax. This results in disaster. Parallax then turns its attention to Earth and Hal Jordan.

“Green Lantern” offers great special effects and non-stop action. There are also plenty of laughs to be had/Fans of the comic books will be very pleased. Fans will notice alot of references to events that take place later in the comic book series. The movie is presented in 3d, but since it was just altered in a lab and not shot in 3d it adds nothing to the film. I strongly recommend everybody see “Green Lantern” in the theatre. It is the highlight of the early blockbuster season.

5 out of 5 stars

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