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Green Lantern late to the comic cinema dance

Before my kids learned the alphabet they had to learn Green Lantern’s credo.
“In brightest day, in darkest night no evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil’s might beware my power, Green Lantern’s light.”
Ya, things were a little odd for them back in those days, but nothing that years of therapy won’t barely touch.
Comics are the new wave of cinema and DC has been late to the dance. So far Marvel’s getting all the pretty girls and Green Lantern isn’t going to ummm, well, I think my dance metaphor just fell apart. Here’s the thing. As much as I like the character, I’m not sure this film will knock Marvel out of top spot, and I’m a DC guy.
Part of the appeal is Hal Jordon is a jet pilot who gets selected by the elders to wear the ring. Actually, the ring selects Hal.
The theory is that there are ‘Lanterns’ all over the universe. They protect the people from evil. It’s kind of their thing.
The elders are concerned because Hal Jordan is human and fear can undermine the power of the ring. Also it needs recharging and can’t penetrate yellow. Lot of rules.
If we want to look really deeply, this new fascination with superheroes is our attempt to supplant religion with a new take on immortality. People need to feel special. Unique. DC had a lot of superheroes who were elevated mortals. Batman, Green Lantern, the Flash. My favourite -Elongonated Man. Of course Superman was from another planet but he was just a dude until he took those glasses off. I can’t explain Aquaman but then who can?
OK so I digress.
Ryan Reynolds is apparently a biscuit. He has these washboard abs, which really helps you act.
To his credit, he really does try to play it straight for the most part with a minimum of mugging for the camera. Green Lantern was very clever. He has to use his ring to create the effects that will thwart the various supervillains that seem to populate the earth. It must be very tedious to have lived back then.
The strength of this film is its ability to capture the creativity of the original DC comics. Reynolds is a little young for the role but he’s ok and apparently his suit is some high-tech hybrid while everything else around him is CGI.
That’s the films weakness. Well, one of them. It looks kind of CGI goofy. The battle with Parallax, a big tub of ectogoo or something. He looks like a giant cloud of dried up mudman. The fighting scenes are the worst in terms of reminding us that this is a special effects movie. It’s most notable during the scenes where there is an impact – if someone gets hit you can almost see the 1970s Batman sonic hit wave.
There is also some of the most heavy-handed writing since Rocky V or whichever one had the Italian Stallion converting the Russians to good-guyocracy. Regan might have said ‘Mr G Tear down your wall,’ but the Rock said ‘Yo, Russians, foeget about it.’
I like the Green Lantern character but I just wasn’t blown away by the film. It’s not horrible. I was glad it wasn’t longer. That would have been excruciating.
It’s fun, it’s loud and it’s got a million special effects and for a summer night under the stars it’s not a bad way to kill a couple of hours. It cost 150,000,000. That sounds like a lot even if you say it quickly. I think the film would have been better if they slowed it down and made it clever instead of clobber. I have no idea what that means.
It’s fun for the kids and doesn’t have a total ‘Oh Come On’ moment. Should make a great rental.
As always, other opinions are welcome, but wrong. That’s it for this week. The cheque’s in the mail and I’m outta here. Paul

Filed Under: Paul Peterson

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