It’s not very often that I can’t wait for a movie to come out in theaters. Green Lantern is a film that I’ve been anxiously waiting on for months and months now, even going so far as to get excited like a 4 year old every time I saw a preview. Like most films, I waited for it to be in theaters a bit so that my experience wouldn’t be ruined by loud talkers, screaming children or anything of the sort. So when I sat down in a theater with my wife and only two other people I was set for my journey into the world of Green Lantern. I was completely taken off guard with how quickly the film really jumps straight into the story. After a short background narrated by Tomar Re (voiced by Geoffrey Rush) we’re thrust straight into the world of Abin Sur (Temuera Morrison) and his battle with one of this films two villains Parallax (voiced by Clancy Brown). The films visuals are outstanding, showing all the money that the film cost to make was well spent. Whether it be Abin Sur, Sinestro, Kilowog or the Guardians, you are completely pulled into the characters and it never crosses your mind that these characters are completely CG or CG covered actors like Abin Sur and Sinestro.
Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan has been a big question for a lot of people since the announcement of his casting. In a way, most people would end up being right as Reynolds brought a lot of humor to the character that fans of the comic would find unsettling and very unlike Hal. Reynolds is a good actor and when it comes to the serious scenes and action, when you look at him he very much IS Hal Jordan. Mark Strong steals the screen as Sinestro and is the best cast actor in the entire film. Looking at him you can see the man who will become one of the greatest enemies of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps, but right now is one of their strongest members. When it came to Carol Ferris (Blake Lively) I was indifferent. Her character didn’t pop to me and when she was on the screen I really could’ve cared less. Carol Ferris is a strong female lead and I don’t think she pulled it off at all. Aside from the main cast, Green Lantern is full of small background cameos and characters that comic fans know and love like Green Man, Boodika, and Bzzd while Amanda “The Wall” Waller has a more prominent role in the film, played by Angela Basset.
The combination of the characters Krona and Parallax into the film version of Parallax was odd at times and while it was a good idea, I don’t feel like it was always coming off well. For such a strong and evil character, you at times don’t even feel like the films characters are that worried about him. At the same time Peter Sarsgaard as Hector Hammond is so creepy beyond belief that I feel like he took a backseat to the rest of the film when he had the opportunity to be much more prominent of a threat. The film really dwells less on good vs evil and more on Hal overcoming his own fears and becoming the Green Lantern. You have to get that out of your mind that this is a regular “good guy beats up the bad guy” movie. In Batman Begins it was the same way, Batman beating up Scarecrow and Ras Al Ghul wasn’t the focus of the film as much has it was his development as Batman. Green Lantern is very much the same tone as that. Hector Hammond and Parallax are second banana to Hal Jordon’s development as a hero. The film itself leaves several openings for future films and of course it’s too early to say whether an official sequel is set in stone but staying a little ways into the credits will show you exactly what they have in mind for the potential film series. Green Lantern in the end is a good action film, but not necessarily the film that Lantern fans were hoping for. I’d see it again and will buy it on DVD and continue to enjoy the characters that I love so much. As my wife put it, “For someone who’s never read the books and knows so very little of the character, I could enjoy it without being lost or confused as to what’s going on.” So while I may be critical of the movie and judge it harder than someone who’s never read it, I’m glad I saw it.
PETER enjoyed Green Lantern and thinks it’s worth seeing, but geeks beware it won’t be as great as you were secretely hoping. So charge up the rings and see it if you haven’t already!