Green Lantern: In Brightest Day. In Blackest Night. (2011)

Posted: July 3, 2011 in Action, Crime, Fantasy

Hal Jordan has never been a reliable person but has always coasted through life on his confidence and his ability to resist fear. When an evil alien enemy escapes its mystical prison and forces an injured protector to crash land on Earth, Hal finds himself pulled to the crash site. Inheriting a special green ring and a lantern, he get sucked onto a distant planet called Oa and finds himself inducted into the Green Lantern Corps. It is said that the Corps is empowered by a lack of fear and the evil presence feeds off of fear. While Hal develops his powers through imagination, Hector Hammond becomes infected from the alien that crashed onto Earth and starts to develop powers of his own. The impending doom from the fear-feeding alien and Hector’s growing power could be too much for the newest Green Lantern to handle.

Starring: Ryan Reynolds (Hal Jordan), Blake Lively (Carol Ferris), Peter Sarsgaard (Hector Hammond), Mark Strong (Sinestro), Tim Robbins (Hammond), Jay O. Sanders (Carl Ferris), Taika Waititi (Tom Kalmaku), Angela Bassett (Doctor Waller), Temuera Morrison (Abin Sur)

While not new to the superhero scene, this is the first movie Ryan Reynolds has been able to play the good guy. He certainly has the cockiness down, particularly at the beginning of the film, but he does not make the most convincing hero. Blake Lively does a better job with showing some range but also seems to fall short of being a multitalented leading lady. Peter Sarsgaard shows the best moments of emotion but also immediately goes from shy, misunderstood scientist to crazy, power-driven psychopath in only 2 scenes after his infection. Mark Strong, who plays Green Lantern’s eventual rival, exhibits some strong leadership perspectives, leaving more of a lack of focus on a character with much more potential (which could be fixed with the next film). With CGI covering the bulk of the Green Lantern characters, there are few other human characters that command much actual screen time.

Working towards an eventual Justice League epic, Martin Campbell tries his best at giving the Green Lantern story a better start than the attempt with the most recent Superman but falls significantly short. The CGI really takes over a lot of the characters, including Ryan Reynolds. On one hand, we have to appreciate the ability of our technology to represent our imagination; but we also are overindulging in the unrealistic. The way this film is formulated feels like a Michael Bay film but CGI-infused rather than mega-explosions. As far as the villain, it certainly invokes a significant amount of fear but really is just a head with an amorphous body. The final fight is fairly unsatisfying but also sets up the opportunity of a sequel that has a lot of room to be better than the first.

Whoever said that you cannot write a good script for superhero action film has unfortunately diminished the focus on trying to strengthen the actual stories molded into epics. Green Lantern has a significant number of holes in the story, acting and script but it will fulfill anyone’s need for a mediocre filler to help move forward to DC’s eventual team epic.

Dan’s Rating: 2.5/5


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