Review: Green Lantern

Bringing the Green Lantern to the big screen was always going to be risky - it's not Batman or Superman, where most people have a general idea as to what to expect. Director, Martin Campbell's took this daunting task and in my opinion, it's paid off rather well (Other critics and box office takings would say otherwise though).

Green Lantern follows cocky fighter pilot, Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) who finds himself part of an intergalactic peacekeeping force after being granted a powerful ring that gives him great powers. He must stop a deadly enemy, the Parallax from destroying Earth, whilst getting to grips with these new found abilities.

The idea of an evil entity from space attacking earth has been done several times in the superhero film but it does work well in Green Lantern as a basic starting block to introduce Hal Jordan. Reynolds is excellent - the character could have come across as completely unlikeable in the hands of another actor but Reynolds brings humour, naivete and sex appeal to the role. The power of the Green Lantern is also introduced well to the audience - the fact that he can create anything he imagines could have been a bit of a vague mess - but it's shown in a sensible light.

One of my major worries about Green Lantern was that the film would spend more time in CGI based worlds as opposed to earth. However, although we do see several scenes in the Lantern's home planet, the CGI is well crafted and looks excellent. The same cannot be said for other members of the Lantern Corps - who come across as incredibly cartoony - such as Michael Clarke Duncan's Kilowog and Geoffrey Rush's strange bird-fish creature. The scenes on Earth completely shine, particularly the action-packed opening where Jordan is challenged to a dogfight with new advanced unpiloted fighter planes. He's also joined by his colleague/on-off love interest, Carol Ferris (Blake Lively). Lively is well cast and doesn't fit into the bog-standard heroin role - she's a strong businesswoman and brilliant fighter pilot, as well as being drop dead gorgeous.

However, not all the roles are as strong as Reynolds and Lively's. Peter Sarsgaard plays Hector Hammond, a doctor who becomes infected by the Parallax - this leads to his head growing incredibly big, and becoming increasingly slimey. The character design feels pretty poor and overbears on Sarsgaard's performance. He's just not the strongest villain. The rest of the supporting cast is excellent, from Tim Robbin's dodgy Senator to Mark Strong and Geoffrey Rush as members of the Lantern Corps.

Green Lantern is hopefully going to become a trilogy, now that the character is introduced it would be great to have some fun with him in a more original storyline. But given that it's only made 3/4 of it's budget back, I'm not going to hold my breath.
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