Green Lantern Movie PosterWarner Bros.
2011
PG-13

You’re impertinent, Hal Jordan. You’re rash, volatile, opinionated; it seems Abin Sur found another just like himself.”

In a vast, mysterious universe, a powerful force has existed for centuries…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 threatens the balance of power in the Universe, their fate and the fate of Earth lie in the hands of a new recruit, the first human ever selected: Hal Jordan. While Hal is a gifted and cocky pilot, the Green Lanterns have little respect for humans, who have never harnessed the infinite powers of the ring before. With the encouragement of childhood sweetheart Carol Ferris, if Hal can quickly master his new powers and find the courage to overcome his fears, he may prove to be not only the key to saving the Universe…but he will become the greatest Green Lantern of all!

For some reason, when it comes to comic book movies, DC Comics just can’t seem to get much of a hit beyond their two big characters—namely, Batman and Superman. Not that any of the other stable of classic DC heroes are slouches; it just seems that translating any other hero to the big screen hasn’t been as easy for DC than it has for Marvel.

By now, the fanboy backlash concerning the live action Green Lantern movie—the very one we’re reviewing right now—has been well documented. Personally, I have never been what you would call a fan of the comic book; though, as any proper comic book geek, I have a decent understanding of the various incarnations and story arcs of the Emerald Knight. Enough to know where the movie was drawing from, but not enough to be so emotionally invested that I feel the need to spend pages and pages deconstructions it. Still, I did manage to hold off watching until now, because…well, I had more interesting things to watch and complain about.

The story in this here live action Green Lantern movie, as to be expected, draws from the classic Silver Age origin of the character: Cocky test pilot Hal Jordan discovers after a rather bad day on the job, that he has been chosen by an alien-made ring to take the place of a dying alien as a Green Lantern, a kind of intergalactic peace-keeping military force, created by neigh-immortal fuchsia-colored munchkins called the Guardians of the Universe. And if that isn’t a power metal band name, it really should be. Anyway, all the other Green Lanterns in the Corps find it hard to believe that a gross, cootie-covered human would be picked by the ring…including Hal, who pretty much quits after a bit of training by the likes of Kilowog and Sinestro. But then, a yellow-colored alien entity made up of pure fear by the name of Parallax—the very entity that Hal’s predecessor tangled with and defeated ages ago—threatens to take out the Earth, and thus Hal has to pull himself out of his pity party and figure out a way to handle Parallax and his bulbous-headed minion by himself. Because the rest of the Corps isn’t helping out, because…reasons.

When all is said and done, I found this live action Green Lantern movie to be entertaining enough to warrant some enjoyment. In case you’re wondering, no, I don’t think Ryan Reynolds was the right pick to play Hal Jordan. If you would ask my not-so-humble opinion, I think David Boreanaz would have been a better pick over Reynolds. But, I wouldn’t rule Reynolds out for playing Kyle Rayner. That’s besides the point, though. Maybe I’m not too overly familiar with the character of Hal Jordon, but Reynolds’ depiction of him came off as rather unlikable, even when he was getting his “save the world from the indestructible evil” thing going. The overall story felt rushed in several areas, especially with the training sequences (there needed more Kilowog, most definitely), and I don’t buy that the rest of the Lanterns are going to just let a wet-behind-the-ears rookie go off and save an entire planet by himself from an entity that, and then just show up right when he saves the day. Kinda seeing why Sinestro went rogue, there. Oh, and also, SPOILERS: Sinestro goes rogue in the very end. But you saw that coming, didn’t you? His name’s freakin’ Sinestro, for crying out loud. The Silver Age wasn’t known for subtlety when it came to bad guy names.

For all its flaws, though Green Lantern was just fun to watch. It was nice and shiny, the effects were fantastic, especially the cosmic scope of the thing. Overall, I don’t think Green Lantern was the great cinematic travesty everyone is saying it is. It’s not threatening to take down either of the Big Two in DC’s movie stable, but it could have been oh, so very much worse than it was.

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