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This Week's Movie ReviewGreen Lantern
Two and a half stars

POSTED BY MICHAEL A. SMITH, June 16, 2011    Share

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively and Peter Sarsgaard
Directed by: Martin Campbell
Rated: PG 13
Running time: 1 hour 54 mins
Warner Brothers

“In brightest day, in blackest night, No evil shall escape my sight.
Let those who worship evil’s might, Beware my power… Green Lantern’s light!“

Pretty cool stuff, huh? Ever since I can remember I’ve been a fan of DC Comics’ Green Lantern. I devoured the comics and followed Hal Jordan every time he showed up on the “Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure” in the late 1960s. Yes kids, before Hannah Montana, iCarly and God knows what else is substituting for entertainment, Saturday morning cartoons used to kick ass. All of this being said, I looked forward to the new big screen adventures of one of my favorites. And I greet it with mixed feelings.

“Out there” in our galaxy a strange creature going by the cool name Parallax is visiting other planets and using the yellow tinged power known to us as fear as a weapon. Within six months he’s wiped out a few civilizations as well as (4) Green Lanterns, heroes of all shapes and sizes who have been named by the Guardian’s to protect their world. When their greatest warrior, Abin Sur (Temuera Morrison) is badly injured, he heads to the nearest inhabited planet to find a worthy replacement. And that planet is Earth.

Hal Jordan (Reynolds) is a test pilot. One of the best in the business. As a young man he used to watch his father, Martin (Jon Tenney), take off in secret weapons only to enjoy watching him land. Sadly, dad flew one mission too many and now all Hal has of him is an old flight jacket and a photo. When Hal is hired to test out a new aircraft his memories of his father almost cause him to crash. After a bad moment like that what else could happen?

Faithful to the comics almost to its detriment, “Green Lantern” is a two hour film that would have been much better at ninety minutes. In between some great special effects set pieces is a plodding story that seems to head in one direction then another. In a nutshell, all of the remaining Green Lanterns (Lant-i?) must band together, led by Sinestro (Mark Strong), in a final battle to save the galaxy. The battles are top notch, with director Campbell, a veteran of two James Bond features, doing what he does best. Yet the film also has several uncharacteristic slow spots, as if it was a comic book with page after page of unnecessary dialogue. On the plus side, Reynolds is perfectly cast as Hal Jordan and his alter ego. He tackles the role earnestly and, most importantly, seriously. Lively is fine as Jordan’s fellow test pilot/love interest Carol Ferris as is Sarsgaard as scientist Hector Hammond, a character who, due to his interaction with some alien life forms begins to resemble Elephant Man John Merrick with a little bit of Stephen Hawking thrown in.

Visual effects are well done but please, can we stop with the useless converted 3-D? It’s not the first time that Warner Brothers has tried to make a few bucks, including last year’s disappointing “Clash of the Titans” and “Legend of the Guardians.” I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they figure it out by the time the new Harry Potter film shows up next month.

This Week's Movie Review of "Green Lantern" is ©2011 by Mike Smith. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2011 by Nolan B. Canova.

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