Saturday, June 25, 2011

Movie Review: Green Lantern (2011)

This afternoon, my family and I hit a matinee of the latest summer super-hero spectacular - Green Lantern. As a long time fan of the hero (I first started picking up GL's comics in the mid-1970's), this was one of those characters I really looked forwarded to seeing up on the silver screen. The idea of a hero who could create energy constructs with a power ring was the perfect visual concept for a film. Thus, I had pretty high expectations for this release.

The story is of pilot Hal Jordan (played by Ryan Reynolds) who is chosen to be a successor of Abin Sur in the Green Lantern Corps, an intergalactic peace-keeping organization. Of course, with this great power comes great responsibility - something that Hal seems a bit reckless with. Over the course of the film, he comes to grips with his own personal faults and manages to become a true hero.

All in all, I have to say I was pretty pleased with how the film turned out.

I really liked how the manage to balance Hal's Earth-bound life as a pilot for Ferris Aircrafts, his relationship with Carol Ferris (played expertly by Blake Lively) and good friend Tom Kalmaku (played by Taika Waititi) with his new responsibilities as a chosen member of the Corps. Mark Strong was absolutely perfect as GL Sinestro, and the recreation of OA was incredible. The Guardians of the Universe were portrayed exactly as they are in the comics, and Geoffrey Rusch and Michael Clark Duncan did great jobs voicing Tomar-Re and Kilowog respectively.

My only complaint would be there was a lot of story to put into 114 minutes. The film had to give us Hal's introduction to the Corps as well as some of his personal backstory (to make his transition into the role of the hero work). It had to establish the Hal/Carol relationship (which it did very well - Carol was fleshed out to be a truly capable woman as she is in the comics). We also had to get a good introduction of the Corps. I would have hoped to have seen more on OA, especially with Hal's training. A lot of time is spent on Hector Hammond (played by Peter Sarsgaard) as well as giving some time to Angela Bassett as Amanda Waller. The plot could have cut Hammond out and still come up with a logical way to have Parallax come to Earth.

Given all that, the film worked and can standalone or, hopefully, be the starting point for a film franchise. Easily there are plenty of ways to go with sequels (stay through the credits for the first hint of the next film, if one is made). I hope the cast all gets on board to do additional movies. Now that the origin is out of the way, there is plenty of time for further character development and action.

Two thumbs up!

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