Friday, June 17, 2011

Movie Review: Green Lantern

Human + Ring + Lantern = Superhero

I am not much of a comics fan but I love watching movies based on comic books. With films, I don’t have to buy several print issues just to find out the ending. Instead, I can just sit back and watch the story unfold and be assured that there would be a conclusion after a couple of hours.

Much of what I know about Green Lantern was what I saw in the trailer. Unlike my husband and several male friends who have been reading comic books for years, you could say I went to the press preview uninitiated and simply anticipating seeing a good movie. I wasn’t disappointed. I found Green Lantern awesome!

Green Lantern, the movie, is based upon characters that appear in comic books published by DC Comics. Martin Campbell directs from the screenplay written by Greg Berlanti, Michael Green, Marc Guggenheim, and Michael Goldenberg. Upon further research, I found out that the character goes back over 70 years. It first appeared in All-American Comics in 1940 and evolved over time.

The story starts with a narration that tells about the vastness of the universe and how it has been protected by an elite and powerful force for centuries. These warriors, 3600 of them, are called the Green Lantern Corps. They are tasked to maintain intergalactic order and are overseen by an ancient group of immortals called the Guardians. Each Green Lantern wears a ring that enables him to create anything his mind can imagine.

Shortly after a new enemy emerges threatening to destroy the balance of power in the Universe, a new Green Lantern was chosen. Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds), the first human ever selected to join the Corps, is a daring and exceptional test pilot who fails to impress his fellow green-costumed comrades.

Even on Earth, Hal is seen as an irresponsible and unreliable guy by his friends and family. However, Hal’s humanity may just be the key to save the universe from the evil Parallax if he could learn to master his new powers and conquer his fears in time.

Ryan Reynolds is able to smoothly pull off the part of Hal Jordan. He is inordinately good-looking, is very charming, has a superhero’s physique, and can be very funny! The punch lines in the movie really had many of us laughing during all the right moments.

Blake Lively, who plays Carol Ferris, Hal’s childhood friend, is quite eye-catching as well. She effectively portrays the pilot-turned-businesswoman who exudes confidence and is far from being the usual damsel-in-distress female lead.

Peter Sarsgaard plays Hector, also a childhood friend of both Hal and Carol. I think he was rightly cast as the miserable but brilliant professor with an unpleasant relationship with his father. Sarsgaard is so effective playing his role, many will find themselves hating and pitying him at the same time.

The film also stars Mark Strong (as Sinestro), Angela Bassett (as Dr. Amanda Waller) and Tim Robins (as Senator Hammond). It features the voice talents of Geoffrey Rush (as Tomar-Re) and Michael Clarke Duncan (as Kilowog).

"In brightest day, in darkest night
No evil shall escape my sight
Let those who worship evil's might
Beware my power - Green Lantern's light!"

Aside from the action scenes and sci-fi theme, the humorous and romantic elements (should I still say that Ryan Reynolds is swoon-worthy?) will make Green Lantern very appealing to women too. Although this is a great movie to watch this coming Father’s Day, I would guarantee that not only dads and their sons would enjoy watching it.

Prepare to be amazed at all the movie magic that today’s filmmaking technology accomplished to bring to the big screen. The production team did create fantastic details and incredible special effects that successfully enabled the story to come alive in a vibrant and thrilling way.

What makes this superhero story very likable is that the main character has a lot of flaws, very typical in humans, which makes him very relatable and yet can still inspire adulation because he gets to travel all over the universe and have adventures with infinite possibilities. In a way, Hal Jordan epitomizes what a lot of people wish for: to have the courage to stand up and fight for something and find a hero inside themselves in the process.

Green Lantern will leave everyone with the thought that we are only limited by what we can imagine. In my book, that is definitely good advice.

*Green Lantern, a Warner Bros. film release, is now showing in all theaters nationwide

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