Monday, 20 June 2011

Green Lantern's light needs a new battery

I was really really looking forward to Green Lantern. Ryan Reynolds as the "green space cop" flying about saving the world!? What could possibly be wrong with that? This post contains spoilers if you haven't seen the film.

Turns out quite a lot.

Pic: taken by me

I'm not a comic book fan so I have no feelings either way about adaptations from graphic cell to movie screen, but I do love a superhero movie. I love the dark and twisty characters, the flawed hero, the painful past that makes him earn his right to be a superhero stud and save the day from a super evil villain. And a handsome actor playing the leads helps secure my favour for a few hours of viewing too.

Green Lantern has one big thing going for it in Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan. He's buff for starters, and not the usual buff you've seen in his other films but the kind of super lean that only comes from a crazy diet and workout regime inspired by the script notes "Hal lies in a trance on the alien vessel wearing nothing but a pair of small white underpants." He's got the good looks that scream superhero and can handle the comedy/drama/action.

I really did want to love this film, but alas it broke my heart be being lazy and dull. It lacked the sparkle that makes a superhero genesis story so compelling. It covers the basics at speed, leaving little time for any real character development. Hal's traumatic memory of seeing his dad die in front of his young eyes is served up in the obligatory flashback but never really dealt with. We get the obvious superhero moments, inlcuding the comedy training sequence, but none of them bring anything new to the table. The action moments are not wow-worthy. It's all just lacking.

And Peter Saarsgard is wasted in this film. His transformation into evil Hector Hammond is much more engaging than Hal's Green Lanternisation (and that's even with Ryan Reynolds in just his tighty whities). The tragedy of Hector's Parallax infection is real and brutal and made him the only character in the film I was emotionally invested in. If the story had been a more obvious parallel of Hal v Hector turning into their respective supers it would have been far better viewing.

But on the plus side, Blake Lively didn't annoy me like I thought she would. xoxo

So, if you're content to pay a tenner to watch Ryan Reynolds run around in tighty whities and a skin-tight green suit, then go see this film. If you're after the kind of character development that make Spiderman and Batman more than just action flicks, then walk on by.

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