A Fast Forward Through Green Lantern’s Origin

“Green Lantern” isn’t a bad flick, it’s just one that suffers from Ryan Reynolds lack of range. Unable to play the Hal Jordan true comic fans desire to see, this version of the character comes across a little bit too much like Deadpool and not enough like the iconic one that continues to entertain readers to this day.

It doesn’t help that there’s a sword-dueling scene in the film either.

Definitely not the smartest move in film history, to say the very least.

It’s as if at this point in his career, Reynolds is only capable of playing the charismatic smart-ass. Those that saw his performance in the 2010 Sundance hit “Buried” might have thought otherwise, but by the end of the film, Reynolds resorts back to the style that has gotten him most of his opportunities in Hollywood.

At one point in the film, Reynolds says “Will is stronger than fear.”

Not necessarily. Rather than opting to stretch his style, Reynolds’ will doesn’t allow him to provide anything new here. It’s almost as if he’s scared to break the mold he’s forced himself into.

Looks like the yellow ring beat out the green one this time.

In spite of that, Reynolds’ performance isn’t horrible though. He’s just too reminiscent of the Kyle Rayner version of Green Lantern and not the more reserved and old school Hal Jordan. Had Reynolds played Rayner instead, his performance would have been more accessible.

As it stands now, Reynolds may not be the perfect choice for this role.

However, at the heart of “Green Lantern” is an adventure that simplifies the 50-year story and makes it enjoyable for the masses. Comic book fans may scoff at Reynolds’ performance, but ultimately he’s fun and daring enough in the role to attract a wide audience. Combine that with solid supporting performances from Peter Sarsgaard as one of Lantern’s enemies Hector Hammond and the beautiful Blake Lively and the film isn’t nearly as bad as it could have been.

Sarsgaard is scary and solid as Hammond, but his character is nearly as developed as it could be. The same thing goes for Lively, the love interest. Reynolds and her have undeniable chemistry, but with all the other things Reynolds’ character does during the film, their relationship isn’t developed the way it needs to be either.

As a result, the film’s continuous urge to push through story rather than develop hurts it more than anything else, including Reynolds’ performance.

It’s not all bad though. Mark Strong’s more than capable performance as Sinestro also makes the chances of seeing a sequel a very-likely one. His scenes sparkle at times and it’ll be fun to see what is eventually done with his character.

Overall, while the film hurts itself the most by speeding through the history of the series, it’s still enjoyable. While it’s definitely not “Batman Forever,” it’s not quite “Spider-Man 2” either though.

Like “Spider-Man 3,” this film suffers from too many things at once. If Jordan fought against Hammond alone, this could have been a solid origin flick. By having Jordan fight against Parallax [as well as the brooding conflict with Sinestro], the film doesn’t allow you to truly connect with the character and his powers. With such a huge back-story, the fear perhaps was that new fans might lose interest before any of the cool story developments take place. As a result, hardcore comic fans may not dig the fast-forward through the first 40 years of the series. Truth be told, the script alone of this film could have easily done well as the first two films in the series.

Nevertheless, new fans of the comic and youngsters will find something to dig here. With solid special effects, a fun script and a cool cast of characters, “Green Lantern” is far from the best super hero movie ever made, but ends up as a watchable flick.

About Patrick Hickey Jr. 10182 Articles
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Master Jedi and Grand Pooh-bah of ReviewFix.com and is the author of the book, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers," from leading academic and non-fiction publisher McFarland and Company. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Journalism Program at Kingsborough Community College and is a former News Editor at NBC Local Integrated Media and a National Video Games Writer at the late Examiner.com. He has also had articles and photos published in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Complex and The Syracuse Post-Standard. Love him. Read him.

1 Comment

  1. Nice review. That was my biggest fear when I heard that Ryan would play the role… that they would mold the character to Ryan’s strengths rather than forcing him to increase his range as an actor. He has the ability to do so, he was actually pretty impressive in ‘Buried’ and was able to hold my attention for an hour and a half without being his typical quippy, smart ass self. That is all the more impressive since it was pretty much him and a cell phone in a pine box.

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