Cinema: Green Lantern
Director: Martin Campbell
Screenwriters: Greg Berlanti, Michael Green, Marc Guggenheim, Michael Goldenberg.
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard.
With X-Men: First Class, The Green Hornet and Thor having already burst on to our screens, is there room for another superhero summer blockbuster? The latest movie brave, or some might say foolish, enough enter the superhero film fray is Green Lantern.
Based on the DC Comics crime-fighting character, the film centres on the newest recruit to Green Lantern Corps, a sort of intergalactic emerald police squad tasked with keeping peace in the universe.
The rookie, Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds), is a gifted yet cocky test pilot – bear with me, it’s a little predictable I know. He is picked for superhero-dom when one of the Green Lantern troop crash lands and subsequently dies on earth and the ring, which gives the Lanterns their powers, seeks out a new owner.
It transpires that the universe is divided into 3,600 sectors, each protected by a guardian with a ring. The ring is powered by ‘will’, which is green in colour, and takes its energy from a lantern, hence the name, which in turn is powered by Lantern’s base planet Oa.
Anyway, being the first human ever to become a Lantern, poor old Hal struggles with his new powers. To add to his problems, powerful enemy Parallax, which is powered by the negative energy of fear, coloured yellow by the way, escapes his planet cell and sets about destroying the universe.
When Parallax is made flesh, in the form of a bulbous-headed doctor Hector Hammond, played by Peter Sarsgaard (completely over-qualified for this role), and then sets his sights on destroying earth, Hal is forced to step up to the mark.
The main problem with the movie is that although it looks great, doesn’t take itself too seriously (good job), and is enjoyable, even entertaining in parts, it’s hard to care too much about what actually happens. Hal is affable enough and Reynolds does well with the material he is given but it’s hard to truly believe this green goon is going to save the world.
Also, while the supporting cast is excellent – Tim Robbins, Angela Bassett, as well as the voice of Geoffrey Rush – Gossip Girl actress Blake Lively doesn’t cut it as Hal’s childhood sweetheart and flying partner Carol Ferris. Mark Strong, who plays leading Lantern Sinestro, also lacks the presence needed to convince the audience that he, as is evident at the end of the film, is set to become the crime fighter’s arch enemy.
Simply put, it’s entertaining enough, and young teens are bound to love it, but it’s not good enough to take on the big superhero blockbusters. This isn’t a franchise that will run and run, not unless it drastically ups its game in the sequel.
By Louise Meeson.
Green Lantern is released on 17 June by Warner Bros