Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
“Green Lantern” is, sadly, like a lot of its genre counterparts.
Superhero flicks are being churned out faster than offspring from the womb of Octomom these days. Apart from a few true gems, they tend to be hollow, lifeless affairs, the product of an era overwrought by two-dimensional storytelling, computer-generated environments and pretty faces devoid of much thespian talent.
“Green Screen” – err, I mean “Green Lantern” – is more of the same.
“Green Lantern” chronicles the rise of Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds), a maverick pilot, who is chosen to become a member of the Green Lanterns – an intergalactic coalition that fights to maintain peace in the universe – following the death of another.
When a monster called Parallax begins preying on fear throughout the cosmos, the Green Lanterns must stop it and Dr. Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard), who has stumbled upon its power, before it comes after them, Earth, and Hal’s love interest, Carol Ferris (Blake Lively).
“Green Lantern” suffers from the same symptoms that have plagued many of its fellow cinematic superhero ilk: it’s void of any sense of significance. Instead, “Green Lantern” is a soulless and unsatisfying 114 minutes of cinema wholly dominated by tiresome exposition and cheap popcorn thrills.
The film does show promise, like in its almost-rousing third act in which the visually impressive (and downright terrifying) Parallax wreaks havoc on an unsuspecting city. However, once it finally seems as though “Green Lantern” finds its feet as a piece of harmless, summer fun, the joy is over and the credits begin to roll.
I don’t ask for much when it comes to tentpole summer releases other than pure, unadulterated entertainment value. I don’t expect every superhero film to carry the same kind of narrative and allegorical weight as “The Dark Knight” or “Watchmen,” but if it’s going to be entirely superficial, at least don’t make it two-plus acts of coma-inducing dénouement.
Director Michael Campbell – who helmed two widely loved Bond films, “GoldenEye” and “Casino Royale” – deserves much of the blame. His direction plods, skips mischievously around any semblance of character development and is inert and plastic.
Even the CGI – and it was disappointingly abundant – was lackluster, an admonishment unforgivable when much of the film takes place in outer space. If I have to say “‘Thor’ did it better,” something is clearly amiss.
Even more egregious is the fact that Reynolds’ Green Lantern suit is entirely CG, a decision I am yet to fully comprehend the merits of.
If “Green Lantern” can be praised for anything, however, it’s Blake Lively … and not because of her acting, but because she’s eye candy. In fact, the cast’s performances are subpar all around, even with the inclusion of the once-mighty Tim Robbins. Shame, because there are flashes of wit and charisma from Reynolds, but they quickly dissipate as the film jolts away to more throw-away silliness.
In quite possibly the most rousing moment of the film, a follow-up to “Green Lantern” is teased during the end credits. Sadly, you have to wade through two hours of sheer boredom and lifelessness to get to it.
Even so, why bother being excited? By that time, “Green Lantern” will likely have you green in the face.
Verdict: 1.5 stars (out of 5)