Thursday, 16 June 2011

The Green Lantern: Movie Review

The Green Lantern: Movie Review

The Green Lantern
Rating: 4/10
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Mark Strong, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Taika Waititi, Temuera Morrison
Director: Martin Campbell
So another superhero franchise looks to take flight.
This time, it's the turn of the Green Lantern to try and sprinkle box office magic and ensure a future for the series.
Ryan Reynolds is cock sure pilot Hal Jordan, who despite his plucky exterior and all American clean cut image, is scarred by daddy issues, having seen his pops blown to pieces when a flight went wrong.
Jordan finds himself chosen by a green light one day (I know - bear with me) after an alien from the Green Lantern corp - a sort of green wearing space police - finds himself dying on the earth.
You see, the corp is trying to fight Parallax, an entity so evil it intends to wipe out the universe and take vengeance on the Green Lanterns, threatening the balance of power and tipping it in evil's favour.
So, Jordan is whisked off to another world to begin his training under the likes of Sinestro (Mark Strong) the leader of the corp; but he soon finds out the threat from Parallax is bigger than any of them could ever have believed.
The Green Lantern is an FX heavy slightly off kilter attempt at launching the franchise. It lacks a real emotional centre and has some completely absurd dialogue thrown in for good measure. Apparently, green is the universal colour for will and yellow is the universal colour for fear. So now you know.
And yet, it's not the massive failure you may expect having seen the very underwhelming trailer; Reynolds is very watchable as Hal and brings a level of performance which is engaging and believable; similarly for his role as Sinestro, Strong (one of the best character actors around) brings the gravitas to the mentor. Blake Lively continues her ascent from Gossip Girl, playing a ball busting pilot and business woman and Taika Waititi cracks a few lines here and there as Jordan's engineer friend.
But the problem with the Green Lantern lies with the evil side of the story; Peter Sarsgaard's Hector Hammond, who's Jordan's nemesis and infected by Parallax early on, seems to simply become the equivalent of Frankenstein's monster as he lumbers around the screen, howling and becoming the Jekyll character. Sure there are jealousy and daddy issues for him to deal with, but it's a one note performance from Sarsgaard which doesn't deliver by any stretch of the imagination.
As for the Parallax creature, a sort of grey Teletubby sun with tentacles, there are some reasonable FX shots and some quite clearly rushed effects as well; and when it comes to dispatching the baddie, it's fairly easily done by Jordan - and quite why these super efficient space cops couldn't do it, is a little beyond me. That said, the end hints at another outing for Jordan et al.
All in all, I don't think The Green Lantern has enough to really stand out in the superhero crowd; it lacks the grittiness of a Batman, the everyman appeal of a Superman and the fun offered up by this year's Thor.

It's by no means a major disappointment; it's just it could have done with a little smarter scripting, a bit more time in post production and then this generically produced light could have shined a little brighter.

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