Friday, June 17, 2011

Marvel Comics

So there are these aliens, you see, who have divided the universe into 3,000 or so sectors and have chosen one being from each planet - someone absolutely fearless - to wear a green ring that brings superpowers and helps the group maintain peace and order.

On Earth, that person is Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds), a hot-shot fighter-jet pilot who is given his ring by a dying alien who crash-lands on our planet. The ring comes with a lantern that is used to charge it when its batteries run low. The lantern kind of resembles a funky bong, and if you were to make use of one before seeing "Green Lantern," the film would be a lot more fun.

Whereas Marvel Comics has an endless supply of well-known superheroes for movie adaptations (Spider-Man, Iron Man, The Hulk, Captain America, Thor, etc.), its chief rival DC Comics only has two true icons: Superman and Batman. After them, you're down to Wonder Woman and The Flash and, yes, the Green Lantern, whose only superpower is a ring that allows him to create anything he can think of - a car, a hammer, an anvil - out of green light.

What the ring cannot do, alas, is create a good movie. "Green Lantern," which is credited to four screenwriters and was directed by the erratic Martin Campbell ("Casino Royale," "Edge of Darkness," "Vertical Limit"), feels like the ultimate cut-and-paste job designed to appeal to every possible viewer.

Funny, likable Hal is always cracking wise until he has to get serious and save the world. Fellow jet pilot Carol ("Gossip Girl's" Blake Lively) provides the requisite love interest. Scientist Hector (Peter Sarsgaard) and his disapproving senator father (Tim Robbins) give the story some drama and pathos to balance Hal's happy-go-lucky demeanor. He remains remarkably unfazed even when the aliens (led by Mark Strong) draft him to their far-flung headquarters, a journey that provides an opportunity for loads of CGI effects.



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