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Lantern or Hornet: Films about emerald-hued heroes are no gems

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Trent
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« on: June 17, 2011, 04:54:27 pm »

Lantern or Hornet: Films about emerald-hued heroes are no gems

'Green Lantern' -- 3 stars


 
Ryan Reynolds stars in "The Green Lantern."    
Michael Phillips Movie critic
9:01 a.m. CDT, June 16, 2011
Green just isn't the superhero color this year.

Ryan Reynolds, above, who had yet to headline a major franchise effort, has the action-star stuff to shoulder a product launch such as this.
He does. Even with his somewhat reedy voice he's an easygoing, charismatic presence, and a real actor. But the film itself is disappointingly routine, as well as jarring in its violence. Only in fits and starts, mostly in the most earthbound scenes between Reynolds and /topic/entertainment/blake-lively-As test pilot Hal Jordan, destined to become an intergalactic "space cop" sporting a ring that does a lot more than decode, Reynolds has a way of playing a hotshot who's also a self-defeating screw-up that seems plausible and likable. The actor's lightly sardonic comic touch matches up well with Lively's; she plays fellow pilot, ex-girlfriend (though the spark remains) and aerospace heiress Carol Ferris, who is thrilled with the superhero developments (wee green mask and all) in her unreliable ex's life.
"Green Lantern" is a relationship picture, in which the man learns to be a better, more vulnerable and honest man en route to saving the planet from a fire-breathing, soul-sucking whatzit called Parallax. All the other 3,000-plus Green Lanterns, the sentinels of the universe, cannot find a way to deal with this punk, not even Hal's fellow Green Lanternite who goes by Sinestro (/topic/entertainment/mark-strong-
Mark Strong, a credible and compelling presence). In this end of the cosmos those who slip on the evil yellow ring represent and promulgate fear, yucky and addictive and destructive. Green is good pure, valiant willpower, like the next generation of energy drinks.
Those unfamiliar with "Green Lantern" mythology, begun by DC Comics in 1940, may experience the film's chaotic, exposition-larded first 30 minutes as pure homework for the test to come, with quick bullet points about planet Oa, the universe's 3,000-plus sectors, the oath it's a load. The faraway planets of Oa and others look like all the other places we've been on screen lately, from /topic/entertainment/movies/thor-%28movie%29-
"Thor" (which I enjoyed, even in its squareness, more than "Green Lantern") on back.
If the movie's a popular success, it'll be because audiences dig Hal's ability to turn anything he can think of into adversary-vanquishing reality. Meaning: In a training sequence (/topic/entertainment/michael-clarke-duncan-
Michael Clarke Duncan voicing a computer-generated badass) and later, in real battle against the infected, sniveling, yellow-eyed scientist played by /topic/entertainment/peter-sarsgaard-
Peter Sarsgaard (largely in full Elephant Man makeup), the trouble keeps coming, via death bolts or whatever. And Hal simply thinks of a brick wall, or a ridiculous machine gun, and poof: It's made manifest, and the problem is momentarily solved. In the most bombastic of the action scenes, a careening helicopter carrying the U.S. senator played by Tim Robbins transforms into a Hot Wheels vehicle steered clear of carnage on a green, sky-borne track. This saves the day, certainly for product placement.
Realizing this isn't a very sophisticated argument, I find the "Green Lantern" selling point think it, and it happens! to be a bit of a dead-end. If everything's possible, then somehow everything's a little less magical. And "Green Lantern" isn't much fun; the head-bashings and pummelings pile up high, and harshly. Reynolds and Lively and their unforced, considerable chemistry got me through the rough stuff. But barely. Take this review with a grain of salt. As I said, I enjoyed "Thor."
mjphillips@tribune.com
MPAA rating: PG-13 (for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action)
Cast: Ryan Reynolds (Hal Jordan); Blake Lively (Carol Ferris); Peter Sarsgaard (Hector Hammond); Mark Strong (Sinestro);Angela Bassett (Dr. Waller); Tim Robbins (Sen. Hammond)
Credits: Directed by Martin Campbell; written by /topic/entertainment/greg-berlanti-Greg Berlanti, /topic/sports/michael-green-PESPT002766.topic/topic/sports/michael-green-

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Trent
Atlantean King
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Posts: 58



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« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2011, 04:55:01 pm »

I just came back from a midnight showing and as far as I'm concerned, this is a ***½ movie. If you like Green Lantern, you'll love this movie. Also, a bit of advice: Don't leave when the movie ends, there is more. A lot of people got up as soon as the credits rolled and they missed a key scene.
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