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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

This Emerald Lacks Luster

I love Green Lantern, but did not love this movie. The problem was the mediocre story. The best thing I can say about this film is that it was not as bad as most of the reviews I’ve read. That may be because I went in with low expectations and was pleased to find the story coherent and the special effects nondistracting. This movie should do well in rentals and on cable.

It’s a testament to Ryan Reynolds’ (Hal Jordan) ability and charisma that he brought some humanity to this woodenly written role. Though I was never happy about his casting, I have to admit after seeing the film, he made a decent GL and probably kept the movie from getting boring. Blake Lively was pleasantly perfect as Carol Ferris, GL’s boss and love interest. I think she struck a good cord between the character as written in the comics, and a realistic modern business woman. Based on her turn in this film, I hope she gets more movie roles.

Of Special note is Mark Strong as Sinestro. He's clearly been set up to be the baddie in the sequel, but his excellent stage presence and strong performance made it abundantly clear that this film lacked a good villain. It would be great if Warner realized what they did wrong in this movie and tried again with a better story. It was not lack of interest in this character that was the problem with Green Lantern. I'd like to make a comparison with Star Trek The Motion Picture. That film had similar problems to GL in that it too lacked a cohesive villain and had a mediocre story. But, although panned by the critics and fans, it was followed up by an amazingly good movie (The Wrath of Kahn) with a kick-ass baddie. Sinsetro can be Hal Jordan's Kahn Nonnian Singh if a sequel were to happen.

There’s really not that much more to say. The story had a ho-hum effect on its audience. Much like Super 8, this movie brought nothing new to its genre. What makes it especially tragic is that Iron-man showed how to take a second-tier character and turn it into a first-rate movie. DC used to be known as the company that could make successful movie and TV properties out of its characters. It seems to be stumbling while Marvel’s running away with the ball. Let’s see how Zach Snyder’s Superman fares in 2012.
I rate this film $7.50 out of the $13.50 I paid to see it. If you can catch a matinee for half price, it’s worth the time.


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