Film Review: Green Lantern

When it comes to superhero films, Warner Bros. and DC Comics have lagged far behind their primary competitor Marvel. Whereas Marvel has had several successful film franchises for their comic characters over the last decade, Warner Bros. has had Batman. So, DC has brought us Green Lantern.

On the surface Green Lantern has everything that a summer blockbuster should have. It is big and bombastic, has copious amounts of computer generated imagery and stars a snarky, yet charming actor in the lead role. Unfortunately while Warner Bros. was crossing off the aforementioned prerequisites they forgot that the film needs an easily relatable hook for viewers to get behind.

Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is a careless, yet highly talented fighter pilot. He is haunted by the tragic death of his father and lives life on the edge in an effort to live up to his legacy. Jordan has a strong will but is handicapped by his fear and therein lies the core tenants of the film and the Green Lantern’s powers. Like most good superhero stories it is a simple concept that is easy to grasp. Jordan is am easy character to relate to, it is his Green Lantern persona that is hard to get behind.

Jordan’s super powers come from a special ring, that is powered by a special lantern, that all come from outer space. Additionally Jordan is not the only Green Lantern instead he is just one of thousands of other lantern carriers that are entrusted with protecting the universe from evil. These thousands of lantern carriers make up the Green Lantern Core and act as a sort of interstellar police force.

As mentioned the power of a Green Lantern stems from the ring each of them possesses and the power itself is the ability to create anything they can think of, so long as they have the willpower and strength to control it. Obviously this allows for some pretty outlandish visuals and for the most part Green Lantern doesn’t disappoint. During one fantastical action sequence Jordan constructs a wheel base for a damaged helicopter and transports it around a Hot Wheels inspired race track. Despite being utterly ridiculous the scene is a blast to watch, unfortunately there are far too few of these exhilarating sequences in the movie.

Instead of focusing on crazy action sequences or building Jordan as a character the film seemingly rushes thorough everything. It gives glimpses of what could have been a deep seeded intergalactic political power struggle but instead of following up those angles we get paper-thin characters with simplistic motivations including one of the worst antagonists in a superhero film since the giant death cloud in Fantastic Four 2.

Fans of the comic book may complain about inaccuracies to the source material, specifically about Ryan Reynolds portrayal but it works for what this film is. Reynolds is perfectly fine in the film, he gives his standard performance of snarky charm. Green Lantern is enjoyable from a pure entertainment perspective and it works as a summer popcorn film. If one can give the film a little leeway in regards to convoluted storytelling and enjoy it for the spectacle it is then there is certain to be some fun to be had.

3 out of 5.

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Author: Chris Scott View all posts by
Chris is the Reviews Editor here at Vagary as well as the co-host of The Perfectly Sane Show and the Movie Dudes podcast.He is long time gamer and film fan that also happens to be full of opinions and a desire to share them with others, even if you don't want to hear them.
  • http://petelabrozzi.com Pete L.

    I’m a total GL fanboy. There was some stuff about the movie that I was iffy on but overall I liked it. For me seeing a live incarnation of my favorite hero on the big screen was enough. Now Blake Lively on the other hand… I think she’s been taking acting lessons from Ben Stein.