Dir. Martin Campbell. USA. 2011.

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As a rule, comic books have generated great heroes of cinema, but this DC comic book hero doesn’t seem to have as much of a swing-in with the audience as his predecessors had.  For one he doesn’t have the same purchase among audiences because of his low-rank in the popularity stakes amongst comic book heroes. Secondly the colour green, in comic lore, has  more often than not, far too much negativity associated with it, to suddenly be convincing as a positive super-power influence.

In this mythology Green is associated with the power of will and yellow, with that of fear. ‘Green Lantern’s’ origin  is from cosmically generated powers conferred on an intergalactic peacekeeping force enveloped in mystical green rings that makes them near invincible. At least that is what we understand from the dreary prologue that marks this movie’s  unflattering  beginning. A member of the lantern corps is critically injured while battling a super-foe and so it becomes necessary for a replacement - Hal Jordon (an amiable Ryan Reynolds) - a hot shot, reckless test pilot to be trained into becoming one of the chosen 3600 lanterns. Their job is to save the Lantern home planet and Earth from the extremist threat put-on by a super-powerful foe Sinestro (Mark Strong) as well as a geeky scientist Hector Hammond (Peter  Sarsgaard doing his best to stay in character) with  telekinetic powers.

The film was fashioned on a poorly written script that is terribly clichéd in construction. The set-up is as cheesy and unexciting as can be with Hal being troubled by his father’s death and therefore being motivated to enjoy the full benefits of the Lantern powers. The motivation  appears quite shaky and coupled with  the uneven  run of special effects , action set-pieces and editing that fails to generate the requisite excitement or energy, the narrative appears unimaginative - failing in effect to bring out the full potential of this superhero story!

Rating:   *  *

Johnson Thomas

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