Movie Review: Green Lantern - For Kids Only

Movie: Green Lantern
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively
Director: Martin Cambell
Comic book movies like The Dark Knight and Iron Man have proven that super hero stories don't always have to be just for kids. Green Lantern however is a movie that is quite the opposite destined to be remembered only by comic book aficionados and 11 year old boys (until the next super hero movie). Ryan Reynolds stars as Hal Jordan a hot shot test pilot who is brash and irresponsible but also a really good pilot (duh). Blake Lively plays his former co-pilot and obvious and bland love interest. After an evil entity who feeds on fear known as Parallax is unleashed.
A group of intergalactic peace keepers known Greencorps (other alien versions of Green lantern) are threatened. One is wounded and crash lands on earth, knowing he is about to die he sends forth his ring of power to find a successor. The ring ends up in the hands of the aforementioned Hal. It gives him the power to conjure up anything that he can imagine but as soon learns he must rid himself of his fears and be courageous to prevail. The movie goes into much more detail than I just did explaining things like "power streams", "guardians" and the difference between fighting with fear and using the strength of your will. As you can probably guess it all starts to feel pretty silly and in the end doesn't matter much to the actual plot which is pretty simplistic when you take away all the comic book jargon.
The main focus of the film ends up being Ryan Reynolds in campy goofball mode discovering how cool it is to be super hero. This has now pretty much become a cliche of comic book movies and has been done much better in other films like Spider-man. Green Lantern also devotes too much screen time to the laughable and unrealistic love story between Hal and Carol. Blake Lively at times seems to be reading her lines from a cue card just off camera. Their romance is a complete waste of the audiences time.
There is an interesting side story involving Hector, the son of senator who becomes infected by Parallax and begins to have strange abilities like reading people's minds and telepathy. He seems to know both Hal and Carol although their connection is never fully explained. Peter Sarsgaard takes this character and really gives him some life you begin to think that at least the movie will have an interesting villain. The script writers though don't really know how to make that happen and cut off the storyline before it gets going. Opting instead for a nameless emotionless monster to take over the action (boring). Which Hal must defeat through the power of his will not fear. Why? Because fear is bad. For how much they talk about this in the movie it is never really explained at all. Hector's character who is corrupted by fear would have been a great way to illustrate the difference but I don't think the writers wanted to think to deeply so they got rid of him instead.
Now on to the most important part of any film, the special effects. For all the talk the special effects are simply adequate not mind blowing. The alien character designs I felt were kind of boring. A little bit too much like Star Trek from the 1960's or something straight out of Star Wars. For the most part the computerized suit Hal wears looks fine except in a few scenes were it looks a bit too cartoonish. It doesn't really detract from the action that much though. Not as much as the bad scripting and simplistic storyline that doesn't know how to get any real emotional reaction from the audience. So go ahead take your 11 year old brother or nephew to see it he might think it's really cool, at least until the next super hero film.

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