Sam Shin: Staff Illustrator
Warner Brothers has finally given another DC superhero a chance to shine, literally. More than most comic-based films, Green Lantern is an accurate representation of the comic book itself.
The film is directed by the talented Martin Campbell (007 – Casino Royale and The Mask of Zorro). Actors Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, and Mark Strong star in the film.
Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is an arrogant but gifted test pilot who is chosen to be a member of the Green Lantern Corps – an intergalactic police organization that establishes peace around the universe. Each member wears a special green power ring that allows them to create a light construct through their imagination and willpower.
Hal receives this ring from a dying Green Lantern member named Abin Sur (Temuera Morrison), who was attacked by Parallax, an evil yellow entity who thrives on the fear of living beings.
After being summoned by a secret government organization, scientist Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard) performs an autopsy on Abin Sur’s body, but a piece of Parallax’s DNA inside the corpse injects itself inside him, mutating the scientist and giving him telepathy and telekinetic powers. With Parallax now headed for Earth, Hal must find a way to overcome his fear and defeat it for the sake of the planet.
There is much a Green Lantern can do with his or her ring, and the film is able to bring many different types of light construct to life, rather than just create an image of light beams shooting out of a ring. Martin Campbell and his team succeed in creating a great overall look, and there is a feel to this film that is very accurate to the original comics.
Ryan Reynolds is not a standout in his acting performance, nor is Blake Lively, who portrays Carol Ferris, a moderate love interest. The highlights of this film acting-wise are the three main alien Green Lanterns. Fans won’t be disappointed by Mark Strong, who delivers an excellent Sinestro, and they won’t complain about Michael Clarke Duncan as Kilowog or Geoffrey Rush as Tomar-Re.
Despite the stunning visuals and action sequences, the story is the film’s greatest flaw. Though there are backstories that provide some explanation, the storytelling fails to explain everything thoroughly. In the same vein, character development was poorly executed. Because of this, the romantic scenes between Reynolds and Lively are tedious, and their interaction only seems to slow the story down.
Speaking from a fanboy perspective, there could have been more scenes on the planet Oa, where all the Green Lanterns train and learn, and a better fight between Hal Jordan and Parallax.
Aside from all the shortcomings, Green Lantern provides magnificent visuals that will surely wow audiences, especially ones who are not familiar with the Green Lantern mythology. Fans will surely get a kick out of the post-credit scene, which sets up the possibility of a sequel.
✮✮✮✰✫ (3.5/5 Stars)