Superhero Month: "Green Lantern" Review


Superhero Month: "Green Lantern" Review

-- Rating: PG-13 (for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action)
Length: 114 minutes
Release Date: June 17, 2011
Directed by: Martin Campbell
Genre: Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi

"Green Lantern" is based on the DC Comics superhero who made its first appearance in the comics in 1941. The character is considered a core part of the DC Comics stable, but the series has had mostly a rough ride as the company has canceled and then restarted it several times since it was created. Despite its rocky ride so far, writers Michael Goldenberg, Marc Guggenheim, Michael Green, and Greg Berlanti managed to breathe new life into the story and adapt it to the big screen.

The story focuses on Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) and his girlfriend, Carol Ferris (Blake Lively). Hal lost his father, a test pilot, at a very young age in a tragic air accident. He decided to follow in his father's footsteps and became an airman. Unlike his father, Hal knows no fear and has been known to act like a daredevil in his professional and personal life.

Meanwhile, on an intergalactic outpost called Oa, sages of an alien race reign over their people, known as the Green Lantern Corps, a group that is dedicated to eradicating evil from the universe. One Corps leader goes renegade, takes the moniker of Parallax, and threatens earth with his evil. A Corps emissary, Abin Sur (Temuera Morrison), heads to Earth to stop the madness but crash-lands and winds up handing over his green ring along with his powers to Hal Jordan.

Hal doesn't take things too seriously to begin with, although he does discover that by using the powers of the ring, he can go anywhere and do virtually anything. He zips through the galaxy, eventually winding up on Oa, where he meets Tomar-Re (Geoffrey Rush) and Sinestro (Mark Strong). The two make Hal eventually understand how serious his Green Lantern Corps mission really is.

The remainder of the story takes the audience through twists and turns as the love story between Hal and Carol changes and blossoms and as the Green Lantern battles Parallax in the quintessential story of good versus evil.

Director Martin Campbell drew on his experience to bring the characters and the story of Green Lantern to life. By the time he took on the project, he had already won Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for "The Mask of Zorro," and he was the genius behind the camera in hit films such as "Casino Royale" and "Criminal Law."

Ryan Reynolds was the perfect choice to play Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern character. Reynolds made his acting debut in 1990 in the Nickelodeon series "Fifteen." He continued on in television shows, including "The Odyssey," "The X-Files," and "Sabrina the Teenage Witch," and he also made his way onto the big screen. Although he played supporting roles in several movies, including "The Amityville Horror," "The In-Laws," "X-Men Origins: Wolverines," and "Definitely, Maybe," it was his role as Paul Conroy in the 2010 film "Buried" that put his name squarely on the map of fame and garnered him several awards and nominations. In 2012, Reynolds won his first People's Choice Awards for his role in "Green Lantern."

Blake Lively was a relative newcomer to the screen when she took on the role of Hal Jordan's girlfriend. Lively made her acting debut in "Sandman" in 1998 but then took a long hiatus. She came back to acting in 2005 when she took on the role of Bridget in "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" and then reprising the role in the 2008 sequel. Lively is well known for portraying Serena van der Woodsen in the hit television series "Gossip Girl."

Peter Sarsgaard did an awesome job at bringing scientist Hector Hammond to life. Although he is a relative newcomer to Hollywood too, he managed to build up 45 credits in television shows and movies between 1995 and 2013. He also was the recipient of 15 awards and 14 nominations, including a Golden Globe Nomination. Sarsgaard is best known for his roles in "The Man in the Iron Mask," "Flightplan," and "Orphan."

Nobody could have played the part of Sinestro better than Mark Strong. After breaking into acting in 1989 with a bit part in the television series "After Henry," Strong mostly acted in television series and made-for-television movies. Once he did make it to the big screen, he quickly made a name for himself as the go-to actor when someone needed a cold, calculating villain type. After wrapping "Green Lantern," Strong went on to play the role of Jim Prideaux in the 2011 remake of "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" and George in "Zero Dark Thirty."

Rating: 3 out of 5