‘Lantern’ lights up the big screen

July 22, 2011 Review Print Print
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One of DC Comics’ long-standing hits has finally found its way into theaters.

“Green Lantern,” the Hal Jordan version, exploded onto screens nationwide June 17.

Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is a test pilot whose skill and daring keep him employed despite his smart mouth and lackadaisical attitude toward anything on the ground.

But Hal’s life is turned upside down when an alien policeman crash lands on Earth and the cop’s sentient weapon chooses Hal as its next wielder.

 

If this sounds corny, that’s probably because it’s based on a comic book series from 1940.

But the new movie pulls it off, managing to invoke suspension of disbelief, if not making it actually plausible.

Reynolds usually fast-talking, sarcastic on-screen persona is toned down, allowing his considerable acting skills a day in the light.

Of course, it helps that he spends half the movie in a skin suit and isn’t exactly hard on the eyes.

Speaking of his skin suit, the special effects are good, but not as good as one would hope to find in a movie about a magic ring that makes shapes out of green energy.

The effects are clean and smooth but a bit over stylized. It feels like the movie is attempting to create the epic sweep of a graphic novel.

Unfortunately, in the process, they forgot to create the sweep and majesty of a movie, leaving us with a flashy and occasionally garish special effects buffet.

The plot might leave Green Lantern fans wanting, as well. While combining and changing elements of several storylines and several incarnations of the character, the hodge-podge story works. It just may leave die-hard fans screaming, “That’s not how it goes!”

One of the true good points of this film, though, is the rating.

With a mild PG-13 (there are some images that may scare small kids) this movie is good for pretty much the entire family.

Overall, “Green Lantern” is a really good movie.

It’s not the best use of graphics and effects, it doesn’t have the most shocking or twisted plot, and the story line at times seems a little rushed.

But the actors’ skill keep everything on track, and give us a story about a man growing up and overcoming his own doubts and fears to become the hero he needs to be.

And, that warmth and clarity makes this movie incredibly fun and well worth watching.

Rating: B+

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