Northeast Times

Blandness gives Green Lantern a black eye

Start­Frag­ment

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, clich&ea­cute;d 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 

End­Frag­ment

You can reach at shorbrook@bsmphilly.com.

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