Green Lantern FILM REVIEW

Join The Green Party

Release Date: 17 June
12A * 114 minutes
: Warner Bros Entertainment
: Martin Campbell
: Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong, Temuera Morrison

He’s fought bad guys across the galaxy, saved the world umpteen times, and even came back from the dead. And now, finally, Hal Jordan has got his own film. Hurrah!

For those new to Green Lantern, Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is a wily test pilot who loses his job after blowing a big contract for his boss and ex-squeeze Carol Ferris (Blake Lively). The Green Lanterns are a kind of intergalactic police force who wield the green energy of willpower via their power rings. When one of their number, Abin Sur (Temuera Morrison) crashes into Earth after an encounter with Parallax, an ancient entity that feeds on fear, his ring chooses Jordan as the ailing alien’s replacement. With Parallax threatening Earth, Hal must conquer his fears and embrace his role as Green Lantern before it’s too late.

A lively mix of universe-spanning space opera, Top Gun-style fighter-pilot fun and all-action super-heroics, Green Lantern is largely a success, although it has its flaws. The script never really sizzles, the dialogue is bland in places, and Reynolds’s one-liners don’t zing the way they should. Some of the supporting cast are underused, especially Tim Robbins as the pompous senator, and Ferris devolves from kick-ass fighter ace at the start to simpering love interest by the end.

But fear not, Green Lantern is without doubt an enjoyable experience. For the record, the suit looks fantastic, and Ryan Reynolds is a charismatic Hal Jordan. As one of the few actors who could make a handsome superhero who always gets the girl likeable, he’s superb casting. The villains of the piece are a mixed bag: Parallax is an amorphous CGI cloud, but Peter Sarsgaard is fantastic as scientist Hector Hammond – left an ET Elephant Man by a brush with Parallax – who almost overshadows the lead.

The space sequences make good use of 3D, and Oa, the Green Lantern home world, has a satisfying solidity to it. It’s spectacular in scope, and yet the action sequences are kept tightly under control, complementing the plot rather than dominating proceedings. While it doesn’t reach the heady heights of Iron Man, it’s nevertheless a solid big screen introduction to Hal Jordan and the rest of his green team, and a worthy addition to DC’s movie universe.

Rob Power