Buff Review Show: Green Lantern = The Perfect Eerie Glow…
Okay, a little later than expected (forgive me for wanting sustanance after my gym session), but here it is, my review for the umpteenth Superhero movie of the summer.
Well, another week, another Superhero movie. I feel like I should be getting a card stamped for every one I attend. Maybe after I’ve seen nine of them I can force someone else to go and see the tenth. I will give some credit to Green Lantern for being different to the rest of the Superhero films that we’ve seen so far this year. It is more kid friendly than Thor or X-Men: First Class, and has a far lighter tone than both of those films as well.
Ryan Reynolds is playing Ryan Reynolds doing an impression of someone pretending to be the lead male of the film, Hal Jordan, a test pilot with a penchant for being a womaniser, as well as one of those guys who you would get along with but secretly curse for his good looks and talent and oddly deeper-than-usual voice. Seriously, I don’t know if Reynolds was trying to channel Christian Bale from the newest Batman movies, in which Bale’s voice is so gravelly you could pebbledash a house with it. It sounded unnatural coming from Reynolds, and sometimes it slipped back into his normal, much higher, voice that we are used to from his comedy workings from the past fifteen years or so.
Anyway, the film opens with a big set up for future events, with Hal testing some big fighter jets with female co-star Blake Lively. Her father owns the company that produces these military jets and she is his next in line from all accounts. Blake manages to do better in this film than Natalie Portman does as her character in Thor, if only because at least Blake’s character, Carol Ferris, and Hal Jordan have known each other for some time, and have some chemistry built in already. Portman’s chemistry with Thor was barely one peg above the chemistry exhibited by herself and Hayden Christiensenn in Star Wars Attack of the Clone. But Blake Lively is the absolute antithesis or her ridiculous surname. She may not be useless but by lord is she blander than porridge oats mixed with dishwater.
It is shortly after the unsuccessful test flight, that Hal Jordan is chosen by a fallen and injured purple alien, known as a Green Lantern, to become his successor and protect this neck of the Milky Way with a fabulous suit and tacky ring. My problem is that the alien that crashed, having been attacked by the film’s main baddy-more on that in a moment- sent out his ring to find a successor. It takes barely five minutes to pick up on Hal, having seemed to be bored of searching for someone after the first couple of square miles of wasteland and rivers nearby. Hal’s subsequent training on the digitally created planet Oa, home of the Green Lantern Corps, the place where all the Lanterns from al the races of aliens across the universe live, is equally stunted, but there is no doubt in your mind that those five minutes of training would undoubtedly mean he would save everyone and win the day, despite being faced by space Kraken.
Yes it would appear Kraken are not restricted to pirate films these days. And just about everything is ten times cooler when you place the word “space” in front of it. Parallax, a former guardian for the Green Lanterns, who then turned to the dark side (or in this case, the yellow side) was sealed away many years ago because he wanted to use the bad, yellow power of fear as oppose to the good, green power of will. I wonder if there is some grey power for not giving a toss. Anyway, as it turns out the purple dude who crash landed on Earth was the guy who sealed Parallax away, and, actually, you know what, I can’t say Parallax without thinking it is some sort of rectum paralyzing drug to ease the problems of constipation… But it’s okay because we have another baddie in town…
Well sub-baddie. Parallax Lite, if you will. In fact he may as well have not been there at all. They could easily have done more setting up of the main baddie, more exploratory insights to the world of Oa, or Hal’s relationship with Carol. But this is a film which already feels like 75% set up for this film, and possibly more to come, which then just fizzles out towards the end. Peter Saarsgard gets a mention for his role as Hector Hemmond, a scientist who, it would seem, is meant to be the same age as Hal and Carol, but looks like he should be about 40-something. I don’t whether this lot all went to school together, but Blake Lively character looks ten years younger than Ryan Reynolds’ (as she is in real life), yet they were childhood friends/sweethearts-to-be, so am not entirely sure what’s going on there. Hemmond has some mildly villainous parts, but is soon screwed over by Parallax and just spends most of his time on screen screaming at anyone that so much as mentions the words “daddy issues”.
Finally, the 3D and CGI, as that’s what you obviously all care about in my reviews these days. I would put Oa just a point or two below Asgard from Thor, if purely because we don’t get to see nearly as much of Oa. The CGI Green Lantern suits looked fine and I wish the comic book fans would stop spewing out impossibly low scores for this film just because the costumes aren’t the same as the comics. I did my research (don’t know quite where I found the time) and, yes, Hal Jordan had a green, zip-up jump suit kind of deal, but he eventually had a suit made of the energy from the ring of power. Would we really have wanted to see Hal Jordan get undressed and redressed every time he wanted to get into his green trackie bottoms and top? Okay the mask looked a bit naff, and some of the effects overall seemed outdated, with the childishness of Spiderman 3 and the outdated quality of Spiderman 2. I couldn’t stop watching the back of Ryan Reynolds neck when he was in the suit, as it kept moving around like he was being consumed by a sheet of snot.
So, a recommendation for Green Lantern? Why not? Go for it. I enjoyed it more than Thor, it was a different tone to X-Men and will undoubtedly be forgotten about in a few weeks time when Captain America comes out. Oh, and stay ‘til the end of the credits. I foolishly forgot that no film can end these days without pulling this stunt, so sit tight and wait for the teaser for an inevitable sequel.