This review first appeared in the Sunday Star Times, 19th June 2011
Another super-hero movie! Based on a comic book! I know what you’re thinking – we’ve seen it all before.
And you’d be right. While Green Lantern impresses in the CGI stakes, creating a spectacular and sometimes ooh-aah galaxy in which to set the story, it doesn’t give us anything new or interesting. With opening music reminiscent of (but not as good as) Tron, it initially treads a similar narrative as orphaned dare-devil pilot, Hal Jordan, is forced to shed a life of irresponsibility to take up the mantle of saving the world.
Temuera Morrison’s purple prose in Kiwi accent is cut mercifully short, and the ring chooses a bewildered Hal as the first ever human in the Green Lantern Corps (that’s Guardians of the Universe to you and me). Ryan Reynolds is a handsome, approachable chap, but he can’t carry a film of quite this weight, commercial or thematic (there is a lot of actually very pertinent talk about the power of “will versus fear”, but these concepts are drowned out by the clichéd script), and the story has nowhere to go that hasn’t been traversed by a million comics before it.
The highlight is the brilliant Peter Sarsgaard as embittered Hector Hammond, a shy scientist who becomes a puppet for the main baddie, Parallax, (effectively an evil head with mouldy dreadlocks. Frightening, though, when let loose in the streets of New York). All in all it’s a bit silly, but nice to look at.