January. A time to catch up on all the movies you didn’t get around to watching last year. First up, a movie adaptation of the popular DC Comic series Green Lantern. Perhaps my blu-ray player was trying to warn me, because I’m all for the advancement of modern technology, but my copy of Martin Campbell’s Green Lantern took an eternity to load up. So either its time I made an upgrade or my blu-ray player has developed a conscience - either that or a very sick sense of humour.
I’m not going to waste my time on the plot. It’s a superhero origin story that sticks firmly to the template set by every other superhero origin story, though to be fair, they didn’t have to douse themselves in the colour green quite so often. Ryan Reynolds plays Hal ‘Asshole’ Jordan, a brash, cocky fighter pilot destined for greater things. He lives in the shadow of his father, which goes without saying, so quite why we have to witness the same tragic events twice in the opening act is beyond me. After a series of unconvincing special effects - it is a recurring nightmare throughout - we cut to the chase. Green Lanterns look ridiculous. Thank God for Ryan Reynolds then, because even though the effects sequences lack heart and soul, Reynolds brings with him a welcome humanity found lacking in the rest of the picture. And he’s funny when he plays a dick. That’s always a good sign.
Tim Robbins is wasted, Peter Sarsgaard is better in human form and Mark strong breeds simmering menace, but it’s the special effects that take precedence in the final act and that’s where Green Lantern loses its way. At least the superhero costume looks realistic, in the sense that it makes Superman’s secret identity appear foolproof. Thank God for Ryan Reynolds then. He adopts a husky superhero voice to keep the world at bay, and much like Lois Lane before her, there’s only one girl in the world capable of seeing beyond the mask. That’s right folks; you can’t have a superhero movie unless the guy gets the girl. And saves the world and stuff - that’s kind of important too. At least his love interest (a spunky Blake Lively) realises the truth, in one of the films many smartly scripted exchanges.
Green Lantern was always going to be a tough sell because it aint easy being green. A film that relies on special effects to bring it to life will always have to try that little bit harder, and Green Lantern loses its way every time they take over. Thank God for Ryan Reynolds then. The final battle feels rushed despite the fact events drag on, and Green Lantern for all its will, gets lost in translation. Not as bad as you might have heard then, there’s a small chance we have Ryan Reynolds to thank for that. And God. Obviously. AW