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This movie has drawn mixed reviews, but I really enjoyed watching it last night, as did my both of my children. This is not serious drama, nor should you be expecting academy award winning acting. But it is good comic book fun to enjoy with the family, and has excellent 3D segments as well.
This incarnation of Green Lantern features Hal Jordan - the real Green Lantern in my opinion, and is loosely based on the Geoff Johns graphic novels - in fact you'll even see a short ad for them at the end of the film. For those unfamiliar with the comic book heroes, the Green Lanterns are an intergalactic peace keeping force dedicating to protecting the universe from evil. Their powers come from green rings which allow their will to become manifest - they can create anything they can imagine. No human has ever been chosen for this role before - humans not being the most peaceful species to begin with - or the most evolved in the opinion of many existing lanterns. But when Abin Sur crash lands on the earth, his ring chooses his replacement, bringing test pilot Hal Jordan to him, just before his death.
I'm sure you all know the old comic book line "with great power comes great responsibility". The problem, responsibility has never been Hal Jordan's strong suit. Lanterns are meant to be without fear too, but to be human is to know fear. Hal is not fearless, and does not really seem like lantern material, but the ring has chosen him for a reason, and his human frailties may become his strong point as well as he learns to accept and overcome his fear. Let's hope so - because the fate of the earth,and perhaps even the universe hangs in the balance in classic good vs evil battle between Hal Jordan and Parallax, an all powerful evil being that is powered by fear.
The plot is somewhat thin, many aspects are quite predictable, and there are of course a few comic book cliches. I have to admit laughing at a cheap line where Hal's former love interest recognises him, despite the mask, making light of the time honoured comic book tradition that a bit of cloth over the the eyes, or taking off a pair of glasses renders the hero completely unrecognisable to even his nearest and dearest. Ryan Reynolds just doesn't match my image of Hal Jordan. It is somewhat like getting Robin Williams to play James Bond to me, but I did get used to it. The acting is acceptable - but there are no spectacular performances here - then again they didn't have much to work with. But I was not expecting a stunning dramatic performance, I only wanted an action filled light hearted film to enjoy with my children, and this did fit the bill.
My youngest wasn't too sure about watching this. At age 4, he prefers all animated films. I wasn't sure if he would stay interested in this or not myself, but the scenes which feature human interaction are kept to a minimum. Every time his interest started to wane the film would switch back to CGI sections, with superheroes and fascinating aliens and his interest would be captured again. There was plenty of action and adventure to keep both of my sons interested, and enough special effects for me to really enjoy the film as well.
It is the special effects that make this film - especially the 3D. Without 3D this film would be watchable - but I don't think it would be worth paying for. Even the 3-d on this drew mixed ratings though, and that is because some of the 3D is really excellent, but other parts are quite lacklustre. This is because some scenes, like humans talking in an office just don't really lend themselves well to the 3D medium. You can still see depth, but nothing exciting. Other scenes which are largely computer generated imagery can be developed wonderfully for 3D, so we have some brilliant scenes in space, and even on earth with cgi battles, but we also have some rather dull earth scenes, where you can easily just remove the glasses. My sons absolutely loved one scene where Hal Jordan creates hot wheels style track and car, and the end of the move was literally filled with oohs and ahhs, but I can see some of this imagery could growing if watching this without
I bought this in 3D bluray. This came with 2 additional discs, in addition to the 3D Bluray. The first of these a theatrical release of the movie on dvd in standard format, and the second is the extended version. I really can not see watching this without the 3D if you have a choice, so I have not, and will not be using either of these discs. There is also the option to download a digital copy of this to a phone or tablet free of charge. I have not done this yet, but may do so, when the children get their tablets for Christmas. The digital copy is not 3D but it might be nice to watch in the car or away from home. There are some special features on the disc - character bios, galleries, featurettes and picture in picture commentaries, but I never watch any of these - I bought this for the movie only. I ended up paying over the odds for this at £22 as Amazon had not been able to fulfil my earlier order and I wanted this for my sons birthday ( and then he took a month to get around to watching it). Prices have gone up since though, and new copies will cost £26 or more, and used copies form Amazon Marketplace run roughly £20. Although new copies are hard to find on their own, several retailers, including Tesco and Amazon are offering this in a triple pack at roughly £37 bundled with Clash Of The Titans and Journey 2 , but this is currently pre order only. It does seem the best value for money though.
If I were reviewing the movie in a standard format, I think 3 stars would be quite generous, but in 3D, and taken as a family or child's movie, I do feel this earns a full a five stars. I don't even begrudge the fact that I paid over £20 for this. I expect this will be enjoyed many more times, and it did make for a wonderful movie night. If you will be watching this without, I would think of this more as a 4 star film and that only because of the 3D. As an adult who loved Geoff Johns graphic novel of Green Lantern, this just isn't as good as the book.