Duke & The Movies

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Written by: Sam Fragoso on June 17, 2011

June 17, 2011 | 12 comments | Featured, Old Format

Green Lantern

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.

Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds star in the new, action-packed, superhero flick, "Green Lantern"

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.

Rating: ★★½☆

Green Lantern

Green Lantern (2011)

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard

Director: Martin Campbell

Writer: Michael Goldenberg, Marc Guggenheim

Runtime: 114 minutes

Genre: thriller, sf, fantasy

Trailer Green Lantern


There are 12 comments for this post.

  1. Rodney on June 17, 2011 3:12 pm

    I’ve read some pretty damning reviews on GL already online (mainly from comic geeks) as well as some “yeah, it’s okay” stuff….. I’m a little disappointed Martin Campbell couldn’t bring his A-game to this film and deliver yet another awesome comic book film to us – after Thor and X-Men: First Class all got rave reviews, to hear that Green Lantern is a little wishy-washy, I feel somewhat let down.

  2. Duke on June 17, 2011 3:25 pm

    I say see it. Not a whole-hearted recommendation. But I had a good time.

  3. Andrew Buckle on June 17, 2011 9:21 pm

    Hey, it sounds like it could be a bit of fun. If I go in with low expectations, I may salvage some enjoyment haha. Nice review Sam.

  4. Duke on June 17, 2011 9:25 pm

    That’s what I went in with … low expectations.

  5. Dan O. on June 17, 2011 9:36 pm

    The script here is lacking a lot and almost feels like a TV special at times, but it is still fun and Reynolds does well with this material. I think after Thor and X-Men: First Class, the expectations for superhero films have been raised so high that moderately entertaining films like these barely have any chance anymore, especially this summer. Good Review Sam!

  6. Duke on June 17, 2011 11:30 pm

    I actually enjoyed this more than “Thor”.

    Thanks for reading Dan!

  7. Jack L on June 18, 2011 9:35 am

    Good review Sam,
    I haven’t seen this one yet, but I can’t say I’m particularly interested in it. Superhero films were never my thing anyway…

  8. Duke on June 18, 2011 9:40 am

    I’m not a big superhero guy myself … and to be honest if I hadn’t attended the press screening for this, I probably wouldn’t of went to the theaters to pay for it.

    It’s still worth checking out, just make sure you know what your paying for.

    Thanks for reading Jack!

  9. Heather on June 22, 2011 6:28 am

    Saw the movie this weekend. I thought it was OK Blake Lively was great. My husband and son loved her in the movie…

  10. Duke on June 22, 2011 10:43 am

    I really enjoyed Blake Lively as well. Probably my favorite part of the film.

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