By Gary ‘Emerald Lamp’ Murray
Starring Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively and Peter Sarsgaard
Written by Greg Berlanti & Michael Green, Marc Guggenheim & Michael Goldenberg
Directed by Martin Campbell
Running time 1 hr 45 min
MPAA Rating PG-13
Selig Film Rating Matinee
Comic book movies are the dominate box office force in the last few years. We have gotten great films such as Iron Man and Batman Begins. There have also been duds like Green Hornet the last Superman update. The thing they all have in common is huge opening numbers, tipping in the 100 million dollar mark. The latest to take on the Silver Screen is Green Lantern.
The 3D adventure opens with an explanation of both the ring and the legend of the Green Lantern. They are guardians of the universe, chosen by a ring of destiny. A new enemy called Parallax has been released and threatens to destroy all of the Green Lanterns, bringing chaos to the cosmos.
One of the Green Lanterns–Abin Sur—crash lands on earth, a young planet that has little respect in the universe. As he dies, he tells the ring to search for the next Lantern.
Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is a hot shot test pilot working in the Farris Aero an industry focused on the newest generation of technology. After he defeats some automated fighter bombers, Hal is fired by the powers that be. The company is run by his childhood friend Carol Farris (Blake Lively). They have a romantic past and Carol thinks that Hal is just an immature boy.
On Earth, the ring chooses Hal and sends him to a distant planet. There, he finds out the powers of the ring and the bond each Lantern has with their extra terrestrial brothers. He is trained in the ways of the Lanterns by a group of beasts. Hal doesn’t think he has what it takes to be one of the chosen and tries to quit.
Dr. Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard) is called in to examine the body of the found Lantern alien. While doing the autopsy, he is bitten by a parasite inside the body cavity. This event begins to change this milquetoast scientist. He finds that he can read minds and move objects. But, his body is degenerating as his powers grow. The alien being Parallax senses this and starts to make his way to Earth.
The film is the confrontation both between Hammond & Green Lantern and Parallax & Green Lantern. Hal must find the fearless spirit that dwells inside him so he can defeat his enemies.
Ryan Reynolds is known much more as a comedy and romantic actor than an action hero. Here he stretches his chops in the CGI world of action hero. He is charming with a roguish personality but still finds a solid center for the character
Blake Lively is given the eye candy, girl next door girlfriend role. Though there is little meat in the part and little for her to do, she sure looks pretty doing it. They dress her in a PG-13 way that will stir the imaginations of young teen boys.
Peter Sarsgaard is a strong actor who gets to chew on every piece of scenery placed on the set. As he devolves from his human form, he begins to look like Paul Giamatti without the bone structure. This is his most over the top reading of the film.
The film looks great with explosions and a massive beast that resemble the black fog monster from Lost. With this Green Lantern, we get the origins story along with a typical action flick. Director Martin Campbell was the man behind Casino Royale, a solid James Bond thriller from a few seasons back. Here he lies off the flash and constructs a basic hero film.
Green Lantern is not a great superhero motion picture but it is a nice diversion. It keeps a steady pace and never overstays its welcome. It falls almost right in the center as a movie, not a game changer but not a clunker.