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Friday, June 17, 2011

Green Lantern Movie Review -- Imagination in Action!

Potato On the Go:

As far as I know, after Superman and Batman (and Robin) there has been no prominent DC superhero yet that made it to the big screen in recent years.  So when I learned that Green Lantern is joining the big league and making a giant leap to the movies, I can't help but get thrilled and excited about it.

And the long wait is over!  Through Warner Bros. Philippines, Green Lantern is finally soaring high into theaters on June 16!

Directed by Matin Campbell, Green Lantern narrates the story of the first ever human selected to be part of the Green Lantern Corps, Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds). The Green Lantern Corps is a small but powerful force that has existed for centuries to protect peace and justice. A brotherhood of warriors sworn to keep intergalactic order, each Green Lantern wears a ring that grants him superpowers. But when a new enemy called Parallax threatens to destroy the balance of power in the Universe, their fate and the fate of Earth lie in the hands of their newest recruit Hal.

Hal is a gifted and cocky test pilot, but the Green Lanterns have little respect for humans, who have never harnessed the infinite powers of the ring before. But Hal is clearly the missing piece to the puzzle, and along with his determination and will power, he has one thing no member of the Corps has ever had: humanity. With the encouragement of fellow pilot and childhood sweetheart Carol Ferris (Blake Lively), if Hal can quickly master his new powers and find the courage to overcome his fears, he may prove to be not only the key to defeating Parallax… but he will become the greatest Green Lantern of all.

Green Lantern is an amazing visual experience!  The 3D technology made Green Lantern's visually complicated super powers look real and possible.  From the film's OBB (opening billboard) where the stylized logos of Warner Bros and DC were shown, up to the visual narration of the origins of the Green Lantern Corps' power and the eventual creation of their arch nemesis Parallax, I was already caught in awe!  The special visual effects to create the space setting, alien life form, space ships, the Green Lantern power which includes the spectacular flying scenes was really magnanimous!  Kids and the kids at heart will truly enjoy the imagination in action packed in the Green Lantern movie.

I was also caught in surprise with the attack to Abin Sur (Temuerra Morison), the original owner of the Green Lantern ring of Hal Jordan.  It was just the beginning of the film but the suspense in this part, with Parallax showing his monstrous strength, awakened the audience.  With the tension created by the scene, many of us moved in surprise.  Hal's transformation to Green Lantern was also a fantastic part of the movie as it built up the interest of the audience in getting to know the origins of the power.   It's such a superb visual journey.  The stunts in the victory party of the company where Hal Jordan works for is also another highlight in the film.  I think this is the best scene where Green Lantern was able to demonstrate his strength and amazing gift.

Side by side the special visual effects, there is another crowd drawing factor, especially for the ladies.  He is no less than Green Lantern himself, Ryan Reynolds.  Once known as the sexiest man alive, Ryan Reynolds gave a handsome interpretation to the Green Lantern character making girls giggle in almost the entire movie.  But I think that the required characterization for Hal and Green Lantern was effectively portrayed by Reynolds.  Peter Sarsgaard also gave a standout performance by portraying the extremely insecure scientist Dr. Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard) who eventually turned into a super villain.  If Reynolds is the eye candy for the girls, Blake Lively as Carrol Ferris is the counterpart for the male fans.  She played the usual superhero girlfriend but her body and face are enough addition to the appeal of the movie.  Mark Strong effectively portrayed his role as Sinestro who injected mystery in the story.

Cinematography worked best in flight scenes, both of Green Lantern and the aircrafts, and in the world outside of Earth.  Scoring matched the dynamism of the special visual effects while set design, make-up, costume and props delivered what is expected from a movie like Green Lantern.

Another thing that surprised me is the funny way how Green Lantern did not hide his identity as a superhero which is unusual for this kind of movie.  It was such a funny and unique revelation.  And I personally like and welcome it!  

Story wise, Green Lantern remained almost faithful to its original story, making its loyal fans and the young audience satisfied and happy.  And as what DC characters is known for, the movie is not too dark helping it keep its GP rating and allowing kids to enjoy the film.   It uses the tried and tested superhero plot where an unlikely character is bestowed with great power to champion the good and become the hero needed by the people.  So for me, the cheesy lines and motherhood statements and declarations are tolerable as it's a fit to the film's target audience.

The story talks about how fear caused the darkness in the universe and how courage can make a difference.  The screenplay though lacked in sustaining the excitement of the film.  Although the movie had a spectacular start and a giant conclusion, the middle of the film took a while to take off as it slowly dissected the ordeals of the main character in overcoming his fear and facing his responsibilities as Green Lantern.  There were snippets of actions that teased the audience to looking for more in the movie.  But I personally felt they weren't enough and am still hungry for more.  The much awaited conclusion, as Green Lantern faced his formidable and powerful opponent, which several Green Lanterns failed to beat, was magnificent but quite short.  It is expected that Green Lantern will rise above the rest and do something extraordinary to beat his enormous opponent, but I somehow looked for a special thing or a compelling action he did in able to complete his task.  I really wished that it could have been longer.

Another thing I want to point out is the overlooking of Hal's nephew who initially was planted at the beginning of the film to show the emotional weakness and aspirations of our hero.  The message was played off but the messenger (the kid nephew) did not come back. 

Well, our "wanting for more" perhaps is what the producers expected to achieve as this one is just the beginning of Green Lantern.  The bonus scene at the end of the CBB somehow tells what can we expect for the film's sequel.  And from what I heard, Ryan Reynolds will soon shoot Green Lantern 2.

In general, Green Lantern is an amazing entertainment treat!   For me, watching GL (Green Lantern acronym used in Justice League), is a perfect relaxation tool and stress buster.  The things I pointed out were just builds but when you watch this, I suggest that you park your analytical mind, and fly high with the green hero.  This film is just right for those who like DC, popcorn movies and superhero flicks like me, and for the whole family and the children and the children at heart. 

From a scale of 1 to 10 claps, I'm giving Green Lantern an awesome and bright 7!  From Warner Bros, Green Lantern is now showing in theaters near you.  By the way, it's better to see and experience it in 3D!  =)

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