In a universe as vast as it is mysterious, a small but powerful force has existed for centuries. Protectors of peace and justice, they are called the Green Lantern Corps. A brotherhood of warriors sworn to keep intergalactic order, each Green Lantern wears a ring that grants him superpowers. But when a new enemy called Parallax threatens to destroy the balance of power in the Universe, their fate and the fate of Earth lie in the hands of their newest recruit, the first human ever selected: Hal Jordan. Hal is a gifted and cocky test pilot, but the Green Lanterns have little respect for humans, who have never harnessed the infinite powers of the ring before.
Directed by: Martin Campbell
. Starring: Ryan Reynolds
, Blake Lively
, Peter Sarsgaard
, Mark Strong
, Tim Robbins
, Jay O. Sanders
, Taika Waititi
, Angela Bassett
, Mike Doyle
, Nick Jandl
, Dylan James
, Gattlin Griffith
, Jon Tenney
. Music by: James Newton Howard
Another in a long line of comic book films released this year, Green Lantern unfortunately doesn't compare to Thor, X-Men: First Class or Captain America. Had I seen Green Lantern *before* seeing those other three films, perhaps I wouldn't be as critical of it. But those previous movies set a high standard that this latest comic book movie doesn't quite reach. I feel a large part of why GL isn't as successful as the films before it is the pace and editing. A film about aliens, space police and a ring that can transform thought into reality should all come together to make one hell of an interesting film, but somehow the movie suffers from a seemingly sluggish pace in the beginning (thanks to a rather snore-worthy voice-over, explaining things that we need to know) before anything really interesting happens. Starting movies with prologuesexposition *can* be interesting, but this one manages to make everything that *should* be interesting somehow dull. It's actually very disappointing, given that director Martin Campbell was behind two of the best Bond movies ever (Goldeneye and Casino Royale). Those films never had a dull moment in them, whereas GL seems to have too many.
I'm one who hadn't known the first thing about Green Lantern - having never read the comics - before seeing this movie. Having heard the name a while back, I figured it was just some dude who liked the colour green and walked around with an old-timey lantern. Luckily, it's a bit more interesting than that. It actually involves a ring and a human, Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds), who the ring chooses to join an intergalactic militarypolice force known as the Green Lantern Corps. Turns out I wasn't entirely wrong, as there is indeed a lantern involved, but thankfully it's not old-timey and he doesn't just carry it around with him wherever he goes. Though he does swear an oath to it - one of the lighter moments in the film.
Reynolds wasn't apparently many people's ideal actor to play Hal, but I think he serves the role of the jet-fighter-test-pilot-turned-universe-protector well. Yes, he does play a bit of a jerk and he does have some funny lines, but he's also believable in the more serious moments. When he recites the oath for the second time, you know he's grown as a character. Reynolds is convincing in his portrayal of Hal's flaws as a person, and by the end you're on his side.
The lovely and very aptly named Blake Lively is a breath of fresh air, livening things up and injecting some much-needed energy into the otherwise kinda dull proceedings. As Carol Ferris, she's not only a fellow pilot with Hal, but also someone with whom Hal has a history. Not just another ordinaryboring love interest, she's able to stand up to Hal, not take his crap and can handle herself admirably. Best of all, though? She's no idiot. Most awesomely, Hal's lame Superman-in-glasses-like attempt to cover up his identity with nothing more than a small green mask doesn't work on Carol. As she says, she's known him her whole life and not being able to see his cheek bones isn't going to fool her. She immediately recognises it's him. Other superheroes' love interests would do well to learn from Carol (take note, Lois Lane!). The scene where he tries out his best Batman voice on her (after having earlier rescued her in public from a crashing helicopter by creating a race track for it to land on) is one of the best in the entire film. Carol's reactions to seeing through Hal's mask are really quite goodamusing. It's one of the more unique things about the film - where most tend to have the 'love interest' remain in the dark or look stupid for not having figured out things early on.
I liked how Carol wasn't just giving Hal crap nonstop, but also encouraged himsaved him. Lively and Reynolds have decent chemistry and share some good moments together. Though the restsupporting characters, both human & alien, are all rather average. This lack of character development lets the film down.
It also doesn't help that the villains of the film are among some of the most non-scary & laugh-worthy villains ever to appear in comic book films (up there with Green Goblin). Parallax is nothing more than a big angry dust cloud that zaps people with yellow. You know you're in trouble when this is the 'Big Bad' of the movie. The film's 'Little Bad' is hair-sniffer, Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard), who becomes infected by Parallax and gains telepathictelekinetic abilities as a result...but also (literally) gets a big head - doesn't really seem like a fair trade-off. Our fat-headed villain is gross to look at, but other than that, he's not particularly effective. He's just another poor sod with daddy issues and bad luck. He shares minimal dialogue with Hal and Carol, and yet we're supposed to buy them as people who know each other well. The only real tense moment I felt involving them was was when Hector's threatening to make Carol like him - something no SANE person would want to see happen.
What I felt really let the film down was the pacing. Things seem to be shown to us in a strange order a lot of the time, and it just feels 'off'. I will say that the movie did allow for some interesting uses of CGI - the constructs Hal forms with his mindthe ring are pretty exciting & creative. The flying was also good. And it makes sense his costume looks the way it does, since it's created out of energy.
This isn't a bad film as such, it just isn't all that it could have been. Still, here's hoping that a sequel improves on it. Despite all the flaws, I do wish to see Hal Jordan and Carrol Ferris again. Until then, go green!
Review by Chalice_Of_Evil from Australia from the Internet Movie Database.