I never really liked Green Lantern much as a kid. A guy dressed in green with a ring? Please - give me Batman any day.
So when the movie came out this year, I wasn't sure what to make of it. I know some of the history of the Green Lantern Corps (most tangentially, through other DC superheroes), and the movie looked like it could be fun.
And indeed, it was.
There's a lot of backstory setup at the beginning of the movie, which was helpful for geeks like me who aren't caught up. Basically, the Green Lanterns are intergalactic protectors of worlds. The harness the force of Will through the rings on their fingers to defeat those who would do harm. And they've been doing this for a long, long time. So when Earth's protector is killed, a new Lantern must be chosen. Enter Hal Jordan, hotshot test pilot and directionless thrill-seeker.
Ryan Reynolds is pretty much the perfect guy to play Hal Jordan, with his chiseled good lucks and natural charm he makes the part his own and brings a decent complexity and vulnerability to it. Other Lanterns are played by Mark Strong (almost unrecognizable if not for his voice), Geoffrey Rush, and Michael Clarke Duncan. I was happy to see Tim Robbins and Angela Bassett make appearances, and Peter Sarsgaard turns in an admirable performance as a mutated villain.
It would be remiss not to mention another major player in Green Lantern: the CGI. There's a lot of computer graphics in the film, and I mean a LOT. Whole characters are nothing but CGI, and major story elements (including the film's major badass bad guy, Parallax) are fully-rendered computer imagery.
In most cases this would bother me. The newer Star Wars films suffer from their reliance on CGI to tell the story, and in some places Green Lantern could have done with less of it too - but for the most part, somehow the movie makes it work for the story rather than against it. Partially because it is beautifully-rendered - Parallax is a truly frightening vision of evil, while some of the Lantern's manifestations of will are wondrous and highly imaginative. And also because while there's a lot of CGI, it never feels like it's in the way. The graphics serve the action, not the other way around.
And there's a lot of action, from high-octane plane flights to interstellar war. It's exciting to watch the seasoned Lanterns use their powers and it's fun to watch Hal Jordan, the newbie, come to grips with his. His experiments with the power of will are often delightful to see.
Long story short (too late!) - Green Lantern is fun, action-packed, and while it relies very heavily on a deep backstory and a metric ton of pixels for its digital effects, neither get in the way of the story or the action too much.
It's almost enough to make me want to go back and read some Green Lantern comics.
With all the follow-up successes (if mixed) Marvel had achieved with their comic book adaptations, of course DC would do well to try and follow up with the groundbreaking success of “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight”. With the rather mediocre film but mixed success that is “Superman Returns”, DC is looking for the next big thing. “Green Lantern” is somewhat of an oddball choice to try to begin a new franchise, but I am rather both happy and at … more
From all the harsh reviews and knowing that it starred someone who is principly a comedian (having remembered how brutal The Green Hornet was), I was reluctant to spend any "quality" time watching this. Well it became available at the library so I took it out and with nothing on tv but Dancing With the Stars, I decided to pop it in the DVD player. It actually held my interest throughout. Furthermore, Reynolds played the role in a fairly "straight" manner. It starts out with … more
I've always enjoyed watching DC Comics' stable of heroes in cartoons and films more than actually reading about them in comics. To me, DC's heroes were, for the most part, more "super" than Marvel's crop of characters. They always seemed to be a bit more fantastical and otherworldly. Sure, Marvel has plenty of heroes who acquired there powers from things like radioactive spiders and the force cosmic, but they always came across as more … more
I'm approaching this movie much the way I did with the Sherlock Holmes movie from a little back. I have only a slight grasp on the character and the source material, so as long as the movie is entertaining and makes sense then I the regular ticket buyer shouldn't be annoyed by the touches that the comic fans will no doubt be looking for. I'm not going to get bummed out say if, Green Lantern's costume doesn't look right or if he drives a Mustang instead of a Charger … more
I was prepared to love this movie. It had everything I would enjoy in a comic book super hero movie including the good looking hero, outstanding special effects. So what happened? I did like it, but did not love it. It definately needed some editing. It took forever for the story to take off. I know they had to explain all the back story, but it was so slow moving in the beginning. Coming from director Martin Campbell I was surprised. He usually starts off running and leaves you breathless. I would … more
Ive never been a fan of DC Comics, Ive always been a Marvel fanboy. Although fictional Marvels superheroes just seem more realistic to me..........more believe able. That and some of the harsh reviews I read about this movie made me go into the theater with very low expectations. Enter Hal Jordan an unorthodox US Military fighter pilot. After his reckless behavior causes him to crash an F-35 he is chosen by the ring of Abin Sur to replace him as guardian … more
Green Lantern is a very flawed movie-going experience. It’s by no means a “good” movie, but it doesn’t fall into the ranks of the “superhero movie gone wrong” league of the horrifyingly awful “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer” or “Daredevil”, or even the “close but no cigar” category like “Batman Forever” or “The Spirit”. Instead, in a much more tragic fashion, Martin Campbell’s Green … more
I discovered comic books back in the mid 1980s. We lived near a convenience store that stocked a fairly large number of them. I remember well going down there, getting a strawberry ice cream cone, playing some Super Mario Bros and buying comics. Being an imaginative child, and a fan of science fictiony stuff, I very quickly gravitated to Green Lantern. And why not? Here was a set of stories that often took place in space, featured aliens by the gross and had a ring that could be used … more
Star Rating: Green Lantern does not seem to know who it was made for. There are expository sections of story so densely packed with detail that they will (1) confuse and alienate those who are not intimately familiar with the original comic book, and (2) bore those who are. Most of the characters are badly developed while the rest are introduced and then immediately dropped. Specific events are either explained at too great a length or not explained enough. … more
Okay, so this is how the story goes...In a universe far, far away (where else would it be) an elite, powerful force has existed for centuries. Protectors of peace and justice, they are called the Green Lantern Corps. Helpful fact to know, for those of you unfamiliar with the DC comic...Green is the color of will. Yellow is the color of fear. So...green is good...yellow, bad...very very bad. … more
Directed by Martin Campbell. With Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard. A test pilot is granted a mystical green ring that bestows him with otherworldly powers, as well as membership into an intergalactic squadron tasked with keeping peace within the universe.
As far as superheroes go, Green Lantern may lack the clean, iconic lines of his more respectable DC counterparts Superman and Batman, but the very wonkiness of the premise (earthling joins elite force of space cops) lends itself to a pulpy, operatic, not-entirely-serious approach. (One of his teammates is a talking carrot, after all.) Capitalizing on a charming performance by Ryan Reynolds, the feature-film adaptation is a big, messy movie that, at its best, generates a feeling of aw-shucks wonder. Much likeThor, it isn't afraid to loosen up on the inner turmoil of its hero and go macro. Based on comic writer Geoff Johns's retrofitting of the title character, the story follows Hal Jordan (Reynolds), an impulsive test pilot whose encounter with a dying alien leaves him with an energy ring capable of weaponizing his imagination. While struggling to master his will-based powers, he must deal with threats both earthbound (a hilariously nebbishy Peter Saarsgard, who may be the first supervillain to rock a hoodie) and galactic. Martin ...