Green Lantern

***

“I, Hal Jordan, do pledge allegiance to a lantern that I got from a dying purple alien in a swamp.”

The Berggren Bottom Line: This movie is the kind of ‘green’ movement I’m in to. No touchy-feely tree-hugging-hybrid-Subaru-driving here. Just muscle car and jet fighter energy vanquishing an easy-to-hate mega villain.

When I was growing up, Green Lantern was my second favorite superhero. I’m not sure what the Lantern had that I liked that made him second only to Superman, but I even learned how to fold a dollar bill into a ring that resembled his own. Now, I’m not totally versed in GL mythology. I only had about eight comic books that I amassed between 11 and 12, but then it happened. I started to like girls, so my Green Lantern interest faded. But I’ve always liked the Green Lantern.

Ironically, the Green Lantern movie had many reminders of the original Superman movie circa 1978 starring Christopher Reeve. I’m not sure if that was purposeful, but it worked. In the opening scenes, like Superman, Green Lantern opens up with visuals of outer space accompanied by narration. This was tactful and smart. It teed up the whole story for the novice and Dragon Con nerd fan alike. In addition, much of the background music had echoes of the Superman soundtrack. It was eerie—but fine by me.

Green Lantern was intense. The superhero genre lives somewhere between sci-fi and fantasy, and Lantern leaned toward the sci-fi. It even had slight hints of horror in how it depicted evil. It maintained vivid images of a dark and demonic-feeling throughout. In fact, I’d compare the darkness in it to that of the first Hellboy movie. The villain literally sucked the souls out of its victims feeding on their fear. And that’s what the story centered around.

So how do you kill a villain that feeds off fear? Don’t be afraid of course! Easy enough, right? That’s what Hal Jordan (Green Lantern) works to figure out: How to be fear free. Not an easy personal journey when dealing with personal demons as well. Defeating fear on the inside was the key to beating it on the outside.

All this combined in an effort to break away from your run-of-the-mill superhero movie. For me, it did it well enough to justify the price of theater admission. My main criticism is the pace. It started with action right away, but beyond that, it struggled to maintain a balance between sporadic action and drawn out character development. This drained the momentum. Sometimes it dragged on trying to develop too much, instead of giving a little more much-needed action.

I thought Ryan Reynolds did well as Green Lantern. I don’t know why, but there is something about him that I have liked since Blade 3. He’s rash, volatile, opinionated, and sarcastic, which made for a great Green Lantern discovering his responsibility. Although this is exactly the type of American attitude that my enlightened European family members love to hate, in the end those obnoxious Americans always save the day, right? So who can complain?

Lastly, I saw it in 3D. I’m not partial to 3D. About half way through my eyes start to get irritated. I personally don’t think it’s the future in movies. I just think it’s a quick, easy way for moviemakers to demand $12 a ticket. But the 3D didn’t bother me this time. It was fine and seemed to fit, like with Avatar. Oh yeah, don’t forget to stay past the credits for some sequel set-up.

So, in the words of my son who turned to me as soon Green Lantern ended, “That was awesome and loud!”

Parents: Like I said, this movie was intense. My son will be 9 in a month and I wondered if he would sleep okay that night. He did, but just a word of warning. There’s not too much bad language. Just really strong images of evil.


One Response to “Green Lantern”

  1. Movie Review: Green Lantern « Jason Berggren Says:

    […] I write film reviews for iRATEfilms.com. Here is an excerpt from my review for Green Lantern: […]