12A – 105mins – Action/Crime/Sci-Fi – 17th June 2011
First off, I have to say my knowledge of the Green Lantern extends as far as knowing that somewhere along the line a ring, a lantern, lots of green and a rhyme are involved and that’s about it. Before the film I didn’t even know our hero’s name so in that respect I know not if this did the comic justice and stuck closely to the ideas and themes or it varied wildly. On the plus side this means I get to learn about a whole new character from scratch and that’s what I love about the movies.
The story follows Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) a jet fighter test pilot following in the footsteps of his father. However his life is turned upside down when he finds himself face to face with an alien who gives him a ring which bestows unto him magical powers that enable him not only the ability to fly but allow anything he imagines to materialise. He is not the only one with a ring though and but part of a larger collective known as the Green Lanterns who are tasked with looking after the universe and protecting it from evil.
Unfortunately I found the action somewhat disappointing not only in its quantity (there wasn’t much) but also in respect to its quality. The options available to our green lanterns are endless, whatever you can think can become real, it’s a scriptwriters dream as anything is feasible as long as they could think of it and yet we are treated to an array of shields and various guns where just a bit more thought could have given us so much more. CGI was a massive factor in this movie as well and for the first time in while I noticed it with the effects feeling slightly incomplete on occasion.
In the supporting cast there was one impressive performance with Mark Strong as Sinestro who should have had more screen time and no poor ones as the cast went about their parts with a minimum of fuss. Reynolds does not quite suit the superhero role but that could just be because I cannot see past him as any character other than a comedic Van Wilder type.
My main gripe with the film though was the characters who were mostly underdeveloped- Hal’s friend picks up Hal in his car and says wow when he sees him showing off his suit. That was it, no other point to him at all. Even stranger, Hal’s sibling’s and nephew were in the start of the movie and then completely cut from the script never to be seen or even heard of again. Also Hal’s love interest Carol (Blake Lively) added looks but no real emotional connection with Hal questioning the inclusion of her at all.
As enemies go Parallax never had me worried and I never felt Hal was in real trouble. The Green Lantern has no weaknesses- Superman has kryptonite, Spiderman has limited powers but the Green Lantern can create anything and go anywhere which led me to never be concerned and so for a rather average viewing experience. I’m assuming in the lifetime of the comics, there were better villains that could have been used for the big screen than Hector Hammond (the giant head) (Peter Sarsgaard) and Parallax (the giant smoky head)?
I think that if this had been released before Thor or X-Men: First Class then it might have faired slightly better but it never captivated me in the same way those movies did. It seems set slightly more towards the younger generation with a few too many plot holes for my liking and I just hope that if a sequel does come about from this, who am I kidding, WHEN a sequel is made, more effort is put into developing the characters. It seems a bit like I hate this movie but it’s not a bad film (remember Catwoman and Daredevil?), it’s just I’d rather save my cash and go with something else instead.