The entire first hour of this film is about earthling Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds). Hal is a slacker that could be great if only he would stop acting like a pre-adolescent. He lives his life in regret as does his ex-girlfriend and co-pilot Carol Ferris (Blake Lively). They both work for a major defense corporation as test pilots. The corporation is bolstered and heavily influenced by Senator Hammond (Tim Robbins). Shortly after taking the corporation’s latest innovation to the brink of destruction (by flying at too high an altitude) we discover that Hal is likely to be fired both for recklessness and for failing to abide by the rules of engagement.
Shortly thereafter, a legendary alien that is humanesque, except for its massive cranium, crashes to earth so that his green ring and its recharger, the green lantern, may find its rightful wearer/protector. Apparently, there is an expanding threat (sort of like the blob) in the universe; a creature known as Parallax, Miralax, Dulcolax, or just plain ex-lax, who can keep these sobriquets straight? Parallax absorbs peoples skulls by virtue of causing them to fear for their lives which makes their essences absorbable. Ladies and gentlemen, Scotty don’t.
The ring chooses Hal Jordan who becomes a great warrior, no thanks to the other Green Lanterns who shun him and leave his planet to be executed by Blob-olax. Meanwhile, Carol supports him with hollow and meaningless words and maybe a hand-hold in there somewhere. It turns out the senator’s son Hector (Peter Sarsgaard) has been infected by the infamous yellow energy, a.k.a. fear. Naturally, every super hero needs a nemesis, and voila we have a terrifying biology teacher with an enormous skull full of bologna.
All sarcasm aside, my criticism of Green Lantern is best unveiled by deconstructing its parts. Blake Lively is possibly the worst actress I have ever had the displeasure of critiquing. She contributes absolutely nothing to Green Lantern save a pretty face (if she is your cup of Earl Gray or chamomile). I had high expectations (perhaps literally) for Ryan Reynolds. I enjoyed his earlier romantic comedy films (Buying the Cow for example) and his recent choice to make a one-man movie (Buried) showed me that he is willing to take risks in order to be multitalented. Well, this particular risk backfired with an explosion. The dialogue is more salient for what is absent than for what is said. There is no continuity between the onscreen happenings and the words spoken. Lively and Reynolds are mismatched from the beginning. She is incapable of demonstrating emotion and he relies too much on his old immature, “hey look at me I’m drunk and make sarcastic lispy jokes” routine. Even the special effects are few and far between and they look faker than a pair of Hollywood boobs (breasts, not studio executives). There was so much raw potential for the Green Lantern brand until this director and these actors intervened and destroyed it. I hope there will be a reset button hit in 4-5 years rather than a pathetic sequel attempt. This reminds me of the first Incredible Hulk with Eric Bana and Superman Returns with Brandon Routh, especially in that it won’t return. Reynolds needs to move on to something he can handle, and Lively is a tsunami of suckitude. Put her on a magazine cover with Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and please shut her up.
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