It had to happen. Not every super hero movie released this summer could be great. And Green Lantern has fallen on the box office sword. Starring Ryan Reynolds (The Proposal, Van Wilder), Blake Lively (Gossip Girl, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) and Peter Sarsgaard (Boys Don’t Cry, Shattered Glass), Green Lantern is set in modern time and on Earth, but also travels to infinity and beyond (a line from the film). Ryan Reynolds takes another stab at super heros after his turn as Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and this time suits up as the main man in charge of fighting evil: Hal Jordan. As an awesome test pilot with a tragic backstory, Jordan both charms and disappoints everyone around him, including potential love Carol Ferris (Lively). Meanwhile, defenders of the universe, the Green Lantern Corps, are busy with a new enemy Parallax, fear itself manifest and recruit Jordan in the process. One of Jordan’s friends on Earth, Dr. Hector Hammond, becomes infected by Parallax and is yet another battle Jordan must fight.
The best part about the movie was the combination of great computer generated graphics with 3D effects. For example, an interesting dynamic Green Lantern brings to the realm of superheroes is that his fighting style is made up of whatever he can imagine. That is to say, if he can imagine it, or will it, he can use it for offense or defense. Part of the joy in watching this movie is wondering what the Lanterns will use next against their enemies. A scene in which Jordan is training to be a lantern is a real highlight, though it ends all too soon. Jordan takes his American-blow-stuff-up heritage seriously and uses everything from race cars to machine guns to chainsaws to get the job done.
That said, the dialogue in the movie was written in such a way it would have been impossible for the actors to not sound cheesy in nearly every scene, with one exception being a scene when Ferris coaches Jordan on overcoming his fear. Lines like “When I’m flying, it feels like anything is possible,” or “Wow, you’re a superhero! Wait, don’t superheroes get the girl?” would put any actor to the cheesy test, as it does in this movie.
The dialogue did provide for some genuinely funny moments in the movie, such as one scene where Jordan is trying to guess what the oath he has to say to become a lantern is and delivers this gem: “I hereby swear allegiance to a lantern, given to me by a dying purple alien.” Nail on the head.
Given the time limits available to a single movie, Green Lantern stayed considerably close to the source comics it came from, with a few minor exceptions. There is a quick scene after the credits, but stay for it at your own peril. Although it hints at a sequel and is an effort to be true to the comics, it is out of place and puts a big red stupid stamp on the entire movie.
Go see the movie if you like 3D or if you’ve never seen a 3D movie before. Otherwise, see it on DVD or cable.