Green Lantern

PG-13. (Parents strongly cautioned). It has bloodless violence, including a scene of patricide that may be too intense for wee viewers.

 

Green Lantern may be green but it sure is dim. It may have cost $150 million, but it isn’t worth the price of admission. I should have gone to see the penguin movie.

Green Lantern is a DC comic book superhero. The guy who is going to be the Green Lantern is just an average guy named Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds)…as long as the “average guy” has knock-dead, chisel chin good looks, heavenly hair, and a six pack that would make a nun swoon. His “regular job” is merely a test pilot for an aeronautics manufacturer. However, Hal is a hot dog…reckless and immature…just exactly the chap you would have to fly a prototype jet, costing tens of millions, and then crash it to show off his “dog fight” skills. And he is a jerk.

Mr. Reynolds is not to be blamed. He tries to make his character work. But the screenwriters and the director failed him. I suspect that Green Lantern (the movie) was dead on the page long before it turned dormant on film.

Meanwhile, on several planets far, far away, other Green Lanterns (warriors who fight evil) are getting knocked off so whole planets of people are slaughtered. The monster doing this is a giant black cloud with a face and a real deep voice. The bosses of these Green Lanterns are a circle of Yodas with long flowing robes; they sit on giant poles. I have no idea why they don't recline on Lazy-Boys instead. They dispense their orders grim-faced. Frankly, I could never identify anything particularly illuminating from these trolls on poles.

Anyway, the greatest of these Green Lanterns gets mortally wounded and he heads to earth to find his replacement. He settles on show-off Hal and totes him to the Green Lantern’s version of Parris Island. There he is shown that he is a quitter and a weakling. Then he runs back home so he can flirt with his honey-pot (Blake Lively) who is also the daughter of his employer. We are told quickly that she had seen Hal naked. Somehow that was TMI but it oddly annoyed me. And with all due respect to Ms Lively, she is too curvaceous and her outfits too tight. Somehow, this film was sexy by a 12 year old’s standard; kind of creepy for adults. Not sure how the filmmakers pulled that off but I hope I never see that again.

There are too many special effects in Green Lantern. Somehow substance is sacrificed for noise and visual fireworks. It seems like a patchwork quilt of other comic-based and science fiction films. It is, alas, a cheesy production, crafted with laziness and a disappointing lack of wit, originality, and style.

Peter Sarsgaard plays Hector Hammond, son of slimeball Senator Hammond (Tim Robbins), who is infected by a “Mr. Hyde” type virus that came from the crashed alien Green Lantern’s wound. His makeup is odd looking, even from the beginning, but when the nasty virus infects him he turns into the Elephant Man. Remember, this is part of that patchwork problem I wrote about earlier. Anyway, Mr. Sarsgaard gets some extra points for making Green Lantern a trifle compelling…but certainly not enough to save it.

Sadly, Green Lantern does not shine brightly.

 

Green Lantern barely deserves two green bow ties.

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