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Monday, 27 June 2011

Green Lantern

Superhero movies are like sharks – if they stop moving, they die. Ok, maybe not exactly like sharks. But in a movie like Green Lantern, if the audience is given too much time to realise quite how silly what they’re watching is, then they’ll give up.

Despite having fighting purple aliens, making giant fists out of magic rings and a phobia of the colour yellow, everything in Green Lantern feels flat.

An adaptation of the DC comic, Green Lantern is the story of jet fighter pilot Hal Jordan, who reluctantly takes the place of Earth's protector as part of the Green Lantern Corps, a team of intergalactic space cops.

After a good set up, Green Lantern seems like it has all the ingredients, but ultimately spends too much time faffing about with Jordan's dull love life and boring baddies.

Ryan Reynolds is likeable enough as the man in the horrible CGI green tights, but his slacker superhero seems as bored with the whole thing as we are. Basically Top Gun’s Maverick in Space, he’s no different than cinema's countless other lovable rogues who come good in the end.

The one thing that does set Green Lantern apart from say, Superman or Thor, is his power-ring's unique ability to create whatever objects he can imagine - a race car to rescue an out of control helicopter, water to soften the landing of a falling damsel in distress or a brick wall to hide behind. This means Green Lantern has to out think his enemies, rather than just BIFF POW his way out of danger.

But sequences like this, and Hal's Green Lantern training on their home planet, which should have been fun are cut short in favour of lengthy chats between his tough guy boss Sinestro and six funny blue people who sit on massive pillars.

Add to this a very ineffectual villain in Peter Sarsgaard's mutated mad scientist Hector Hammond, and you've got a bona fide snooze-fest.

Green Lantern always never rises above ordinary, and seems satisified with that, almost as if it’s bored with itself. It has the audience in its grasp, but never goes in for the kill.

And that's something you could never say about a shark.

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