Green Light for “The Lantern”
– – Movies about comic book heroes tend to be at least somewhat disappointing if not outright disasters, and the reception for “The Green Lantern” has been at best lukewarm. I can’t claim to be wholly objective about the movie, having been a big long-term fan of the comic book and the title character; with this bias remembered and acknowledged, I did find the movie a hoot, and wasn’t disappointed; the pluses at least outweighed the negatives.
Sitting in the darkened theater wearing my geeky 3D glasses and waiting for endless commercials and promos to end, I pondered how much the 3D filming would add to my theater experience; it certainly added $3 to my ticket price. Perhaps in any sequel, the Green Lantern could take on evil surcharges! Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan I feel was a good choice for the Green Lantern; he’s muscular without being bulky, and played the character well with a mixture of cockiness and vulnerability. The CGI Green Lantern suit with its Kato-type mask was impressive if unreal, and Hal Jordan flies in a wonderful floaty style, at times striking poses that are classically Green Lantern. With some but not enough of the action set in deep space, you also get to meet all too briefly a variety of intriguing aliens who constitute the “Green Lantern Corps,” cosmic good guys who serve as protectors of peace and justice; some of Jordan’s training occurs at the hands of a massive and harsh alien drill instructor.
The Green Lantern has a rich and rather complex mythology which I won’t go into here in detail, but suffice it to say that Green Lanterns can manipulate the energy of will into any kind of physical matter and utilize it; Superman can’t even do this stuff! A yellow energy drawing on fear represents their major opposition, with a creature utilizing it called Parallax who reminds me of “the Blob” or perhaps a dirty version of assorted nasty entities from Star Trek. When the best warriors of the Green Lantern Corps go to do battle with Parallax, it’s like the Federation fighting the Borg at Wolf 359 with similar results.
After Hal Jordan fights Hector Hammond, a catspaw of Parallax on earth who undergoes a repulsive metamorphosis, the ultimate showdown occurs in space…and if you see the movie, stay through the closing credits to see Sinestro turn to the Dark Side and hint at room for sequels! While not a perfect movie, with tweaking to emphasize the iconic Green Lantern elements this could be a worthwhile series…
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