Amid a whirlwind of doubt and lack luster trailers, Green Lantern simply put wasn’t that bad. We can nitpick all night and day as to why it wasn’t the greatest comic adaptation ever but in this reviewer’s eyes that’s unnessecary. It was a great experience, especially since I got to see the movie in a packed theater with not just fans, but kids and people that didn’t know anything about the comic version. As an avid comic reader, and Green Lantern being one of the few titles I follow religiously, they captured most of the best parts of the series for me, from Kilowog’s classic “poozer” to a Sinestro that was portrayed amazingly by Mark Strong (Kick-Ass, The Guard).
For those of you not familiar with the Green Lantern, Hal Jordan is a test pilot for Ferris Aircraft. He is chosen to be part of an intergalactic police force known as the Green Lantern Corps when his predecessor , Abin Sur, is fatally injured in an attack by the living embodiment of fear, Parallax. Being trained by the various corps members, Hal Jordan eventually becomes the Greatest Officer of the Corps by overcoming his own fears and defeating Parallax. Now it didn’t follow the original story beat for beat, but it did a really good job of taking cues from the over 50 year history of the book. If you didn’t know a thing about it other than it’s a guy who wears a ring, you’d feel just as immersed and caught up as someone who knows what sector Kilowog oversees (its sector 674). Having given the characters a good treatment I was still hesitant on the people chosen to play them.
As with a lot of my close peers, I wasn’t thrilled by the prospect of Hal Jordan being portrayed by Ryan Reynolds simply because it felt like he was meant to play his same crazy unpredictable party boy, and for the most part that’s what he did. But they didn’t oversaturate the movie with it, which was nice. He actually struggles with being the hero he’s meant to be, which is a nice change of pace to the upstanding and straight arrow Hal of the DCU cannon. Another surprise was Blake Lively as Carol Ferris, Hal’s love interest and boss at Ferris Air. She was every bit the outspoken and strong willed Carol we love in the books. The duties of portraying the antagonist fell on the always amazing Peter Sarsgard (Jarhead) who played the psychotically obsessed Hector Hammond to a tee. Tim Robbins and Angela Basset were probably the only two disappointments in the cast, only because their characters really didn’t do much except be cannon fodder for the story to move along. Hopefully the Amanda Waller character gets more of a role in the already in the works sequel. Lastly the Voice talents of Michael Clarke Duncan as Kilowog, the corps’ battle instructor, and Geoffrey Rush as the wise keeper of the book of Oa, Tomar re, were the two best choices for their respective roles.
Could this movie have been better? Probably, but it gives a entertaining story and is a fun and exciting movie for avid Green Lantern fans and regular movie goers alike. In summation, don’t expect something to rival Dark Knight, but also don’t expect something as bad as Jonah Hex or Catwoman. The people behind this movie made sure that it stayed true but still made sense, and when you’re dealing with a guy who has a ring that can do and create anything that the ring bearer imagines, even violate laws of physics, that’s saying something.
3 ½ nerdskulls.