GREEN LANTERN Review

Never should have thought this might have the will to turn itself around from that initial instinct. Back in November when the first trailer appeared I had the feeling this just wasn't going to work. I didn't know much about the history of the Green Lantern and that first glimpse peaked little interest, if anything it made me wonder who's idea it was to make Ryan Reynolds a super hero and why in the world they might think that would be a good career move for him or how that would make their movie any more credible. Turns out Reynolds is probably the best thing about this computer animated mess of a movie. If not for his good natured approach to the role of Hal Jordan, a cocky test pilot with a soft spot for his long lost father who is given a magical ring by a dying alien, this movie might have actually been the worst attempt ever to bring a comic book hero to the big screen (here's lookin at you "Punisher: War Zone").

There is just not enough going on here to justify everything that seems to be happening. With all the exposition that we are dealt in the first ten minutes as well as everything from two villains (Peter Sarsgaard as big headed Hector Hammond and a puff of smoke called Paralax) not to mention the whole green lantern corps thing where there are thousands of chosen protectors who never get the time they deserve in this uneven story. Oh, and there's a girl, Blake Lively plays the heir to the company Hal flies for and also happens to be his biggest competition when it comes to maneuvering those jets and the closest thing he's ever had to a real relationship. I mean, I'm guessing that's what it was, the movie never spends enough time on any of its multiple story lines for the audience to ever become fully invested or involved in them thus, we feel nothing for these characters or their predicaments. And what the world are Tim Robbins and Angela Bassett doing here? Anyone?

"Green Lantern" does have its moments, as limited as they are. The scenes in which Hal Jordan discovers his destiny as a protector of the galaxy are nicely contrasted with the evolution of Hammond from meek college professor to evil scientist mode even if his appearance on the other side of the spectrum is funnier than anything else we've seen in theaters this summer. There is also Mark Strong, making a mean impression as Sinestro, the green lantern that allows a yearning for power to overtake his morals that made him a candidate for the job in the first place. Director Martin Campbell, or at least Warner Bros, were probably banking on this as the beginning of a series of films (stay after the credits for Sinistro's bid for the baddie in part 2) but with reviews as harsh as they've been, box office underwhelming and a general lack of quality to the film overall, I doubt if we'll be making another trip to outer space with Mr. Jordan, at least with Reynolds in the lead and Campbell behind the camera.

Though the Green Lantern is certainly one of the more difficult comics to adapt into a serious if not at least appealing film, but with such stiff competition from Marvel this summer with both "Thor" and "X-Men:First Class" already setting the bar pretty high this just looks like a joke. It is an extended Saturday morning cartoon, and a good one at that. Despite its budget and vision it feels strangely rushed, pieced together with no coherence or real substance but worst of all it isn't even as fun as it should be. It is pure summer sugar, a piece of eye candy that delights for too brief a moment and leaves you feeling underwhelmed by the time the credits begin to roll. Reynolds tries, but nothing else comes together, if only the Green Lantern might have taken a few cues from his fellow DC hero Batman, this movie could have really been something. Instead, it is a missed opportunity at its finest.