Jungle
Green Lantern

Movies based upon our favorite comic book heroes tend to be a no brainer. They instantly garner attention and typically are blockbuster successes. Just look at the recently released X-Men: First Class. Green Lantern is the latest superhero to get the movie makeover treatment with Ryan Reynolds taking on the lead role as Hal Jordan, the first human to join the ranks of the Lantern Corps.

After an alien crash lands on Eath and jetfighter pilot Hal Jordan (Reynolds) is the first to the scene, he is given a great responsibility, a ring that grants him the power to create anything he can imagine through willpower, the strongest emotion of the color spectrum. From that moment on, he is now a Green Lantern, one of the protectors of the universe. Unfortunately for him, it isn’t long before he has to live up to the title because a dangerous entity known as Parallax is threatening to destroy the Earth. Can Hal overcome his fears and save the day?

Green Lantern isn’t the most popular superhero in the business but he does have a strong following. The film follows the origins of Hal Jordan and the Corps and attempts to delve into the backstory of many of the characters. That being said, I’m surprised at how many have daddy issues. There’s Hal whose father died during a test flight. Antagonist Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard) has trouble being taken seriously by his father who thinks his scientific work is somewhat ridiculous. Lastly there’s Carol Ferris (Blake Lively), the hot young love interest of the film. She gave up flying jets to follow in the footsteps of her father and run the family business, Ferris Aircraft. Everyone seems to have issues with their dad at some point or another, and most of the time it doesn’t really contribute to the storyline.

One Hal dons the green suit, that’s when things get interesting. My impressions when I first saw the trailer was that it looked ridiculous. There were way too much CGI effects, and it all looked very unnatural. After watching the film, I still agree with my initial impressions although it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. The suit did look pretty cool, and I’m glad they were able to poke fun at the mask used to “hide” Hal’s identity.  The ability to make anything you can imagine instantly materialize is pretty cool as well. Still, the CGI can be distracting and simply feel unnecessary at times.

 

What are most interesting about Green Lantern are its concepts. I wish the film would have explored more about the origins of the Lantern Corps and the various rings associated with the color spectrum. We only briefly get an explanation regarding fear (yellow) and willpower (green). Fans of the comic know there is so much more to the story.

 

I honestly didn’t have high expectations for Green Lantern but was pleasantly surprised at how it turned out. It’s still far from other superhero movies that have been released so far this year but I enjoyed it for what it was. Ryan Reynolds manages to inject his typical humor into the character, and the film even goes as far as setting things up for a sequel provided there is one. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’ll be seeing too much green in the coming weeks.

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Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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