‘Lantern’ doesn’t shine
June 26, 2011
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Superheroes have been no strangers to the silver screen, and it seems each new installment of a comic book-turned-movie has higher standards to live up to. While this summer’s “Green Lantern” has had to compete with both “X-Men: First Class” and “Thor” at the box office, it still lives up to most expectations of comic book geeks and summer movie fans alike.
The movie follows the story of cocky test pilot Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds), who is chosen by a powerful ring when its previous owner is killed. The ring, charged by its accompanying lantern, gives Hal the power to create anything with his mind. As one of Hal’s trainers explains, “The ring turns thought into reality. The only limits are what you can imagine.”
But owning the ring also means being a member of the Green Lantern Corps., a group of intergalactic beings tasked with keeping peace within the universe. This becomes Hal’s newest responsibility.
The greatest aspect of the movie is its ability to make fun of itself. One of the characters acknowledges that “The superhero always gets the girl,” and no one is fooled by Hal’s skimpy mask attempting to hide his identity. Hal’s love interest Carol Ferris (Blake Lively) even cries out incredulously that she can’t believe he thought no one would recognize him just because they couldn’t see his cheekbones.
Just like any other superhero movie, the beginning is slow in order to establish background. However, the plot never ceases to captivate and provides only what fans need to know to fully understand the story. The visuals are always stunning and the special effects are spectacular.
However, the movie is not without its faults. The villain in the story, Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard), is underwhelming in comparison to villains such as those from “Batman” or “Spiderman.” And the addition of a second monster, known as Parallax, only causes the plot to become disjointed and places less importance on each individual antagonist.
The romance between Hal and Carol also seems forced and irrelevant, but provides some good damsel-in-distress moments necessary to any hero’s rise to power.
Overall, the movie is worth watching just for the visually striking scenes that take place on the planet Oa, where the Green Lantern Corps. meets and trains. The space setting of “Green Lantern,” and Hal’s more intellectual powers, also make this movie lighter than most others of its kind. It is an entertaining movie that stays true to its comic book roots.