The Green Lantern: Movie Review
The Green Lantern
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Mark Strong, Blake Lively, Peter
Sarsgaard, Taika Waititi, Temuera Morrison
Director: Martin Campbell
So another superhero franchise looks to take flight.
This time, it's the turn of the Green Lantern to try and sprinkle box office
magic and ensure a future for the series.
Ryan Reynolds is cock sure pilot Hal Jordan, who despite his plucky exterior
and all American clean cut image, is scarred by daddy issues, having seen his
pops blown to pieces when a flight went wrong.
Jordan finds himself chosen by a green light one day (I know - bear with
me) after an alien from the Green Lantern corp - a sort of green wearing space
police - finds himself dying on the earth.
You see, the corp is trying to fight Parallax, an entity so evil it intends
to wipe out the universe and take vengeance on the Green Lanterns, threatening
the balance of power and tipping it in evil's favour.
So, Jordan is whisked off to another world to begin his training under the
likes of Sinestro (Mark Strong) the leader of the corp; but he soon finds out
the threat from Parallax is bigger than any of them could ever have
The Green Lantern is an FX heavy slightly off kilter attempt at launching the
franchise. It lacks a real emotional centre and has some completely absurd
dialogue thrown in for good measure. Apparently, green is the universal colour
for will and yellow is the universal colour for fear. So now you know.
And yet, it's not the massive failure you may expect having seen the very
underwhelming trailer; Reynolds is very watchable as Hal and brings a level of
performance which is engaging and believable; similarly for his role as
Sinestro, Strong (one of the best character actors around) brings the gravitas
to the mentor. Blake Lively continues her ascent from Gossip Girl, playing a
ball busting pilot and business woman and Taika Waititi cracks a few lines here
and there as Jordan's engineer friend.
But the problem with the Green Lantern lies with the evil side of the story;
Peter Sarsgaard's Hector Hammond, who's Jordan's nemesis and infected by
Parallax early on, seems to simply become the equivalent of Frankenstein's
monster as he lumbers around the screen, howling and becoming the Jekyll
character. Sure there are jealousy and daddy issues for him to deal with, but
it's a one note performance from Sarsgaard which doesn't deliver by any stretch
of the imagination.
As for the Parallax creature, a sort of grey Teletubby sun with tentacles,
there are some reasonable FX shots and some quite clearly rushed effects as
well; and when it comes to dispatching the baddie, it's fairly easily done by
Jordan - and quite why these super efficient space cops couldn't do it, is a
little beyond me. That said, the end hints at another outing for Jordan et
All in all, I don't think The Green Lantern has enough to really stand out in
the superhero crowd; it lacks the grittiness of a Batman, the everyman appeal of
a Superman and the fun offered up by this year's Thor.
It's by no means a major disappointment; it's just it could have done with a
little smarter scripting, a bit more time in post production and then this
generically produced light could have shined a little brighter.