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Movie Review: Green Lantern

June 17, 2011

Green Lantern – A Warner Bros. Pictures’ Release

http://greenlanternmovie.warnerbros.com/

Release Date: June 17th, 2011

Rated PG for violence, not recommended for young children

Running time: 105 minutes

Martin Campbell (dir.)

Greg Berlanti (screenplay)

Michael Green (screenplay)

Marc Guggenheim (screenplay)

Michael Goldenberg (screenplay)

James Newton Howard (music)

Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan / Green Lantern

Blake Lively as Carol Ferris

Jay O. Sanders as Carl Ferris

Peter Sarsgaard as Hector Hammond

Tim Robbins as Senator Hammond

Mark Strong as Sinestro

Temuera Morrison as Abin Sur

Geoffrey Rush as Tomar-Re (voice)

Michael Clarke Duncan as Kilowog (voice)

Clancy Brown as Parallax (voice)

RYAN REYNOLDS as Green Lantern in Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure “GREEN LANTERN,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures. TM & © DC Comics

Our reviews below:

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Green Lantern Review By John C.

** (out of 4)

With his translucent green suit and flashing ring on his middle finger, the Green Lantern has been a staple of the DC Comics universe since his first issue in July, 1940.  Director Martin Campbell has brought one of the many versions of the superhero to the big screen in the aptly titled Green Lantern, with the help of Ryan Reynolds in the leading role.

Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is a cocky test pilot, chosen by a dying purple alien to become the first human to wear the glowing green ring of will power and join a league of intergalactic peacekeepers known as the Green Lantern Corps.  The ring comes from the planet Oa, where Tomar-Re (Geoffrey Rush) is leading an army of bizarre aliens to protect the galaxy from the evil power of fear, which is embodied by a gray cloud-like monster known as Parallax.  The Green Lantern is the only one who can stop the strange entity from taking over the entire galaxy, but with more fear and less will power, an effects-driven climax must ensue.

Hal Jordan meets his match on Earth when scientist Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard) gets infected with the evil yellow energy, becoming a deformed humanoid bent on destroying New York.  The battle becomes personal for Jordan when Hammond threatens his relationship with fellow test pilot and sometimes love interest, Carol Ferris (Blake Lively).  Green Lantern goes out with a bang, delivering an extended climax that often plays directly to the target audience of teenagers.

Blake Lively’s character is thinly written and underused, often feeling like nothing more than an obligatory plot point.  Peter Sarsgaard plays somewhat of an interesting character and is nearly unrecognizable as he succumbs to an alien virus, but he oddly feels like a subplot and not the main villain.  But the film is saved by a predictably charming performance from Ryan Reynolds, coupled with a refreshing sense of self-deprecating humour that allows for some playful jabs at the superhero genre.

The special effects range from cool to cheesy, but often serve the purely action-driven story as well as one could have hoped from the ridiculously inflated budget.  The 3D here actually does add something to the experience, unlike many films presented in the format which hold up just as well on their own.  The extra dimension is particularly evident in the interplanetary sequences, most notably the first and last scenes.  Should you buy a ticket, be prepared to spend extra money on the glasses and an extra-large combo at the concession stand.

The action is nearly constant with quiet moments few and far between, so the most audiences will likely take away from the film is a headache.  But Green Lantern played at the exact popcorn-oriented level I was expecting from the trailers.  It isn’t exactly great filmmaking, but those looking for action and entertainment on a summer afternoon surely won’t be disappointed.

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Green Lantern Review by Erin V.  

*** (out of 4)

When test pilot Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is chosen by a dying alien to be his successor in the Green Lantern Corps., he is given the emerald ring that lets him harness the green energy of willpower.  The first human to be selected by the Corps., he soon has to defend Earth and the universe against an enemy named Parallax (Clancy Brown), who harnesses the yellow energy of fear – an unstable energy that leads to destruction of peace and mind.

From the trailer, I wasn’t sure how good this one was going to be.  First off, I initially thought Reynolds wearing the suit looked strange, although it wasn’t until I viewed the film that I realized why – when he wears the mask, his eyes change from golden-brown to a milky ice-blue.  It’s fine if they wanted him to have blue eyes for those scenes, but stay in the warm palette – such a cold colour looked strange and distracting on him.  This being said, I liked how the suit looked with the mask off.  The rest of the graphics worked within the context of the movie as well, (although they don’t stand up when compared to other FX-driven films), including the comic book style of the planet Oa and the other members of the Green Lantern Corps.  When Jordan is creating things with the green energy (like a translucent race track), it is kinda silly looking, but still cool in its own right.  It is fun to see what he comes up with to make.

When going in, all you need to know is this is a very classic comic-book story, and the film’s whole style matches this.  The graphics, the script, the acting, etc.  What makes this movie a fun one for the summer, is a script that allows just enough fun to be poked at itself, as well as the acting by Reynolds who brings a relatable and appropriately human side to the character of Hal.  Those familiar with or just now being introduced to the Green Lantern will most likely find something to like here – just note that because of a few tense (relatively, considering the genre) scenes, this one will be best enjoyed by the 11-12 & up crowd.  It’s campy, but I thought it was ok for a bit of summer fun.

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Green Lantern Review by Nicole

*** (out of 4)

Green Lantern is a fun and slightly campy superhero film.  Based on the DC comic books, it tells the story of the first human in the Green Lantern Corps., an interplanetary organization that protects the universe from evil.  Hal Jordan (played by Canada’s Ryan Reynolds), is an impulsive test pilot.  His cockiness nearly gets him fired, but as things seem to go bad, Jordan meets up with a dying extraterrestrial who hands him a glowing green ring and lantern.

Jordan finds himself on a planet called Oa, where the Green Lantern Corps reveal to Jordan that he must help them defeat Parallax, a terrifying smoke creature that feeds on people’s fear.  The Lanterns use willpower, a much stronger force that can defeat fear.

Green Lantern has the look and feel of a comic book.  The special effects are a bit cheesy, but do not diminish the fun of the movie.  Ryan Reynolds is funny as Hal Jordan, keeping with the light tone throughout.  Green Lantern is a fun movie that families will enjoy over the summer.

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Green Lantern Review by Maureen

**1/2 (out of 4)

A lot of comic book fans take their superheroes very seriously.  It’s hard to say whether or not die-hard fans will find this summer’s Green Lantern up to par.  For those of us with just a surface interest in the story, Green Lantern proves to be a fun, even if a little campy, special effects-driven action movie that provides light entertainment.

Hal Jordan is a fighter jet test pilot who likes to push the limits.  When fear causes Jordan to crash a fighter jet his future is uncertain.  However, when a purple alien crashes his spaceship on earth, the green ring he wears chooses Jordan to be the next recruit in the intergalactic Green Lantern Corps.  Wearing the ring, Jordan transforms into the green masked and suited Green Lantern.  Using his strong will he joins forces with the other Green Lantern Corps to fight the evil Parallax who feeds on the fear of others.

The special effects work reasonably well and the villain is sufficiently scary.  This is one movie where the 3D actually added to the enjoyment.  But what really makes Green Lantern work is the casting.  Ryan Reynolds looks great in the digitally created green motion capture suit.  He does justice to the suit and the character of Hal Jordan/Green Lantern, giving him the right mix of cockiness and humour, playing him as a powerful yet vulnerable superhero.  Blake Lively is also good as Hal Jordan’s flight partner/sometimes love interest Carol Ferris, and Peter Saarsgard is really interesting as Dr. Hector Hammond.

Older kids, teens and comic book fans of all ages looking for a fun action adventure will enjoy Green Lantern.  Ryan Reynolds fans might also want to check out the 2009 indie film Paper Man on DVD where he plays Captain Excellent.

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Green Lantern Review by Tony

** (out of 4)

Green Lantern is about Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds), a test pilot chosen to join the Green Lantern Corps that defends the universe against evil, when one of their mortally wounded warriors Abin Sur (Temuera Morrison) lands on Earth and his green ring finds Hal to replace him. Under the command of red humanoid Sinestro (Mark Strong), Hal is mentored on the Green Lantern home planet by an articulate fish head (Geoffrey Rush) and fight-trained by an ogre (Michael Clarke Duncan).

The green power of will kept in the lantern that powers the ring also creates the green body suit and mask as well as anything the bearer wills into existence as a means of defense. The current threat comes from the yellow power of fear embodied by a planet-devouring monster called Parallax that has also infected the human scientist Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard) leaving him deformed with violent telekinetic power and the Edwardian gift of reading minds. Fellow test pilot and aircraft company executive Carol Ferris (Blake Lively) provides brief love interest and Tim Robbins also appears as a typically corrupt senator.

Green Lantern is not one of the better films of its type to come out recently, rarely rising above its comic book origins. At least Ryan Reynolds is always charming and funny as Hal discovers his new power and has to grow up emotionally to be able to use it. The special effects are not state of the art, varying from 90s Star Wars in the extraterrestrial sequences to translucent green outline Tron style renderings of the various things conjured up by Hal’s will. Be warned that the sound track and score by James Newton Howard are loud. Aside from some nice effects in the opening sequences viewers on a budget will not really miss the 3D.

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Consensus: Although it doesn’t live up to the potential of other recent superhero movies, with a good performance by Ryan Reynolds in the leading role and a script that allows for moments of humour, Green Lantern works as a light – if sometimes campy – summer blockbuster for older kids and adults.  **1/2 (Out of 4)

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