Hollywood rolled out the next in a long line of mediocre super heroes this week in the form of DC Comics' Green Lantern. Surprisingly, it came off rather well. Director Martin Campbell found a nice mix between a dramatic storyline and science fiction fueled action scenes. The movie never seemed to stall out during the slower, more drama laced scenes and maintained my interest throughout. Unlike Thor’s fish-out-of water earthly scenes, which fell well short of its otherworldly, mythically storyline, Green Lantern’s time on earth was easily the best part of the movie. This was due to its leading man.
Ryan Reynolds continues to intrigue me as an actor. I don’t think he is close to winning any hardware for his acting ability, yet he remains a busy guy. I find him totally likeable despite an aura of cockiness. He pulls off an odd combination of a degree of arrogance and an endearing sense of self deprecation. I think his biggest talent is he never seems to take himself too seriously onscreen. He looked like he felt very comfortable with this role of reluctant hero with no self confidence. His likeability really carries this film.
The cast includes the beautiful Blake Lively and Peter Sarsgaard. I am anxious to see if Lively is more than just a pretty face. I liked her in The Town and I see flashes of real talent. Sarsgaard channeled his best John Malkovich as the trod upon, misunderstood Hector Hammond and his warped of mind and body villain grew on me as the movie progressed. Stalwarts Tim Robbins and Angela Bassett were really wasted in their barely bigger than bit parts.
The plot was a little thin and predictable but it was well presented. The Green Lantern historical (mythical) back story wasn’t as intriguing as Thor’s and Campbell didn’t spend as much time on it. He knew Reynolds was the star and spent more time with Reynolds’ Hal Jordan’s character development. It was the right choice. My biggest complaint is relatively minor in that it looked like too much time was spent on the CGI of the legion of galactic Lanterns. It was almost like a bunch of CGI dudes were thrown into a room for a day told to see how many different weird aliens they could come up with. It was too much but it really only one scene so it wasn’t a very big distraction.
For the most part, Green Lantern was friendly for younger audiences (8-13 years old) but there were three brief glimpses of some things that weren’t completely appropriate for that audience, hence the PG-13 rating. If your child isn’t too sensitive or squeamish, not much trauma will be caused by these scenes but be warned. The alien monster may scare younger kids but it was cartoonish enough not to bother my 11 year old.
Green Lantern won’t win any awards but it was nicely paced and highly entertaining. I was never bored or bogged down and time passed quickly in the theater. I refuse to watch any movies in 3-D but I don’t feel I was cheated by the 2-D version. Don’t waste your money with the needlessly premium priced 3-D. The quicker we, as consumers, ignore the unnecessary three dimensional versions of movies, the quicker the Hollywood movie producers will get the picture and 3-D will fade away as the fad it is.
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