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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Movie Review: Green Lantern

 'Green Lantern'
Directed by Martin Campbell
Script by Greg Berlanti, Michael Green and Mark Guggenheim
Starring Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Mark Strong, 
Angela Bassett, Peter Sarsgaard
Produced by Warner Bros. Pictures
Based on the DC Comics character created by John Broome and Gil Kane

Just came back from the cinemas yesterday watching this first ever GL live-action film, and before I go on to give you of what I thought of the film, let me tell you first that I was pretty discouraged to watch the film because of the overwhelming negative reviews from film critics and fans all over the world.

But I'm glad that didn't succumb to that and still decided to watch the film, because despite what the critics say and the bad stuff that injured the movie - Green Lantern was still definitely a fun film (if you will just let it entertain you).

Not as good as the recent Thor, (the first) Spider-Man, or Iron Man, but it was better than the two Fantastic Four films, and even Spider-Man 3.

Green Lantern's premise isn't that hard to get because it was made to tell the beginnings of the superhero.

True enough, it  told the origin of the Green Lantern Corps, the story of the Guardians of Oa, Hal Jordan's childhood, his relationship with his boss Carol Ferris, how Hal can't get over on his father's death, how he was chosen by a dying purple alien to be the first ever Green Lantern from Earth, and finally, fighting the entity of fear itself, named Parallax  (who basically is a behemoth of an octopus with a big head) in order to save Earth and the universe.

Whew that's a lot. 

Yes, Green Lantern was able to compress all those stories into a 2 hour movie and somehow made it entertaining despite some boring, dragging moments (which is result when you have 3 people writing the screenplay) and a cliche-centric moral lesson in the heart of its story. And that's where his movie is successful: introducing the Green Lantern universe to a new audience.

People are forgetting that. A lot of them .They say that the movie was poorly written, didn't emphasize character development, and instead focused on visual effects. While some of that was true, it doesn't mean that Green Lantern was a pure failure.

It certainly delivered on its promise of putting Hal Jordan on the big screen, and taking us into an alien world that spans universes and space wormholes. 

Ryan Reynolds I thought was just right for the character. He certainly embodied the Hal Jordan that I knew in the comic books, while mixing in his trademark humor in the character.

Blake Lively was gorgeous all through out the film, but I felt like she didn't live up to the role of Carol Ferris. Her character was kind of wasted in the film, just serving as a cheesecake, and a mere bait  for the hero to save.

Her chemistry with Reynolds was a bit of a problem too, with some of their intimate moments feeling a bit forced or awkward, but for some reason they were able to make it work.

The most memorable acting performances came from Peter Sarsgaard who played the weird and overly eccentric, Hector Hammond and Mark Strong who portrayed Thaal Sinestro.

Sarsgaard's performance was powerful and he nailed the villainous character's qualities just like in the comic books. He really made it believable and therefore served as a formidable opponent to Reynolds' ring-wearing hero.

The same could be said for Mark Strong who did an impressive job of doing Sinestro's heroic but super-ambitious bravado.

As for the special effects, it wasn't as great as you would expect but it did a good job of showing the planet Oa and its inhabitants. The green ring constructs also looked good, but I felt that it was a bit corny seeing those green giant race tracks, Gatling guns, catapults and big sucker-punch fists on the big screen.

Kids will definitely enjoy those though, which is one of the many reasons why this is described as a kid-friendly, all-ages okay film.

So in totality, though very much predictable in every way, Green Lantern is a good comic book movie that stays true to its source material, offering nice visual effects and lighthearted story about overcoming your greatest fears.

Again, its not a GREAT superhero film, but it is entertaining, which is what comic book movies should be (though not being great the first time (including mediocre box office sales) may cause the studio to reboot the franchise).

Just don't compare this film to the Batman films by Christopher Nolan or any other Marvel film recently, and I'm guaranteeing you that you will enjoy this summer comic book flick, and would make you want to see more green in the blackest of nights.

*Note: Warner Bros has decided to create a sequel for GL, one that  would possibly involve a "war" between Hal Jordan and Sinestro. Hopefully, they could get Geoff Johns to write the screenplay based on his critically-acclaimed "Sinestro Corps War" comic book arc.

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