Cinema Review: Green Lantern Simon Fitzjohn June 18, 2011 Movie Reviews 1744 As a critic, there is nothing quite like settling down to take in a film with the scent of a turkey already stinging the nostrils. Armed with an online barrage of abuse, the Green Lantern lands at cinemas this week, hoping to extend the superhero success streak after the positive response afforded Thor earlier this summer. But, according to my writing chums, this DC Comics slice of big-budget mayhem is a complete waste of space, with one even dubbing it ‘worst movie of the year’. Now I am not about to tell you the Ryan Reynolds-starrer is the best thing since sliced bread, but it is certainly not that bad. Hampered by the fact that very few people have heard of Green Lantern, let alone know anything about the character, this was always going to have problems. So this two-hour opus seeks to cram as much in as possible, which does often lead to things appearing rushed. Reynolds appears as Hal Jordan, a US air force pilot who is transported to the scene of a crash site by a strange green orb. The crash site you see is of a spacecraft containing one of the Green Lantern Corps, a sort of intergalactic police force who keep everything in check. With the pilot dying, he entrusts the power of the ring/lantern to Jordan, who must become Earth’s version of the Lantern in order to defend it from the ominous threat of Parallax, a sort of evil smog cloud enveloping everything in its path. What follows is a mix of space-based sci-fi as Jordan receives his training with the Corp, some awkward earth-bound romance with a dishwater-dull Blake Lively, and some crowbarred-in threat from Peter Sarsgaard as mad scientist Hector Hammond. The main problem with the film is that it is trying to appeal to too many demographics and will therefore probably end up thrilling none. As stated earlier, the scenes at the home of the Lanterns are all very enjoyable, with some excellent effects work and some neat 3D. But things really grind to a halt every time we head back to earth, with a hotch-potch of scenes rushing the story along with no real sense of purpose. Lively for example goes from aggressive to dismissive to loving in the space of minutes regarding her on-off relationship with Jordan, and appearances by the likes of Tim Robbins and Angela Bassett are so brief you wonder why they bothered. The ‘why’ is probably because the chief (or supposed) villain in the piece, Parallax, has no personality whatsoever and therefore is a bit of a hard sell. On the plus side Reynolds is perfectly fine, providing the odd flicker of humour to balance out the role. But there is far too much cheese on display to ever please the fanboys, and that is always going to leave a superhero movie struggling to make an impact. The Green Lantern may be a somewhat-entertaining diversion, but it is hard to see this ever flying as a franchise.