Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


GREEN LANTERN (2011). Director: Martin Campbell.

"I've seen you naked. You think I wouldn't recognize you because your cheek bones are covered?" -- Carol Ferris. 

The super-hero Green Lantern of the "silver age" first appeared in comic books in the late 1950's. In this big-screen adaptation, somewhat flighty [pun intended] test pilot Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is chosen by a dying alien named Abin Sur (Temuera Morrison) to be his replacement in an Intergalactic policing force known as the Green Lantern Corps. Jordan not only has to prove to some skeptical colleagues, including the obnoxious drill instructor Kilowog [voice of Michael Clarke Duncan] and the slightly bitchy Sinestro (Mark Strong), that he has the right stuff, but also himself -- as he doesn't exactly see himself as someone "without fear." In the meantime, the alien blue-skinned Guardians, who formed the Corps, learn that one of their number has been mutated into an evil and monstrous being known as Parallax -- and it's pissed off and coming to Earth. Other characters include Hal's sort of girlfriend, Carol Ferris (sexy Blake Lively), the parrot-like corpsman Tomar-Re (voice of Geoffrey Rush), smarmy Senator Hammond (Tim Robbins), and his weird son Hector (Peter Sarsgaard), who is becoming mutated and dangerous himself after examining the body of Abin Sur. Green Lantern takes a while to get going, looking too much like a video game in the beginning, but once Jordan puts on the uniform it kicks into high gear and becomes quite exciting and entertaining. The cast is quite good, with Reynolds sheer perfection as our hero, although he gets a lot of competition from Strong as an impeccable Sinestro. Great scenic design. 68-year-old Campbell also directed the 2006 Casino Royale, the earlier Bond film Goldeneye, and Criminal Law, among many others. [Moral: You don't have to be a comparative kid to handle a trendy big-screen action flick.] NOTE: You can read more about the early comic book adventures of Green Lantern, Sinestro [originally a bad guy], Tomar-Re and the rest in The Silver Age of Comics.

Verdict: It's great fun watching GL do his "ring thing." ***.

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