Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Green Lantern

In a summer of sequels and comic book films, "Green Lantern" is following "Thor", "Priest" and "X-Men: First Class". It isn't the worse of the bunch, but also not the best.

For those that do not know the first thing about Green Lantern, the film is about Hal Jordan, a test pilot who receives a mystical green ring that bestows him with otherworldly powers, as well as membership into an intergalactic squadron tasked with keeping peace within the universe. A lot of the background is given in the intro through an extensive voice-over that provides almost too much information, and borders on putting the audience to sleep. However, if someone would like to read the comic that appears to be heavily leveraged from for the script, the Green Lantern series "Secret Origin" appears to be the closest reference material. The visuals of the movie are reminiscent of "Ghostbusters 2" (1989) with the play on anger, traded in for fear in Green Lantern.

Ryan Reynolds (Hal Jordan/Green Lantern) didn't quite fit the image of the comic book and the writing allowed for him to rely too much on witty one liners and humor. Blake Lively (Carol Ferris) as the main love interest for Hal Jordan was emotionally flat in how she was supposed to care about Hal Jordan. However, the performance from Peter Sarsgaard (Hector Hammond) was the strongest in the film even though his character deviated the most from his comic book origins. Other than a voice with his customary accent, you couldn't really tell that Mark Strong was even Sinestro given the significant amount of CGI used. A surprise for the fan boys was the inclusion of Angela Bassett as Dr. Amanda Waller who is considered one of the favorite comic book villains of all time.

The Batman franchise set the bar for other comic book movies. However, it isn't entirely fair to compare a comic book movie to that of the Batman franchise and the main reason is the villains and extreme fantasy. While Batman is a regular human with no special abilities much like his gallery of rogue villains, the other comic book films rely on super heroes with super abilities and matched against villains with a goal of taking over the world (or destroying it) through the use of special abilities. These abilities require significant special effects and reduce the film into a project for the post production crew and restricts the acting and writing to a minimum.

While the film is about the ability to overcome fear, it unfortunately does not have the ability to overcome itself. A superhero with the ability to create whatever he can imagine requires a considerable amount of special effects and CGI. However, there was too much CGI, and came across more as a video game. Green Lantern isn't as bad of a film as some critics are saying, but it isn't a great film either. The special effects are not going to overly impress and you can easily wait for this film to go to the discount theater, DVD, or even TV. For me it is just 2 Quacks, but the audio track partially pushes me to suggest the discount theater for everyone.

There is a BONUS SCENE after the credits that you actually don't want to miss.

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