Going into the movie, I have to admit I was skeptic. It’s been a shaky history for movies based on DC Comics’ live-action superheroes. In my lifetime, there’s been:
SUPERMAN/SUPERMAN 2 (good), SWAMP THING (bad), SUPERMAN 3 (eh), SUPERGIRL (uh oh), SUPERMAN 4 (eh), BATMAN (good), BATMAN RETURNS (not bad), BATMAN FOREVER (Val Kilmer?), BATMAN & ROBIN (very bad), STEEL (Shaq? eh), CATWOMAN (why god why), BATMAN BEGINS (very good), SUPERMAN RETURNS (eh), DARK KNIGHT (very good), WATCHMEN (very good), and JONAH HEX (crap). Will GREEN LANTERN shine?
Leading the cast of GREEN LANTERN is Ryan Reynolds, playing the character of a test pilot named Hal Jordan. Upon the escape of an intergalactic evil, an alien crash lands on Earth where Hal becomes the new keep of “the ring”. As with most superhero movies, there’s a love interest. Played by Blake Lively, Carol Ferris is a long time love interest & the movie’s damsel-in-distress. Starring as the villain, Peter Sarsgaard plays Dr. Hector Hammond, a scientist infected by the previously mentioned intergalactic evil. It’s a bit hard to explain the quality of acting with one word. Sarsgaard does a very good job at playing Dr. Hammond, Reynolds plays an okay Hal Jordan, but Ms. Lively’s role could’ve been played by any other actress. While Sarsgaard sinks lower and lower into his evil self, Reynolds character arc ends strong with a bit of a slow start.
In terms of how accurate the film is to the comics, it too is hard to simply explain. Technically, Hal Jordan wasn’t Earth’s original green lantern, but was the first in the way most know the Green Lantern now. The film plays up the love interest a little more than the comic did. For comic geeks that know the character, there’s a small nod to her comic book character future. As for Dr. Hammond, his origin in the movie is that of a recent reboot/re-telling of the Green Lantern series/origin. Although instead of how it is in the movie, Hammond’s retold origin is from a technological accident, not a biological one.
Something that should definitely be noted is the audio & visual aspects of the film. In regards to the visual effects, they are, in a word, exceptional. Since our hero just needs to imagine something to fight or protect with, it’s a virtual visual effects studio’s playground. Whether it was written in, the director’s ideas or if the visual effects studios were given free reign, it was a delight to see the constructions created (not to mention all the alien members of the Green Lantern Corps). As for the audio, there were so many times I found myself thinking that some of the surround sounds I heard from behind me were actually from outside.
The big worry I had about the movie was that Ryan Reynolds would simply play Van Wilder as a Green Lantern. While it’s not a stretch for him to deliver comedic lines in his somewhat sarcastic way, the serious Green Lantern parts. There was only a scene in his apartment, sitting at a table that I had trouble believing him. Overall, the movie not only had me looking forward to a most likely sequel, but a new found respect for the Green Lantern and Ryan Reynolds.