Making superhero comic books into live action movies is a difficult task. ‘Thor’ graciously and successfully pulled it off. ‘Green Lantern’ simply doesn’t.
Always charming and usually funny Ryan Reynolds plays the fearless fighter pilot Hal Jordan. Chosen by the emerald energy of will power to become an intergalactic peacekeeper known as a “Green Lantern,” Hal receives a glowing ring that allows him to physically render whatever his imagination can create.
Hal’s jealous childhood friend (Peter Sarsgaard) accidentally receives the same power, but becomes more powerful when he begins fueling it with the yellow power of fear. As he gains more strength, he gets the attention of an ominous evil smoke-like being who wants to defeat Hal, take his ring and destroy every Green Lantern in the universe. Despite being an untrained rookie Lantern, Hal must learn to focus his mind, harness the emerald energy of will, save the world, defeat his two villain nemeses and get the girl (Blake Lively) – all in 105 minutes.
Sound crammed? It is. Not only is the movie crammed with unnecessary story, but it’s full of inconsistent tones that don’t blend together. When ‘Green Lantern’ is light and humorous, it works well. When it’s dark and serious, not so much. The only thing worse than the stark heavy moments is the unnatural fusion of the two.
‘Thor’ accredited the Norse God’s power and abilities to science, all the while making its Earthly human characters recognize and make reference to how odd that concept seems. ‘Green Lantern’ goes the opposite route.
Set in our reality during our time, the characters of ‘Green Lantern’ completely write-off the how odd everything is. They accept it without questioning or reacting. A green light sucks you into a ball and carries you 100 miles away in 15 seconds? That’s cool. My ring just hurled me into space through a wormhole and onto a strange planet, and now I’m talking to a birdman alien? Nothing strange going on here. The smoke monster from ‘Lost’ is devouring people in downtown New Orleans like the tripods in ‘War of the Worlds’? Just another crazy day in New Orleans. Nobody reacts. They just go with it so the overly dense story can move forward.
If you plan on seeing ‘Green Lantern’ in 3D, think twice. The conversion isn’t as bad as ‘Clash of the Titans’, but it still looks flat. There is depth between objects, but no depth on the objects themselves. It’s the same flat 3D effect of a children’s pop-up book.
While ‘Green Lantern’ isn’t terrible, it isn’t great either. It’s right in the middle. The so-called “substance” of the film is sub-par, while the action and fun is above par. I personally enjoyed ‘Green Lantern’ more than I predicted, but see the average audience clumping it in the same category as Ang Lee’s ‘Hulk’.