GREEN LANTERN: DVD
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.
DVD special features include • Preview of the Justice League #1 Digital Comic • Preview of Green Lantern: The Animated Series *Extended Cut included only on 2D Blu-ray Disc. Also available on blu-ray.
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).
Ryan Reynolds makes the most of his new plaything, the green skin and the green ring with super powers, enjoying the novelty of it all. His Hal Jordan is a highly prized test pilot for Ferris Aircraft, military suppliers to the US defence force, although his personal profile would not stand scrutiny anywhere in the world. His flying buddy Carol Ferris (Blake Lively) daughter of the boss, barely tolerates his irresponsible behaviour, but that's about to change.
A small spacecraft crash lands on the Californian coast and the fatally wounded alien inside releases the powerful green ring that seeks out a replacement - someone who must measure up to the high standards of the Green Lantern squad and be unafraid. Hal is it.
His mission is to join the fight against Parallax (voice of Clancy Brown), a giant evil monster that looks like several massive thunderclouds and swirls like them, too, who feeds on fear. Green Lantern feeds on will - and the overcoming of fear.
The council of wise elders who rule the universe (with as little success as any human counterpart) is astonished that a human would have been chosen - but the ring never makes a mistake. So it is up to Jordan to find that quality within which the ring has detected. It takes a lot of conflict and stunning special effects ...
Among the humans who help or hinder his task are Carol, a capable and attractive young woman who can fly a jet, talk the talk and kiss the kiss; Senator Hammond (Tim Robbins) who likes power and is disappointed in his scientist son Hector (Peter Sarsgaard), who gets infected by an alien bug which turns him rather feral. The father son relationship here gives the film a little human edge, as does the romance between Hal and Carol, but these are kept to a minimum.
Comics are meant to exaggerate, and Green Lantern takes that seriously and while director Martin Campbell is giving Michael Bay a run for his money on that score, he has hand picked a cast of terrific actors to deliver this growling, furious package attacking our audio visual senses. It's certainly not my cup of tea, but it does fulfil its promise to the core fans.
Published December 7, 2011
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GREEN LANTERN: DVD (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
SPECIAL FEATURES: • Preview of the Justice League #1 Digital Comic[BREAK]• Preview of Green Lantern: The Animated Series[BREAK]*Extended Cut included only on 2D Blu-ray Disc
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Warner Home Video
DVD RELEASE: December 7, 2011