In the comic book world, Green Lantern is at the height of his powers. Never has the character in his fifty plus years been more popular then he is today so it was only logical for DC Comics to continue to dip their toes into the film water. With Batman and Superman (possibly Wonder Woman too) arguably being the only well known DC characters to mainstream audiences and Batman currently the only one with a successful movie franchise, it only made sense for DC to make a Green Lantern movie, hoping to create a similar buzz for the character that Marvel’s Iron Man has enjoyed. To the Green Lantern faithful this day could not have come sooner after waiting years for this film. First and foremost,the film has already received it’s fair share of criticism before it was even released; many were unsure of the suit made of light (in particular the mask) and Ryan Reynolds playing the cocksure test pilot Hal Jordan, but they need fear no longer.
The film follows the origin of Hal Jordan receiving the mantle of Green Lantern from a dying alien that is part of an intergalactic police force known as the Green Lantern Corps. The alien’s ring (the source of his power) chose Jordan as his successor because he has the ability to “overcome great fear”. The Green Lantern ring is powered by willpower, giving the wearer the ability to create constructs from whatever he sees in his mind. Hal, unsure of his destiny, is sent to Oa, the planet where the Green Lantern Corps is situated, for his training. Whilst on earth, Hector Hammond, a scientist for the US government works on the dead alien. Soon he is infected by the fear entity, Parallax, that gives him telepathic and telekinetic abilities. Can Hal battle his fear in order to master the power of will and beat Paralax and Hammond? Think Star Wars meets Lord of the Rings.
Sinestro, a fellow Green Lantern who is unsure of Hal Jordan and his abilities, does not take kindly to a human becoming a part of the corps, believing Jordan to be weak willed. Mark Strong plays Sinestro brilliantly. He has mastered the complex comic book character to a tee. With people in the know, aware of Sinestro’s future, it is a joy to watch Strong flex his acting muscle. Furthermore, his interactions with Ryan Reynold’s Hal are very enjoyable – it is as if the comic book pages have come to life. Reynolds proves the doubters wrong, being a perfect Hal Jordan. Michael Clark Douglas works well as the gruelling drill instructor, Kilowog. In fact one of the key problems with the film is that we do not see enough of him. It would have been nice to have had a greater focus on Hal’s training then we did.
Blake Lively’s portrayal of Carol Ferris is sometimes slightly weak but generally she manages to pull it off relatively convincingly.
For fans of the comic book there are many tantalising moments for you to savour. Writers set in motion at least two characters who could follow down their comic book’s villainous path. As well as this, one of the leading members of Checkmate appears in this film. Although the film never acknowledges this, could this lead to DC imitating Marvel’s approach to Avengers with a Justice League movie?
The action scenes work well, relying heavily on what made the comic book special. All of Hal’s constructs are fans have come to expect, including the trademark boxing glove. Oa itself is stunning; like Asgard in Thor, the film makers have managed to create a world that looks distinct and has enough similarities to keep the comic book fan happy. For me I felt the costume worked well and because costume is supposed to be made of light I never found a problem with it being CGI. However the mask can sometimes look slightly fake but this does not distract from the film.
However, it is questionable whether the film will relate to the average film goer. Other reviewers do not seem to have managed to pick up on the Green Lantern mythology and therefore this is a worry for the film makers. Also yet again another film has fallen victim of the 3D bug. As Green Lantern was filmed in 2D, the 3D was done in post-production and unfortunately this means that little to nothing pops out. Although the recent Pirates 4 suffers more from this, it still leaves a sour taste in the mouth when there is little difference when you take your glasses off compared to with them on.
Green Lantern is a great rollercoaster ride of a super hero film. If you like the comic book, it is likely that you will enjoy this. If you are new to the Green Lantern mythology, I would suggest still giving this a go. Be open-minded. This is not like any other superhero film as Green Lantern is not like any other superhero and therefore expect the unexpected. A great start to what will hopefully become a trilogy of films.Green Lantern ,