“Green Lantern,” written by Greg Berlanti, Michael Green, Marc Guggenheim and Michael Goldenberg, directed by Martin Campbell, 105 minutes.
In Martin Campbell’s comic book adaptation of “Green Lantern,” it quickly becomes clear that none of the cast or crew had any interest in making a good film. Instead, their eyes were filled with the dollar signs of a potential comic book franchise, impairing their ability to see that “Green Lantern” really sucks.
The movie stars Ryan Reynolds, whose performance as the brash fighter pilot Hal Jordan is as forced and tepid as the actor has ever been. Reynolds never feels natural as Hal Jordan, which is one of his best qualities as an actor.
Hal’s life is altered by Abin Sur (Temuera Morrison), a dying member of the Green Lantern Corps, which, for brevity’s sake, is an intergalactic police force. His ship crashes on Earth in an attempt to escape a fear-creating mass named Parallax, and with his last breath he asks the ring to choose a successor. It chooses Hal Jordan.
With the ring comes the power to fly, the ability to materialize constructs from his mind, and a skin-tight suit made from energy. Don’t get too excited. The special effects are just as unimaginative as the rest of the movie.
Meanwhile, back at the lab, Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard, you’re better than this) analyzes Sur’s corpse at the government’s request. Hammond gets pricked on the finger by a lingering Parallax particle, and begins to develop telekinetic powers. He uses them for evil, of course.
With Parallax on its way to devour the planet, the jealous, newly-sired villain Hector Hammond holds Jordan’s love interest, Carol Ferris (Blake Lively), captive. It’s up to Hal Jordan to save the world and the love his life. It doesn’t get any more unoriginal than that.
When assigning the blame for this disaster, the largest portion belongs to “Green Lantern’s” four screenwriters: Greg Berlanti, Michael Green, Marc Guggenheim and Michael Goldenberg. Combined, these guys have the writing prowess of a 10-year-old, creating an incomprehensibly boring Saturday morning cartoon with a blockbuster budget.
I haven’t seen this many one-liners fall flat since “Batman & Robin.” While we’re on the subject, who even writes one-liners anymore? These guys, apparently. That director Martin Campbell would willingly work from a screenplay so riddled with cliches is shocking.
How Warner Bros. wrangled together a cast featuring Reynolds, Sarsgaard, Tim Robbins, Mark Strong and Angela Bassett for a movie that is so empty is beyond me. It’s disheartening, really, to see such carelessness in film-making.
It takes a great first installment to create a lucrative film franchise adapted from a comic book. “Spider-Man,” “Batman Begins,” “Iron Man.” They all have something in common. They’re good.
With a start like this, we can only hope to never see “Green Lantern 2.”
Well, Warner Bros., I guess it’s time to start working on that inevitable reboot.
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