Green means good…
For a non-comic book reader, I came into the movie with trepidation. I'll be honest here folks, I hadn't heard of “Green Lantern” until the previews started coming around. So my concern was that I was going to spend my time confused and trying to get the kid in the Green Lantern mask next to me to explain the plot.
Have no fear! Our film makers gave a concise over view of history of the Green Lantern Corps and allowed for non-comic viewers to understand the events in the movie. Now, for you die hard comic book fans, this may be tiresome, but you gotta give the rest of us a chance to catch up with the story.
In the film, we meet Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) who instantly shows his charming, yet rash character. Hal is a fighter pilot, who is following, or perhaps overshadowed by, his father's success. The parts showing Hal's lingering grief over the death of his father is definitely transparent, but allows for the audience to feel for the guy.
Hal is chosen by the ring worn by one of the Lanterns' top fighters Abin Sur (Temura Morrison) to take up as the newest member in the Corps. Some of the movie’s humor is centralized around Hal figuring out what to do with the ring and lantern. As Hal is plunged into Green Lantern training, the audience is treated with a variety of humorous moments, both in witty dialogue and tongue-in-cheek retorts. There is a bit of a “cheese” factor during these scenes, but it only adds to the lightheartedness.
As Hal loses confidence in his abilities to be fearless, the residents of the planet Oa prepare to battle their longtime rival Parallax. As fate, and movie makers, would have it, Hal's decision to be a Green Lantern is made for him when he is forced into action. Hal must first deal with the scientist-turned-villian Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard), who has set his sights on Hal's love interest, Carol Ferris (Blake Lively). Sure, the large-headed mad scientist wanting the girl is not a new concept, but we’ll take it.
Without much transition from the first battle, Hal and Parallax are soon at arms. The major battle of the film between Hal and Parallax is fairly short, but refreshing. While it may not have been the blockbuster action sequence for the summer, it kept the audience entertained and rooting for our guy.
The casting gets the job done. Ryan Reynolds is an enjoyable choice for Hal Jordan. He plays the role with charm, cheeky humor, and looks great in spaceman green. Peter Saarsgaard was the type of awkward villain you could sympathize with, but his uncomfortable appearance gives him that bad guy edge. Blake Lively does an okay job with tiptoeing the line between assertive business woman and love interest. My optimistic self hopes that time will add to the performance.
The special effects used were enjoyable. Planet Oa was gorgeous and made you hope that some place could exist outside the world of cinema. The green light that was often tapped into throughout the film borders on silly, but doesn’t detract from the experience.
All in all, the flick is exactly what you hope for in a summertime comic book movie. You don't walk away thinking of deep concepts and new viewpoints on the world, but simply you’re entertained and amused. Works for me.
(P.S. As we’ve learned from our other comic book movies, make sure you stay through the end of the credits.)