Green Lantern features an emerald ring that provides the power to do anything the mind can imagine. Ryan Reynolds treats it like a ring he got out of the gumball machine.
To say Reynolds didn’t seem all that excited about his cool superpowers is an understatement. Unfortunately, his lack of excitement sets the tone for the entire movie, which is bland, clichéd and devoid of any real thrilling moments.
As Hal Jordan, Reynolds joins a long list of actors who have played egotistical party boys suddenly blessed with magic powers to save the world. Reynolds actually plays the hotshot type pretty well; it’s the becoming a superhero and saving the universe part where he misses the mark.
Hal is a cocky test pilot with some unresolved fear since he’s in the same profession that took his father’s life when he was a child. After being whisked away, chosen by a mysterious ring and given instructions from a dying alien-like creature, Hal becomes the first-ever human Green Lantern, which is basically part of a green unitard-wearing police force from the planet Oa. Even the obligatory montage on how Hal learns to use newfound magic powers was short and not much fun.
I wondered if I was the only one who was more entertained by the villain than I was by the hero. Peter Sarsgaard played Dr. Hector Hammond, a scientist who winds up with some evil powers after completing an autopsy on a deceased Green Lantern.
I sympathized with Dr. Hammond and his personal strife — he can’t seem to live up to his senator father’s expectations and he has his eye on a lady who basically doesn’t know he exists.
Dr. Hammond isn’t the only villain in the movie. There is also a giant creature named Parallax on the loose that is trying to destroy the universe. Hal is forced to overcome his fear, step up to the plate and save the universe from total destruction.
It’s almost expected that the female love interest character in a superhero movie doesn’t have much to do besides be a damsel in distress. This is true in Green Lantern with Blake Lively, who plays Carol Ferris, Hal’s on/off girlfriend. I much preferred Lively in a role like The Town where she actually had some personality and attitude. In Green Lantern, she spends most of her scenes reminding Hal of what a lousy boyfriend he was when they were dating.
Director Martin Campbell (Casino Royale, The Mask of Zorro) combined with the four credited screenwriters (Greg Berlanti, Michael Green, Marc Guggenheim and Michael Goldenberg) don’t do anything to make Green Lantern stand out in the pack. Certainly they try with the overused 3-D gimmick, which once again serves little-to-no purpose.
Green Lantern is yet another comic book adaptation in which I didn’t know the backstory or history of the character. After seeing Green Lantern, I have no inclination to learn more about it. Few will remember Green Lantern in a month or so, especially in a summer that already includes Thor and X-Men: First Class.
Movie grade: C