Green Lantern is from director Martin Campbell, best known for directing the James Bond movies Goldeneye and Casino Royale. This is DC Entertainment’s desperate attempt to get some kind of DC superhero film franchise going, but things are not looking good for them. Other than Christopher Nolan’s Batman films, there’s really nothing for DC to brag about. So here comes Green Lantern, not to be confused with Green Hornet, another superhero movie that was released early this year. If you thought Green Hornet was a bad movie, Green Lantern is no better.
I admit that I don’t know much about the Green Lantern mythos, but I do know a little bit. One thing that always bugged me about this character was the lantern and the ring that he uses. The Green Lantern’s power comes from the planet Oa, which is the place where he charges his portable handheld lantern, which is the thing that he uses to charge the ring which he wears on his middle finger. The Green Lantern can then use his power ring to build “constructs” from his imagination, and the power of these constructs depends on his willpower.
Firstly, the concept of charging your magical power ring just feels lame to me. I don’t remember Iron Man’s suit ever running out of battery, so why do these super-advanced power rings need to be recharged. Second of all, the constructs that the Green Lantern builds with his mind are sketchy and the rules are not well defined. There’s no real measurement for how much power each construct has, so everything is very convoluted and there’s no sense of danger whatsoever since the Green Lantern is so powerful anyway.
The comedic Ryan Reynolds plays Hal Jordan, a reckless pilot who is “chosen” to be the Green Lantern of Earth. Reynolds’ acting chops are acceptable, but he does not strike me as blockbuster action star material. Blake Lively of Gossip Girl fame appears as Carol Ferris, the love interest for our superhero. She is very dull in this film, and her scenes with Reynolds are just awkward and embarrassing. Mark Strong plays Sinestro, and he’s probably the best performance of the film although his appearance is limited to plain talking scenes.
The only good aspect of Green Lantern are the outer space scenes which features huge environments filled with dazzling CGI effects. The planet of Oa looks very good, and there are tons of alien characters around. Comic book fans will be happy to see Kilowog and Tomar-Re, but unfortunately their screen time is close to nothing. Hal Jordan learns how to become a Green Lantern, but don’t expect any inspiring training sequences where he is working hard to master his powers and things like that. The origin story here is very forced and fails to make Green Lantern a compelling superhero.
James Newton Howard does the musical score of Green Lantern, which is superfluous and forgettable like most of the film. Action scenes are messy and badly edited to the point where I was squinting at the screen and trying to make out what on Earth is going on. The climax of this film tries to be as epic as possible and maybe inject some morals into the story, but I didn’t care for anything that was happening and was just waiting to go home.