The Green Lantern

21 06 2011


Unfortunately, some superheroes just aren’t as exciting as others.

The Green Lantern is one of those boring superheroes.

A cocky, young fighter pilot named Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is suddenly visited by a purple alien, who gives him a ring. This ring grants him special powers, including the ability to…well, do just about anything.


Super serious

He can fly through space, hit people with superhuman force, and conjure up any weapon. Basically, he controls the physical world, and its energy.

The ring also gives Hal membership into an ancient order called the Green Lanterns. Each Lantern (of which there are approximately 3,600) is given a sector of the universe which they must protect. After the last Lantern died protecting Earth, the job now passes to Hal, who was chosen for his bravery, honesty, and willpower.

The Lantern’s superpowers are fun to watch – in one fight, he creates a spring underneath a gasoline tanker, which flings it towards his enemy. Then, he produces an anti-aircraft gun and shoots it out of the sky, creating a massive explosion. It’s unfortunate that action sequences like this are few and far between.

With such insane superpowers, Hal Jordan also needs an insane enemy. He soon learns of an evil entity called Parallax, who recently escaped from his intergalactic imprisonment to terrorize the Lanterns. As far as superhero villains go, Parallax is extremely cool looking.


What are you looking at?

His body is basically a cloud of filthy smog. Upon closer inspection, the cloud appears to be swarming with dead souls, and other unsavoury objects. Atop this massive cloud sits his face, which is some evil cross between a dragon and an alien.

Unfortunately, The Green Lantern just doesn’t have enough content to differentiate itself from other superhero movies. At times, it feels like it is leaning too heavily upon special effects, when we’d actually rather watch character development, or a properly developed romantic subplot.

When the plot finally concluded, I was left feeling disengaged and bored: what I saw was great eye-candy, but I’m not sure I actually cared about any of it.

The good part is that Ryan Reynolds does everything he’s supposed to do. The role doesn’t require a lot of depth, but he represents his cocky character well. Although some of his jokes fell flat, he did inject some needed humour into the movie.


"This man has something wrong with his head."

The problem to me is the outlandishness of the Green Lantern’s superpowers. While Spiderman and The Hulk are incredibly powerful, they nonetheless have clearly defined abilities – and limits. As far as I can see, the Green Lantern’s only limit is that he needs to recharge every so often.

With that kind of superpower, I expected a more creative plot, and a greater number of insane fight sequences. Without those two elements, it’s difficult to pick out The Green Lantern from the sea of superhero movies to which we’ve been treated this year.