Green Lantern Review

The most hyped and most anticipated movie of the summer has finally arrive. The Green Lantern finally gets his debut. Is this film burning bright in the day, or does the blackest night engulf it?

Story - A test pilot is granted a mystical green ring that bestows him with otherworldly powers, as well as membership into an intergalactic squadron tasked with keeping peace within the universe. That is the story synopsis.

The story while decent enough, has some major flaws. The Green Lantern suffers from which seems to be a trend in movies today. This trend is called lack of explanation and characterization. The story set up is right on the money. Hal Jordan is chosen to become the new member of the Green Lantern Corp, after the death of his predecessor Abin Sur. Hal then travels to the home of the Green Lantern base Planet OA. Here he meets other Lanterns known as Sinestro (Mark Strong), Kilowog (Michael Clark Duncan) and Tomar-Re (Geoffrey Rush). Hal learns of a new threat that can destroy all of civilization, the entity known as "Parallax" is reeking havoc all across the galaxy. While this is going on back on Earth, the government has discovered the body of Abin Sur. They bring in known scientist Hector Hammond to investigate the body. I won't go into any spoilers, but his observation didn't turn up good.

The story is interesting enough, the problem is it's all setup and no payoff. The story is really rushed and given more duration time, we would've had a better understanding of the Green Lantern universe. There is a severe lack of characterization and establishment of relationship between characters. For example key characters such as Sinestro, Tomar-Re and Kilowog are seriously underdeveloped. Sinestro is suppose to be one of the greatest Lanterns, but instead in here he doesn't do much but debate and complain about things. There is no establishment of Hal and Sinestro relationship, the only thing that was establish was that Sinestro didn't like Hal as a successor for Abin Sur. If you know the comics or see the ending of the film, you know the path Sinestro goes too. This movie doesn't give any true signs of that. Tomar-Re, and Kilowog have no development at all. You have no idea who they are, or where they are from. There is no backstory, no flashback, nothing to give you indication on who these characters are. It's a real disappointment that Hal's greatest allies get no screen time, but a reincarnation of Pieface (see old comics) who doesn't exist in the universe has more development and screen time. Another problem with the story is too much is happening. Countless times the movie will cutback from plot to another. One minute we're on OA, the next minute we're back on earth. It's like the story was saying, this is happening right now, but wait this is also happening. The story direction seem lost and by the climax it feels very rush to place the pieces together. The story has all the pieces together, just poor execution on telling the epic Green Lantern tell. However one thing the story does do well is capturing the theme and symbolism. I love the symbolism of willpower being a human's greatest weapon. I love the theme of fear and how having the willpower to overcome fear you will be able to defeat it. I enjoyed the change of Hal Jordan from cocky to humble. The story has it's strong points and it's weak points, but poor execution will leave you disappointed.

Acting - The acting is what will keep you in the seat. Ryan Reynolds owns Hal Jordan. He brings his usual charm, humor but also brings a character that you can relate too when he becomes afraid of his destiny. Mark Strong if given more screen time would have stole the show as Sinestro. I couldn't think of a better actor to play the tough Lantern. Anytime Sinestro was on screen he demanded your attention. Strong's delivery, mannerism and facial expression will have you asking to see more of him. Black Lively also held her own as Carol Ferris. She shown range of balancing a tough, strong woman, but also showed that soft emotional side when it came to her concern for Hal. This young woman is far from Gossip Girl now. Finally Peter Sarsgaard was good as Hector Hammond. His performance was a little creepy, as the film reaches the climax. He gives off that impression of that lonely guy, who secretly watches you change your clothes without you noticing (see the party scene with Carol). Overall the acting was very well done, the actors make the universe feel real.

Music & Filmmaking - The music wasn't that great. Usually James Newton Howard scores are amazing. This time I think he missed his mark on Green Lantern. The music is not bad, but it's not memorable it does it's job by setting the mood, but it doesn't give you that impact of being immerse in the universe. The best score is when Hal and Tomar-Re start flying around OA. The film looks great in 3D. Planet OA is something you must experience with 3D glasses, there is a little bit of graphic blur I did find in one scene with Sinestro, but that is just nitpicking. The film looks great and the Lantern suits looks awesome. The editing felt a little choppy, sometimes it seem like the scenes were being cut too early. Other than that the locations, the graphics were great.

Final Grade - C+/**1/2 Stars - Green Lantern had everything going for it. The cast was there, the location was there, but the story wasn't fully there. The characters were underdeveloped and the movie could of been longer, to give key characters more screen time. However the acting, the visuals are done very well. The film is disappointing, but no matter what happens with this movie franchise, We Lantern fans will still be there to say the oath. "In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night. No evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil's might, beware of my power. GREEN LANTERN'S LIGHT!"