- Running time:
- 114 minutes
- Ryan Reynolds -
- Hal Jordan/Green Lantern
- Blake Lively -
- Carol Ferris
- Peter Sarsgaard -
- Hector Hammond
- Mark Strong -
- Tim Robbins -
- Senator Hammond
Cocky test pilot Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) talks a big game but has never fully overcome the trauma of losing his father at a young age. Hal’s childhood sweetheart Carol Ferris (Blake Lively) is now his boss, and their nerdy acquaintance Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard) has become a scientist and shut-in. All three of their lives change forever when an alien crash lands on Earth and selects Hal as his successor in the Green Lantern Corps, an intergalactic peace-keeping squad that offers great power and, yes, even greater responsibility.
The buzz: One of the few iconic comic book properties untapped by Hollywood, Green Lantern debuted in 1940 but hasn’t hit movie screens until now. That’s no doubt due to the amount of outer space action and legions of alien life forms any proper adaptation requires—nothing modern day special effects technology and Hollywood’s current superhero frenzy can’t overcome. Tasked with bringing Hal Jordan to the screen is director Martin Campbell, whose action-heavy credentials span the intensity of “Casino Royale” to the lighter touch of “The Mask of Zorro.” He’s also been behind bombs like “Beyond Borders” and the “Zorro” sequel.
The verdict: Comic book fans have always endured knocks that superhero stories are just for kids or grown-ups suffering from arrested development. “Green Lantern” won’t help. Pitched almost exclusively at the sensibilities of boys aged 8-14, “Lantern” is the most cartoonish superhero movie since Marvel’s two tries with “Fantastic Four.” It’s also quite possibly the first blockbuster-hopeful to take more cues from the extravagantly empty CGI worlds of the “Star Wars” prequels than the gold standard originals. Everything from interplanetary action to Hal’s skintight Lantern-suit is rendered by lavish, inescapably obvious CGI, which tries but fails to dress up a by-the-numbers origin story (credited to no less than four screenwriters). With Oscar-caliber actors Tim Robbins and Angela Bassett wasted in throwaway roles, nearly all the film’s hints of humanity come courtesy of Reynolds, whose signature snarkiness provides a release from the otherwise earnest heroics. The significant screen time spent on Hal and Carol’s repartee-heavy romance proves less successful, especially since the 23-year-old Lively never seems credible as a childhood sweetheart of 34-year-old Reynolds (or a contemporary of 40-year-old Sarsgaard). Questionable judgment calls like that don’t help a movie that already makes this summer’s vastly superior fantasy adventure “Thor” look like a model of realism. “Green Lantern” is big and loud and moves at a brisk pace, but it’s also the season’s noisiest reminder yet that the amount of money thrown at the screen isn’t nearly as important as the quality of the story being told.
Did you know? Looking for a silver lining to the disappointment? It could’ve been worse… One previous plan to bring “Green Lantern” to the screen was to turn it into a comedy starring Jack Black.
“Green Lantern” is also playing in 2D. Find local showtimes here.
Follow Metromix's Geoff Berkshire on Twitter: @geoffberkshire
Movie theaters and showtimes for Green Lantern 3D in Detroit.
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