Review: Green Lantern (2011)

Ryan Reynolds is the Green Lantern!

The mighty silverscreen comic book adaptation war, fought between DC and Marvel, rages on with the latest heavyweight to the arena, Green Lantern, seeing Ryan Reynolds take on the role of Hal Jordan. A cocky, almost reckless fighter pilot, Hal is recruited to the intergalactic peacekeeping force, The Green Lantern Corps. Having divided the universe into 3600 sectors, the Green Lanterns are tasked with each protecting their home sector using the harnessed power of ‘Will’.

When their greatest foe Parallax breaks free of his prison, he swears vengeance on the Corps and the Green Lantern who imprisoned him, the great Abin-Sur. When Abin-Sur’s ship crash-lands on Earth, the ring seeks out a human who is ‘without fear’, transporting Hal to the crash site and bestowing on him the power of the Green Lanterns through a mystical ring and green lantern.

As Hal begins to understand the magnitude of his task, he embarks on his training and is introduced to Abin-Sur’s grieving friend Sinestro, distinctly unimpressed with Hal’s abilities. His scathing review leads Hal to question the wisdom of being appointed as Earth’s sector guardian until he is called upon to protect his childhood sweetheart, and boss’ daughter, Carol Ferris.

Gradually his identity is revealed to his loved ones and Hal realises he is not the only human to be a part of the recent intergalactic events. Parallax’s ‘yellow power’ of fear is transported with Abin Sur and ultimately infects Hal’s boyhood acquaintance, and jealous recluse, Hector Hammond allowing him to wield unearthly powers to match Hal’s.

As Hector and Parallax’s powers grow, feeding on the fear of the humans, Hal fights to make a last ditch attempt at defeating Parallax to prevent him growing strong enough to destroy Earth and the Green Lanterns.

With most comic book adaptations fading into one another and disappointing the die-hard following the originals court, Green Lantern manages to take that extra step and be a fun and light-hearted comic book adaptation. This adaptation may still disappoint the comic book fans as the plot differs from the original story of Hal Jordan and the Green Lanterns, though for the film going public, it hits the figurative nail square on the head.

The subplots are typical of the genre, with the hero suffering from human fallibility as well as having emotional scars whilst the love interest with a complicated history is present, too. However, Blake Lively steps up to the plate and gives Reynolds’ Jordan a run for his money as ballsy siren Carol Ferris. Peter Sarsgaard impeccably portrays the jilted loner figure and Mark Strong turns in a solid performance as the leading Lantern Sinestro, spewing venom as a friend in mourning before appreciating the error of his preconceptions.

However, the star of the show is the leading man, Ryan Reynolds. His unique brand of comic timing and delivery of a humorous script sets Green Lantern apart as being an engaging adaptation. The presence of a humorous and charismatic leading man sets the likes of Downey Jr.’s charming Iron Man apart from Bale’s rigid Batman and Reynolds manages to place the character of Hal Jordan in the former category.

Although the climactic battle sequence seems rushed and a little too easy, the previous high octane action sequences and stunning visual effects more than compensate, helping Green Lantern set itself apart from the forgettable, dime-a-dozen comic book adaptations churned out by Tinsel Town.

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