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    June 17, 2011

    MOVIE REVIEW: GREEN LANTERN

    GREEN LANTERN (PG13)

    Genre: Action/Science Fiction
    Release Date: 16 June 2011
    Running Time: 114 minutes
    Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures
    Director: Martin Campbell
    Screenplay: Greg Berlanti, Michael Green, Marc Guggenheim and Michael Goldenberg; based on DC Comic's "Green Lantern" by Bill Finger, Martin Nodell, John Broome and Gil Kane
    Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong, Angle Bassett, Tim Robbins

    Plot: The Green Lantern Corps is a brotherhood of warriors sworn to keep intergalactic order, with each Green Lantern member wearing a ring that grants him superpowers. When a new enemy called Parallax threatens to destroy the balance of power in the Universe, the Earth and their fate lie in the hands of their newest recruit, the first human ever selected; Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is a gifted and cocky test pilot which the rest of the Green Lanterns have little respect for as no humans but have not harnessed the infinite powers of the ring before. With the encouragement his childhood sweetheart Carol Ferris (Blake Lively), if Hal can quickly master his new powers and find the courage to overcome his fears, he may prove to be not only the key to defeating Parallax and become the greatest Green Lantern of all.

    Review: “Green Lantern” is the third superhero movies of the summer, when everything seems to be perfectly designated to accommodate this expanding season of splash and cash. It positions itself two weeks after the release of another fellow superhero movie, X-Men: First Class and a full month ahead of Captain America: First Avenger. Out of the four, it stands out been the only one produced under the banner of DC Comics, not Marvel Comics. Even in this kind of lucrative environment, some movie-goers may feel the lethargic to see yet another superhero movie. Therefore, Green Lantern possesses the biggest risk and liability among all, having one of the most uninspiring and weakest marketing blitzes. Nevertheless, we only care about its final product and does Green Lantern anyway good? Read on to know the answer.


    In one of the uninhabited sector of the universe, an evil spirit that consumes on one fear is looming around at large. A few Green Lantern Corps legion were sent to the sector to track down the threat but the evil enemy is proven to be too strong for them, ripping off their soul through fear. When the news of the death of three Corps reached the planet Oa where the brotherhood called in as their home, it becomes clear that the evil spirit is threatening the peace balance of the whole universe. Thaal Sinestro (Mark Strong) is contacted by one of his best friend Abin Sur (Temuera Morrison), telling Sinestro that he thinks that the evil spirit is Parallax. Before he could reveal more, Abin Sur is attacked by Parallax. Abin Sur is mortally wounded but manages to escape to the nearest planet with civilization – the Earth.

    Meanwhile, Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is a cocky contract pilot for Ferris Aircraft but deep inside him, there is a fear that seeds following the death of his father years ago. One night, he encountered a strange experience when a green orb “kidnapped” him to a secret location. It turns out that the orb is the Green Lantern ring which has chosen him as the suitable candidate to replace the dying Abin Sur. Now, the reluctant Hal is weighted with enormous responsibility to become the first human being to join the Green Lantern Corps, the protector of justice and peace of the universe. When learn that the evil Parallax is going to make the Earth as its next target, Hal desperately takes up the responsibility to defend the Earth despite his doubt and fear about his new job as a superhero.


    Through superficial assessment, I think that Green Lantern is not a good movie; neither is it a bad one. It blends in a rather mixture cocktail of been serious and not serious at the same time and such combination can prove a little distraught at time because the end result is been derivative. Unfortunately, Green Lantern does not succeed in delivering a strong story. It leaves the audience struggled to find the true pace of the movie, left to wonder if the true intention and motivation behind the movie is to inspire or to poke fun. Yes, such combination works well in other movies like Spider-Man and Iron Man; but in Green Lantern, it misses out some other important points in the process as well.

    Conversely, I can feel some traces of story impulses. I love the way treated Green Lantern as much as akin the kind of human relationship in Superman. The movie shows a clear tell-and-go relationship that develops between Hal and Carol with much estrangement and unsure feelings toward each other. Just like Spider-Man, Batman and any superhero, the first movie is always about developing that cold love relationship, so in part I think it is quite predictable. After all, both Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively is as lovable as in real life, as inside the character they play in the movie.


    One of the most annoying facts is that the whole plot is done with much urgency to rush everything down to core. It is unfortunate that the movie is at all time feels rushed, throwing away the much needed and attractive complex story on character development, backhand mythology understanding and climax. Character development may seem minimal down to right because this is a movie about Hal Jordan, and not so much about the other Green Lantern Corps. Indeed, even with much of the focus are attained only on Hal Jordan, the character still feels low dynamic. He delivers joke when he has to and to be serious dude when he needs to.

    Another surprising fact is that Green Lantern lacks some important aspect in regards of its mythology. Although those details are scantily and scarcely appear everywhere throughout the movie, the opening remarks “Billions of year ago…” by Tomar-Re (Geoffrey Rush) seems inadequate to explain the existence of the Green Lantern to fill in more details. You can also explain the fact that Green Lantern lacks a genuine ambition to go more. Instead of returning to the mythology feels, this version of Green Lantern decides to visualize Parallax with Smoke Monster of Lost and Galactus in the Fantastic Four sequel. If you grow up reading the comic book, chances are that certain elements may be either lacking or visually disappointing.


    The same can be said about the certain key action sequences. If only Dr Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard whom I thought the only one who nailed the character well) is given more chance to explore his character, it could have been a better villain than the smoky blob Parallax. Of course, this could have been easily reminded you on how Spider Man 3 deployed the role of Venom in various style based on the human it attached to. Similarly, Parallax is able to do the same, helping Hammond to develop sixth senses. Unfortunately, he is not allowed to grow more. Further more, the final climax between Green Lantern and Parallax also feels rushed.

    In the end of the day, Green Lantern is an enjoyable and interesting movie if scaled from superficial aspect. However much I enjoy the ridiculous plot and mediocre special effects, I was not blown away by the outcome. I think there is no need to cram everything in less than two hours movie because it just doesn’t feel connected. Green Lantern has everything, the bigger problem is that it is not put well to flow.

    THE RATING:
    Story: 2.0
    Casts: 3.5
    Cinematography: 4.0
    Effects: 3.5
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 11.5/20.0
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