The Green Lantern Corps, which has lasted for millenia, is a vast group of warriors formed by the different races from the entire universe sworn to keep intergalactic order. Each Green Lantern wears a ring that grants him superpowers, which is drawn from the collective will of the universe. But Parallax (voice of Clancy Brown), whose powers are drawn from all the fear in the universe, threatens to destroy everything in its path, their fate and the fate of Earth lie in the hands of their newest recruit, the first human ever selected for the Corps: Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds), a talented but reckless test pilot.
Review by Louise Keller:
Here's a comic book fantasy with a galaxy of special effects, a splendidly despicable villain in Peter Sarsgaard and heroics from the likeable Ryan Reynolds, who finds courage to overcome fear, win the girl and save the world. Good and evil are represented by colours in this fantasy action thriller, with green representing the energy of will and yellow synonymous with fear. It's a splashy, big budget extravaganza with some great visuals, a roaring score and a somewhat untidy plot that struggles to keep all its strands intact. As a consequence, it's a bit like playing a video game - it's fun while it lasts but leaves little residue.
After an extended prologue that establishes the complex state of the intergalactic order in which a powerful force called the Green Lantern Corps keep the peace, we meet the first human recruit. Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is an obsessive, rash, opinionated test pilot who pushes his boundaries to live up to his pilot father, who was killed in a crash when he was a boy. Reynolds carries the role well, with an infectious energy. Selected as a worthy recipient of the green ring and matching lantern that powers it, Hal discovers his new powers are limited only by the strength of his will and his imagination. He is needed to combat the new booming-voiced enemy Parallax, who, surrounded by a universe of grey blobbiness, is a cross between the roaring god of Thunder and a yellow-eyed, sharp-toothed wolf, and who uses fear as a weapon.
Wearing a snug-fitting green suit that highlights his impressive eight-pack and a sleek green mask that may give inspiration to future fancy dress occasions, the scenes in which Hal experiments with his new found power should have more ballast and humour - they fall flat. Also flat is the romance between glamorous fellow-pilot Carol Ferris (Blake Lively); I had hoped the Green Lantern and Carol would share a memorable moment a la Superman-Lois Lane. But Sarsgaard is a knockout as the creepy professor Hector Hammond with a passion for extra terrestrial life and who becomes more and more monstrous - both physically and psychologically. There's a wonderful sense of unease as Hector develops his own evil powers and the scenes before his Quasimodo disfigurement when he can read the thoughts of those around him, including that of his blatantly disappointed father (Tim Robbins), are some of the most engaging.
By using four screenwriters (one of which has the surname Green), the filmmakers seem to be hedging their bets when it comes to the balance of action, special effects, humour, romance, drama and all the while staying true to Green Lantern's comic origins. Director Martin Campbell is a talented director, yet the marrying of all the elements together with the different universe and earthly realities seem fragmented. Nonetheless, teenage boys for whom the film was intended will no doubt embrace the adventure and what could well be the first of a new franchise.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Awesome! Cool! Wicked! If that's all you need to know about the Green Lantern movie adaptation from DC Comics, this film is for you. Bulging with oversized special effects and enough CGI to create a whole universe - which is exactly what it does - this superhero adventure for young teens has a million moving parts (but not enough moving moments).
Full review to be published August 14
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GREEN LANTERN (M)
CAST: Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong, Tim Robbins, Jay O. Sanders, Angela Bassett, Temuera Morrison
VOICES: Geoffrey Rush, Clancy Brown
PRODUCER: Greg Berlanti, Donald De Line
DIRECTOR: Martin Campbell
SCRIPT: Greg Berlanti, Michael Green, Marc Guggenheim, Michael Guggenheim
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Dion Beebe
EDITOR: Stuart Baird
MUSIC: James Newton Howard
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Grant Major
RUNNING TIME: 114 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: August 11, 2011
RIVERSIDE SNEAK PEEK PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 4 consecutive Tuesdays - March 10, 17, 24, 31, 2015 - at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.