Friday, 24 June 2011

Film Review: Green Lantern

Rating: 6.7/10 - Good
The filmmakers could have little else with the subject matter than this film. The character of the Green Lantern has incredible superpowers, that are maybe second only to Superman, which makes it inevitable that he is super-powerful and able to take on the most destructive forces in the universe.

Director: Martin Campbell. Screenplay: Greg Berlanti, Michael Green, Marc Guggenheim and Michael Goldenberg. Producer: Donald De Line and Greg Berlanti. Cinematography: Dion Beebe.Editing: Stuart Baird. Music: James Newton Howard. Studio: DC Entertainment and De Line Pictures. Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures. Starring: Ryan Reynolds,Blake Lively,Peter Sarsgaard,Mark Strong,Angela Bassett,Tim Robbins,Temuera Morrison, Geoffrey Rush, Michael Clarke Duncan and Clancy Brown. Age Restriction: 10LV. Running Time: 115 Minutes.

The movie tells the story of Hal Jordan, a military test pilot, who,coincidentally, is chosen by the Green Lantern Corps of supermen to protect the universe.

Long before the Earth, a young planet compared with others in the universe, was formed, a group of beings called the Guardians of the Universe used the green essence of willpower to create the Corps to police the universe.

They split the universe into 3 600 sectors, with one Green Lantern per sector. The greatest Lantern, Abin Sur of Sector 2814, defeated the fear-essence that is Parallax and trapped him in the Lost Sector on the ruined planet Ryut. Parallax escapes and wounds Abin Sur. But Abin Sur escapes and crash-lands on Earth. Dying, he commands his ring to find a worthy successor on the planet.

Jordan is the chosen successor. What follows is a story about how he takes to being picked as Earth's protector and a man without fear.

Since this is a bit corny and the character of the Green Lantern is incredibly powerful, it is refreshing that the movie does not take itself overly seriously. However, the makers still make the film followable and mostly believable.

"In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil's might, beware my power: Green Lantern's Light!" - Only Ryan Reynolds can get away with this Lantern code.

You can notice the James Bond influence of former Bond director, Michael Campbell. That is, he creates good action scenes and some over-the-top moments.

There are clich├ęs. There is an undercurrent of formula pulsing throughout the movie too. The off planet scenes are awesome.

Ryan Reynolds even tones down much of the silliness. Add to this, some good performances from the actors, especially Peter Sarsgaard, and you have an entertaining film. Lively and Reynolds are too corny, however.

Stick around for the first set of credits to end. The teaser after it is a bit underdeveloped though.

I wonder how different the new Superman movie will be from this film. Both characters are about as powerful as one another. The Green Lantern's power comes from a ring, while Superman was born with his - he had to develop it in some stories, a la Smallville - but it is innate with him. I any case, I wonder how Superman can be more fresh than the Green Lantern. The film makers will probably show no references by each film to the other.

Alistair Anderson

Green Lantern is in cinemas now and is available in 3D at select venues.

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