Film Review: Green Lantern

Green Lantern is not a superb film, or a particularly memorable one. Despite its patchiness however, Martin Campbell’s film is sufficiently diverting.

Test pilot Hal Jordan is a talented but irresponsible guy. When an alien crash lands on Earth, he chooses Hal as his successor, leaving him with a magical ring. The ring bestows Hal with supernatural powers, as well as membership of an intergalactic force responsible for safeguarding the universe…

The main problem with Green Lantern is the narrative weirdly paced. The film seems to jump rather than flow, and the storyline simply is not strong enough. The odd plotting of the film is suggestive of significant trimming. The climax does not have a sufficient build up, so it feels as if it begins too quickly. Additionally, endings come too abruptly for some characters, whether that be death or merely disappearance from the rest of the film (Hal’s friend Thomas for example). Numerous characters are introduced, yet fail to be included later in the film. Thus, it appears as if scenes have been removed, or that the script changed dramatically during filming.

The writing is lacking at times. Green Lantern follows a well-tread arc; those familiar with comic book movies are unlikely to be surprised by the chain of events. There is also a lack of development of any of the characters besides the protagonist. Carol Ferris, for example, has a significant role in proceedings but lacks any real personality. The dialogue is not as hokey as it could have been, and there are some lightly amusing moments. These indicate that the film does not take itself too seriously at least.

To say Green Lantern is an effects-laden picture would be an understatement. The effects are decent overall, but there is an over-reliance on CGI. The use of 3D is inoffensive, even if it isn’t alluring. Martin Campbell’s direction is good, and the action sequences offer a sense of spectacle. The cinematography and the art direction are both commendable.

Ryan Reynolds’ performance is one of the highlights of the film. He makes the movie a lot more watchable with his usual brand of charm. Blake Lively is decent (and very attractive) as Carol Ferris, although she has little to do. Peter Sarsgaard is good but underused, as is Angela Bassett.

Given its flaws, it is likely that some critics will maul Green Lantern. There are several problems with the film, but it is entertaining enough, and far from the worst superhero movie ever made.