For a film that thrives off being fearless, The Green Lantern is awfully conventional in almost every area – never daring to go out of its predictable sap-happy realm.
The script written by Greg Berlanti (among others) is fluffy. The characterization here is cursed by the “one-trait” rule. And the film’s narrative arch hits every note you expect it to hit.
But you know what? The Green Lantern is a good time. Inferior, sure, but Martin Campbell, who is responsible for rebooting the James Bond series on two separate occasions (Golden Eye and Casino Royale), doesn’t take his film too serious. Which in hindsight is the problem with a majority of modern-day superhero flicks (Thor for the most recent example). With electrifying visuals and a charismatic screenplay, Green Lantern is an affable, sometimes hypnotizing, 105-minute light show with a playful atmosphere.
In its entirety, Campbell has directed yet another severely lackluster picture (last year was Edge of Darkness) when compared to the masterpiece that is Casino Royale. I don’t suspect it’s completely his fault. The source material is what it is. Directors who deviate from what’s already been set in stone (ex: the comic books and older T.V. shows) are likely to be criticized by every Comi-con and Super-hero film enthusiast known to man.
Aesthetically pleasing, though, every scene in The Green Lantern is beautifully captured by cinematographer Dion Beebe. And for once, I can honestly say the 3D isn’t distracting.
In The Green Lantern, Ryan Reynolds is cast as Hal Jordan, a presumptuous test pilot who is selectively given a magical and mystical ring that grants him with otherworldly powers, as well as membership into an intergalactic universe – where he instantly tasked to keep the peace within this realm. The universe these Green Lanterns have vowed to protect, is under attack by the malevolent and power-hungry Parallax .
Hal is stuck with a handful of problems: his lack of responsibility, possibly helping the Green Lanterns, living up to his father’s name, falling in love with a beautiful women (played by the dashing Blake Lively), and learning how to be fearless.
The Green Lantern is at its best when Reyonlds and Lively are on screen. Hal is a likable, Capra-like figure. Carol is a strong-willed, beautiful women. Lively is dashing and effervescent in every scene she’s in. When the two have honest conversations and playful banter, the film works entirely. If only there was more of that banter.
On the other end of the spectrum many of the “big-name” actors give stale performances. Tim Robbins is robotic as Senator Hammond. Angela Basset is, for the first time that I’ve seen her on screen, boring and annoying as Dr. Amanda Waller. And to top it off, just when you thought another respected actors couldn’t be any worse, Mark Strong’s Sinestro lacks substance.
However, The Green Lantern was not made to inspire discussions on humanity or good vs. evil. It was purely made for those who love the original comic – and for those who just want to go to a theater and be entertained. You get what you pay for. In the end, The Green Lantern is an enjoyable piece of filmmaking – done with meticulous craft and a joyful, pleasant personality.