Lights out for the Green Lantern

Look, it’s almost as big as Kate Middleton’s!

GREEN LANTERN: 12A

RUNNING TIME: Too long

DIRECTOR: Martin Campbell
 
STARRING: Ryan Reynolds, Mark Strong, Peter Sarsgaard, Blake Lively

FIRSTLY: a superhero that carries a lantern around like a handbag is never going to be particularly intimidating, is it?

Add to that the fact he has to re-charge his ring like a cheap mobile phone and his part-time powers just come off a bit, dare I say it, lame.

Secondly: while we’re on a film-bashing trajectory, ‘star’ of the show, Ryan Reynolds, does little to improve matters, indeed fulfilling the description made by someone far funnier than I, that he is in fact the human equivalent of low-fat spread.  Bland, weak and more than a little dull.

In fairness to Reynolds, who can’t be blamed for the fact that the Green Lantern story is the diet version of a fizzy drink, the final nail in an already half-buried coffin is the fact that the power bestowed upon our Superhero Lite is the unspeakably crap possession of ‘will’.

Talk about positive thinking. Our superhero may as well sit at home swatting up on self-help books, learning the art of zen and chanting ‘if one believes he can save the world, one can.’

The film, which recounts the DC Comics ‘silver age’ era of the Green Lantern series, sees Reynolds’ character, Hal Jordan, appointed to replace dying alien warrior, Abin Sur, who has been defeated by Parallax, a former Green Lantern guardian who has succumbed to the power of ‘fear’.

Seeing himself unfit to take the role and duly told so by his mentor Sinestro, Hal quits and returns to Earth, although he is allowed to keep the power ring and lantern battery, so it wasn’t an entirely wasted journey into outer space.

But with the help of love interest, Carol, (Blake Lively), Hal comes to terms with his self worth and realises until he accepts his own downfalls, namely his aversion to any sort of responsibility (a pre-requisite for the job, you’d imagine), his standard of crime-fighting is never going to be up to scratch.

So, he looks inside himself and thinks really really really hard about his immature behaviour and lo and behold, he throws off his man-child cloak and saves the world. 

I did not see that coming.

On a more positive note, the one decent line in the whole cheesy script comes from Lively, who asks the question which has burned in me like an irritating fire since I learnt to read comic books: “why do you think I can’t recognise you just because I can’t see your cheek bones?” 

Quite! I’m all for suspension of disbelief but a strip of material across the eyes does not a mask make.

Sadly, while it did warm me to hear someone point out something I’ve wondered for years, it doesn’t negate the fact that against the slew of comic book classics currently setting the silver screen ablaze, Green Lantern is a weak tribute to far more exciting contemporaries.

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