Green Lantern (May Contain Spoilers)

Before the first teaser trailers, I had high hopes for the first film adaptation of one of DC Comics flagship characters, and after seeing early teaser photos I was interested in the direction the producers were taking Green Lantern. Although the teaser trailers left me unimpressed, I couldn’t not go and see what could be one of the big superhero hits of the summer.

Cocky test pilot Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is grounded after a test mission goes wrong. But in his crisis of confidence, he is chosen by dying alien Abin Sur (Temuera Morrison) to be granted his mystical ring. By accepting this, Hal gets transported to the planet Oa and initiated into an intergalactic police force charged with keeping the peace across the Universe using the power of the Emerald energy of Willpower. They are the Green Lantern Corps – and Hal Jordan is the first ever human to be placed among their ranks. But as Hal begins his training with the Corps to become a Green Lantern, an entity of fear known as Parallax is freed from his prison created by Abin Sur and is headed towards Earth, already embodying Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard) to spread fear on Earth. In order to defeat this intergalactic enemy, Hal must gather together more courage than flying a jet could ever take, and master the powers of the Green Lantern ring to save his colleague and love interest Carol Ferris (Blake Lively) and ultimately the Earth from destruction.

The film managed to stay true to a lot of the Green Lantern mythos and original storylines of the Corps, but it felt like there were things missing from the film as a whole that could have done it a lot more justice – no pun intended!

What first made me question the look of Green Lantern was the copious amount of CGI being used. While it’s understandable that for creating the world of Oa and Corps members like Tomar-Re and Kilowog (voiced by Geoffrey Rush and Michael Clarke-Duncan respectively) CGI needed to be used to make them as realistic as possible, but using it for things like Hal’s Green Lantern uniform seemed a bit like overkill to me. But that being said, it was explained to me that in the comic books the Green Lantern uniform is part of the construct the ring produces, so it seems fitting that his suit was CGI too and meant it had the moving energy effect as well, so even though it seemed like a bit much it was done for a solid reason.

Also on the subject of Green Lantern’s CGI, it seemed to me that there wasn’t enough of him using his ring to create big constructs and that wasn’t very adventurous for a superhero with that kind of potential. It would have been understandable if they had, say, focussed their attention on creating more of a solid script to back the film with, but even that became predictable in places and a bit hollow overall – especially since Hal’s scientist friend got severely overlooked and even forgotten about in certain scenes! There are clearly plans for a sequel (set for release in 2013) with the clip during the credits of Sinestro (Mark Strong, who manages to not blink for the entire 40 minutes he is on screen. Fact.) putting on the Yellow ring of Fear, despite the fact that his last scene in the film was him congratulating Hal Jordan on being right and bringing out humanity in the Corps. It almost felt like there was no reason for him putting on the ring in this film other than to create talk of a sequel and because his name is Sinestro. If you let a guy with a name like Sinestro into your group, you can pretty much bet he’ll stab you in the back. The clue is in the name. Still, at least it means there is a lot of potential for the sequel compared to the lack of depth in this film.

The action scenes and one-liners that the trailer campaign for Green Lantern didn’t ruin did impress and made the film worth the ticket money, but there wasn’t much that hadn’t been revealed by the trailers by that point, and the retrofitting for 3D wouldn’t make all that much difference to the visuals to make it worth paying the extra for it.

Overall, Green Lantern came across a bit like the kind of stereotypical superhero movie you see people watching in other films, but there were still plenty of bits throughout to satisfy long term fans of the original comic books. The action scenes and CGI were impressive, but because there weren’t enough of them and the script got hollow in places, Green Lantern suffered a little from Take-Away Syndrome – you enjoy it while you’re having it, but two hours later you’ve forgotten all about it and want another. Green Lantern gets 6 out of 10 for being entertaining but lacking a lot of what people actually paid to see.


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