Sunday, 26 June 2011

Green Lantern Review

My knowledge of the Green Lantern franchise is quite limited.  For the most part, I kind of thought that he must have been near the back of the line when they were handing out super powers.  A lantern to save the universe?  Come on!  But, if the movie is faithful to the comic books, then his power isn't that bad because the whole thing of will vs fear is quite poetic.  Part of the problem with comic book movies is that, if you stay faithful to the comics too much, it comes off as completely cheesy due to the fact that comics are a little cheesy by nature which will hurt the cinematic value of the film.  But if you don't stay faithful enough, the geeks will ruin you with their Internet powers.  So you have to find that delicate balance.  Green Lantern does just that.

Visually, this movie is fantastic. The CGI and sets are done very well.  Jordan's suit is great and the Lantern Corps looks fairly realistic given that they are computer generated.  I thought the story was a little bogged down with all of Jordan's demons and background.  The whole thing with his father comes off cheesy as does his relationship with Carol.  But that isn't due to Ryan Reynolds.  His performance is great.  He is born to play "Cocky Smart Ass" and does it to perfection here.  The cheese comes from Blake Lively.  Lively's performance in this film is anything but.  Hollywood is full of these attractive women that come from the same cookie cutter mold and they just cannot act.  Fortunately, their battery charge only lasts a movie or two and a couple of Maxim covers.  But then they are replaced with more of the same.  Sadly, it gets butts in the seats and sells in the action genre and you don't have to pay them as much as the good actresses so there is no end in sight.

I was pleasantly surprised by Peter Sarsgaard.  He played the role of the geeky outcast quite well.  this is even more impressive when you get the feeling that the director told him to channel John Malkovich and that he was going to wind up looking like Ken Griffey Jr on Brain and Nerve Tonic from the Simpsons.  He even ends up in a wheelchair for crying out loud!

Finally, there was an air of Inspector Gadget with the Green Lanterns.  When in trouble, they seem to think "Go Go Lantern" and wind up with what should be the right object for the job but sometimes the ring doesn't take logic into account (ie. using a suspended pool of water to catch a falling Angela Basset instead of, say, a giant airbag.  She could have drowned.).  But they do address that Jordan is new to this and would have to learn the full potential of his will.

All in all, this is one of the better comic book movies of recent memory.  I would say it's about the same as Thor.  So see it.  My recommendations of a comic book movie are largely based on the visuals over the actual story.  The 3D isn't worth it as there's never any stuff flying in your face.  And do stay through the first part of the ending credits.

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