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Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

The Green Lantern 3D

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4_Chicks_Small Judy Thorburn

Las Vegas Round The Clock -
Women's Film Critic Circle -
Nevada Film Critics Society -
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The Green Lantern 3D

This year's sexiest man alive (according to People Magazine), gets to show off his hot, sculptured body and have a super time playing a comic book superhero in the newly released summer blockbuster Green Lantern, based on the DC comic book character. I admit, I enjoyed eyeing Ryan Reynolds' sexy, fine toned abs. Moreover, I found the movie to be an exhilarating and fun experience and one of the best superhero flicks since the original Spiderman.

Ryan Reynolds plays Hal Jordan, a cocky test pilot following the career path of his late father (Jon Tenney, shown in flashbacks) who died in an accident after a test run. Hal was just kid when he witnessed the explosion of his dad's plane. Since then he has been obsessed with the memory and has issues, including disobeying orders that result in breaking the rules of engagement, destroying a plane and putting his life in danger. Hal also has a fear of commitment, which has affected the relationship with his pretty colleague/on and off girlfriend, Carol Ferris (Blake Lively, going from her usual blonde to brunette for this role), whose father (Jay O. Sanders) owns the aviation company Hal works.

So why would an extraterrestrial force choose Hal, of all people in the world, to become the next and only human Green Lantern? We are informed, “it never makes a mistake” and sees something in Hal that he doesn't know he has.

First, we are given a backstory of the Green Lantern. Thousands of years ago, a corp of 3600 intergalactic peacekeepers known as the Green Lanterns was formed from all parts of the universe to keep order and justice. Each of the warriors are given a green ring that grants them superpowers, channelled from the green power of Will, the strongest source of energy in the universe, to be used for good. Headquartered on the Planet Oa are of the guardians that oversee the Green Lanterns. One day, one of the guardians was seduced by the power of fear and therefore, imprisoned on the Planet Ryut. Named Parallax (voiced by Clancy Brown) he looks like a gigantuan multi legged spider engulfed in a grey cloud. Possessing the yellow power of fear, he has now escaped, killed four Lantern brothers and is out for revenge, declaring war on the planets and headed for earth, feeding on the fear of its victims.

Making it to our planet first is mortally wounded warrior Abin Sur (Teuera Morrison). He crash lands and is able to stay alive just in time to hand over his green ring to new recruit, a very reluctant Hal Jordan, who like I previously stated, has issues. He doesn't think he has the right stuff to take on the honor and responsibility that is required to be a Green Lantern. Like he has a choice! What he does like is the way he looks in his green, skin tight suit that looks like it was painted on (actually it was...thanks to CGI affects) and showcases every muscle of his body.

Before you know it, Hal is transported to the Planet Oa for the obligatory training sessions. There he is met by Tomar-re (voiced by Geoffrey Rush) a tall, slender, fish faced alien that shows him how to fly. That is followed by intense man on man combat training with the giant, rhino like Kilowog (Michael Clarke Duncan).  The Corps. Commander, Sinestro (Mark Strong), on the other hand, has little respect for Hal, since humans are considered inferior by the more highly evolved aliens.

Central to the story is the idea of will versus fear, or to put in another way, good versus evil. In order for Hal to become the superhero he is meant to be, he must overcome his fears by focusing so he can harness the green power of will and use the ring to create anything his mind imagines, as in a weapon or whatever else he deems necessary for his cause.

Meanwhile, the enemy is taking form in the body of nerdy biologist/scientist, Dr. Hector Hammond (an almost unrecognizable Peter Sarsgaard), son of a U.S. Senator (a miscast Tim Robbins) who sees him as a major disappointment. Again, some daddy issues! Hector has also being carrying a torch for Carol and is jealous of her relationship with Hal.

All this comes to a head after Hector is called in by a government agent (an underused Angela Bassett) to autopsy the body of Abin Sur. After touching the dead alien's skin, Hector becomes infected with Parallax's DNA and is transformed into a mind reading, grotesque, power hungry tool for Parallax to accomplish his goal.

It all leads up to the inevitable fight between the newly recruited Green Lantern and villain. Superhero versus powerful adversary. There is nothing new about that or the unfolding formula.

So what is it that kept me glued to the screen? Many elements. Director Martin Campbell (Casino Royale) moves the storyline at a steady pace, injecting just the right amount of humor and wit. The team of CGI artists have imagined and created an eye dazzling spectacle, and there are several thrilling action sequences.

Ryan Reynolds would not have been my choice as Green Lantern. But, I must say he surprised me, was convincing, and kept my interest. Okay, that hunky body surely helped.

All things considered, I was entertained. It is as simple as that. Green Lantern has everything fans could want from a comic book to screen adaptation. As I was leaving my preview screening, I was surrounded by people who had only positive feedback. My advice is to ignore the negative reviews and check it out for yourself.

At the end there is a teaser for a sequel to perk interest. I await the green light, er lantern, and look forward to another adventurous ride.

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