When Hollywood says it's going green June 17th, it doesn't mean eco-friendly, it means box-office friendly. And that's what I expect "Green Lantern" to be opening weekend, very box office friendly to kids, families, and comic book lovers. Let the green dollars flow!
Green Lantern 101 For Comic Newbies
"Green Latern" (Ryan Reynolds) as most know is based on the popular character from DC Comics. The reason there's no "The" with the title is because there's more than one of them. What? Okay, for the comic book/superhero-challenged like me, allow me to explain. According to the original story which is some 70 years old, there's an intergalactic Green Lantern Corp. that exists to protect the universe from evil.
The Corp is supervised by these "big thinkers" called the Guardians on planet Oa. I say big thinkers 'cause their heads are HUGE, and because they instilled into the Lanterns the notion that anything they imagine can become real based on sheer power of will and fearlessness. That's "big thinking"! That said, there's plenty of Laws of Attraction-esque messaging and Shakespearean themes throughout the film for adults wise enough to recognize them.
As the story goes, Hal Jordan (Reynolds) is the first of six Green Lanterns from Earth, and for the purposes of this movie the most popular.
Cocky, sexy test pilot, Hal Jordan, is chosen--literally picked up off the street--to be a Green Lantern. By whom or what is hard to explain, so put your imaginary hat on! He's chosen by a "force of will" to be "knighted" by Abin Sur, a dying Green Lantern that fell to Earth in battle with the evil force, Parallax. With Hal's new distinction comes a pretty green ring, a lantern, and an oath.
In the tradition of "The Greatest American Hero" (I just aged myself), Hal has plenty of trial and error in trying to figure out what it all means. It's not until he's brought to Oa that the mystery is solved. And there is where he gets his tailored made, green power suit and his first lessons in what it really means to be a Green Lantern.
On Oa too is Hal's introduction to nemesis, Parallax. Feeding on the fear of everything in its path, Parallax is out to destroy the cosmos, including Oa and Earth. But does the inexperienced human Green Lantern have what it takes to stop it? His fellow Lanterns aren't so confident especially, "Mega-Mind" look-like, Sinestro (Mark Strong), and Kilowog (Michael Clark Duncan). He's the weakest link to them.
Adding to the story are Hal's love interest, childhood boo and test pilot, Carol Ferris (Blake Lively), and scientist turned villain, Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard). Carol sees underneath all Hal's swagger is a man who's afraid of failure. To get him to see his own value, she challenges him to "man up" and take his new Green Lantern membership seriously.
On the outside looking in is "hater", Hector! He wants Carol for himself and to have Hal's life and looks. Instead, he's a boring, overlooked xenobiology professor, until he's given the opportunity to examine the alien body of Abin Sur, thanks to dear old influential dad (Tim Robbins--who by the way looks young enough to be his brother). When Hector gets infected by some evil Parallax virus during his examination, he can now attract everyone's attention with his new evil powers, but it damn sure doesn't make him attractive! Under Parallax's influence, he breaks Hell lose for Hal and Carol!
Green Thumbs Up or Down?
Having little knowledge and no true childhood allegiance to any comic strip/tv hero with the exceptions of Wonder Woman and Almighty Isis, I give "Green Lantern" three (3) green rings out of five (5)! Why? It's pretty formulaic as these movies go, but some things I questioned. Even with my imagination hat on tight, how does a scientist that took the necessary precautions NOT to come in direct contact with an alien body, still get infected with an alien virus? We should have seen that happen or it had it explained!
And lastly, if the Green Lantern Corp.'s purpose is protect the universe from evil and "keep intergalactic order", why did none of them HELP their new frat bro out when Earth was in danger? Hal was WILLING to help them fight Parallax in their time of need!
So should you spend your greens to support this green movie? Sure, overall IT WAS ENTERTAINING. I liked the costumes, special effects, make up, and the chemistry between the lead characters. And that's what you're paying to see and experience. So in essence, "Green Lantern" lives up to its underlying theme, "Anything I see in my mind, I can create!" And trust, all the Oscar winners and nominees in front of and behind the scenes of this film have already thought of its box office successes.
That said, like them, I imagine YOU, reader, leaving me a comment on this post! If I think it, I can manifest it! So go ahead, conquer fear like Green Lantern, Hal, and let me know your thoughts and expectations.
Friday, June 17, 2011