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Green Lantern is a character that is published by DC Comics and is a member of the Justice League of America. The film that has recently been released is part of the ever growing trend that both Marvel and DC seem to be competing against each other with at the moment. This is a film that has been a long time in the making, since the less than expected returns of Superman Returns, DC has been somewhat cautious about releasing superhero films, with the Batman films being the exception to the rule given the high standard of the production. Green Lantern is an origin story that tells the tale of Hal Jordan becoming a super hero and is very close to the source material that the film is based on.
I was fascinated that Ryan Reynolds was given the lead in the film, he plays test pilot Hal Jordan, a brash and cocky pilot that knows no limits or fear in how to get a good result for himself rather than be a team player. This is shown in the film mainly in the early part of the film when the aerial dogfight scenes show Jordan make the sacrifice of his wingman to prove a point against two unmanned drones that are being tested by the company that Jordan works for called Ferris Industries. When Jordan is grabbed by a strange green energy and transported to a crash site, it is here that he inherits a green ring from an alien called Abin Sur, a Green Lantern who has just won a battle in space against a force called Parallax. He is dying and the last thing he has to do is pass the ring onto a person who can be his replacement in the Green Lantern Corp. The story proceeds further with Parallax growing inside Hector Hammond as he was the person who performed the autopsy on Abin Sur and became infected.
Ryan Reynolds plays Hal Jordan and for the most part plays the part well, he looks good in the costume and thankfully plays the role as straight rather than the comedy that it could have been done as, he has to make a decision with the situation that he is in and this is a heavy part of the story.
Co-starring with Reynolds is a strong cast including Blake Lively playing the strong character of Carol Ferris, she is the owner of Ferris Industries. Although she is the love interest in the film it isn't as straight forward as that and while watching the film you tend to see that the characters don't actually stand out at all which given the cast is actually a shame. Peter Sarsgaard plays Hector Hammond who has a friendship with Jordan and Ferris which started at school. Hammond's father is played by Tim Robbins and the character of his son is deemed to be the failure as he is continuously compared to the successful Jordan and Ferris. This is the catalyst for Hammond's further demise as the film goes on.
You also get to see the Green Lantern Corp in full force, as Jordan has been recruited and so has to be trained. In these scenes Jordan meets Sinestro, who is a character that is totally underused in the film. Played by British actor Mark Strong, Sinestro is a character that is pure military in nature and it is his decisions that the Guardians of Oa who oversee the Corp, agree to. He doesn't like Jordan at all at first as Jordan has to earn the trust of the entire Corp. The film has a number of issues, firstly the film is slow in peace and although the story is good overall, the film takes too many deviations and so the focus is lost. There are a number of scenes that are important in the film such as the opening scenes with Jordan and his Father at the airfield, however the issues are with pacing and the film doesn't move as smoothly as it should and comes across as more soap opera than anything else. Reynolds should feel that he has been let down by the script as it is quite boring in nature and generally feels flat throughout, it just lacks the dimensional feel that Iron Man or even the original Superman film had. The scenes that involve Green Lantern could have been mega, but due to a combination of poor scripting and special effects that look rather cheap which I think is because they are in a light green colour gives the film a rather disappointing feel to it considering the power that has been started the ring that Jordan has been given actually has.
Extras wise there is a plethora of feasts to watch that cover the production of the film that shows the CGI based costume being created and the featurettes detailing how aspects of the film had to be included and why some were altered and also the legacy of Green Lantern. In all there are a good dozen to watch and in total last well over 90 minutes. Visually the Blu-ray version is crisp and as you would expect from the format and every scene is presented in glorious high definition as is the sound, but the soundtrack seems to have been drowned out or not used in the right places. The Extended Cut of the film is included with an extra 14 minutes and I think this is the reason as to why the film was bogged down, however the original release was what I watched originally and you can see my opinion from previous paragraphs.
Overall, it's an okay film but it could have been better as it does look more like a TV movie than a cinema epic. I find it hard to believe that director Martin Campbell has delivered a film like this given his previous successes such as Goldeneye and Zorro. However the main problem here is the script, however it does tend to look better on a second screening and so maybe the film will improve in time.. I hope so as the character deserves more than this given the cast and the budget that has been spent making this film. I hope there is a sequel as it is needed to ensure the name of Green Lantern isn't damaged to the extent that it'll be another 10 years before another project is attempted.