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Monday, October 31, 2011

Movie Review - Green Lantern





Movie Title
Green Lantern
Year
2011
Genre
Action, Comic Adaptation, Sci-Fi

Story
As with all Superhero movies, this is basically an origin story but combined with a bit of Green Lantern Lore 101 but comtemporarizing the franchise by having Parallax as the villain with a teaser lead-up to the Sinestro Corps.

Before the story begins, the audience is given a narrative to help those unfamiliar with Green Lantern to quickly get up to speed with fanboys like myself. We also learn that it was Abin Sur who had managed to imprison Parallax but now had managed to break free, and the first thing to do was to seek out Abin Sur for vengeance.

With that out of the way, we are then introduced to our hero Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) - a care-free but seemingly irresponsible Test Pilot for Ferris Aircraft and how he is chosen by the dying Green Lantern of Sector 2814 - Abin Sur (supposedly the greatest Green Lantern in the Corps until Hal came along, that is.) to replace him after having been critically wounded by Parallax.

Meanwhile, Hal receives a crash course in Ring-Slinging 101 when the ring brings him to OA where he received personal training from Tomar Re, Kilowog & Sinestro (Mark Strong). The Green Lantern Corps and the Guardians soon learn that Parallax is making its way to OA and none of the Green Lanterns can manage to stop it as it is a creature of fear, the only element Green Lanterns' light has no power against.

While back on Earth, the US Govt had retrieved Abin Sur's body and long-time Green Lantern foe, Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard), had been invited by Amanda Waller (see comments in Overall section) to perform the autopsy. Unknown to all, Abin Sur's body had been infected by traces of Parallax and in turn, had infected Hector Hammond and turned him into the monstrous we see in the trailers and movie stills who serves as Parallax's herald as he makes his way to Earth to destroy Hal, Abin Sur's replacement.

It's now up to the rookie human Green Lantern to stop Parallax and prevent it from obliterating the Earth.

Acting
I had my reservations about the movie when I watched the trailers as I couldn't quite imagine how a funny Hal Jordan might work. I kept telling my friends how it's gonna tank because a funny Hal Jordan is like a funny Batman! It won't work!

Well, I am glad to be proven that my fears were unfounded. Just as long as Ryan Reynolds doesn't ham it up too much in the sequel (I think there's gonna be one judging from the post credits scene - YES, there is one, stay for it!).

I, along with almost eveybody else, was extremely impressed with Mark Strong's Sinestro! Weren't you?

While 2010's hottest guy Reynolds give the girls a reason to accompany their guys friends to this movie, Blake Lively provides all the eye-candy for the guys as the independent & fiesty Carol Ferris. There is a hint that we might see her as Star Sapphire in a sequel as her pilot handle is "Sapphire".

Overall
Of course, there are differences between the movie and comics lore, some more significant than others, but it won't distract audiences from enjoying the movie.

The juxtaposing of scenes between what's happening on Earth and the Green Lantern Corps on OA/in space is quite well done.

Gripes:
1 - The Guardians do not seem to be too wise or powerful enough to justify their roles as the Green Lantern Corps' bosses or protectors of the Universe. I mean, they let Sinestro talk to them as tho' he was the boss, and they the senile grandparents. C'mon, if I were the Guardians, I'd smack him for talking to me that way!

2 - The designs for Kilowog & Tomar Re were really ugly! I mean, they turned Kilowog into a pig or Rancor's (from Star Wars) fat & mellow cousin and Tomar Re into a fish? What!???


3 - Parallax is more of a emotional/conceptual entity (FEAR) than a physical being and would not be so easily defeated as in the movie.

Fanboys would of course recognise the name Amanda Waller, or the Wall of the Suicide Squad played by none other than Angela Bassett. So, would here appearance here be somewhat likened to Samuel L Jackson's Nick Fury in the Marvel movies and perhaps lead to other DC movies like Suicide Squad or Justice League?

It's not great but it's much better than I had anticipated. Good fun summer movie. Go watch it and perhaps pick up an issue or Trade-paperback of Green Lantern!

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