Green Lantern

It’s summer so I guess there being so many new superhero movies shouldn’t be much of a surprise. With the possibility of being some of the best action movies, who wouldn’t want a superhero movie as a summer blockbuster. But unfortunately, while you may end up with with a few great ones (see my X-men first class review) most seem to fall a little short. It would seem that Green Lantern falls into this latter category, with lots of potential, but pulling out as lackluster. Having never really read any comic books I came into the theater not knowing anything about the story other than what I’d seen in previews or gleaned from pop culture (the whole ring/lantern thing).

Unfortunately for the film the two main characters, Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) and his love interest (Blake Lively), are less than stellar. While most of Reynolds career is built on cocky joking characters, though none of them in big films, for some reason he doesn’t seem to pull it off. He comes off contrived and out of place, in the humorous bits he does well , but outside of that he just doesn’t seem up to it. As for Lively she’s not as bad, and definitely not as impotent as Natalie Portman in Thor, but she’s definitely nothing stellar. She does her job fuffiling the needy, always been in love with the hero, female role but doesn’t add anything. However most of the rest of the cast pulls off their parts well, especially the human villian. Peter Sarsgaard seems right at home playing the disregarded man turned to evil. With his character actually coming off as a real, albeit greatly flawed, person.There aren’t really any other major characters but none of the minor ones are offensively played, and the other biggest Lantern part is done well by mark stone.

Unfortunately I saw it in 3D which I’m still not thrilled with. Though this was one of the better 3D movies I’ve seen this year it still seems like a gimmick. But even dealing with those issues the cgi looked good and did stand out. For this kind of movie cgi is pretty important and it really didn’t let down. The main enemy, parallax, looked really good and all the stuff involving the Lanterns turned out quite well. But unfortunately good cgi does not make up for poor acting and poor writing.

Which brings us to the screenplay itself, which while not being terrible is nothjng special. Hal Jordan seems to jump between being an asshole fighter pilot to an honourable hero at the drop of a hat. While sarsgaard’s villain character is extremely well done, the writing as well as the acting, the main plot surrounding parallax was not particularly well done, especially since the final battle is so lackluster. The film would probably have been better off with leaving parallax for a later film, and left this one as just dealing with the human villain. Though it is very possible they kept very close to the comics, which would be a good thing, it still seems very poorly done.

So all in all not a very good movie, it is better than Thor but that’s really not saying anything. Especially when we compare it with something like X-men: first class, the film is seriously lacking. It would seem that even with huge budgets and big names these new superhero films in the ‘summer of the superhero’ seem to be coming up short. This is especially saddening since the stories behind most comic book characters seem to be interesting and have potential for some truly inspiring films.

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~ by Chris Stevens on June 20, 2011.

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