Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

Green Lantern

{Green Lantern opens in Seattle on Friday, June 17 and is playing at the Metro, AMC Pacific Place, the Cinerama and Oak Tree Cinemas}

Even though I have a comic-nerdian background, I’m only slightly familiar with this particular superhero’s lore, and thus probably not qualified to judge whether Green Lantern does it justice or totally ruins it—that said, I found it to be pretty damn entertaining.

The whole thing reminded me of vintage Superman (as in Richard Donner’s 1978 version), with a lot of exposition at the beginning explaining the origin of the Green Lantern Corps, and a ton of space exploration with prettily colored stars and crystalline spaceships. With uh, much more advanced special effects and some pretty damn fantastic alien makeup.

Anyway, after a total Top Gun moment wherein Hal wrecks three very expensive flying machines, this grabby green energy finds him and transports him to the dying Abin Sur, who passes on the Green Lantern ring. A good portion of the movie after that is spent following Hal around while he figures out how to use it (hey wait a tic—these guys can make ANY DAMN THING they want with that green energy? How is that even fair?), and Sinestro scowling at him a lot while he explains that the power is wielded by your will, which honestly I got kind of bored with. Enter Peter Sarsgaard as Dr. Hector Hammond who saved the movie for me.

Sarsgaard goes for it with some serious gusto, including a receding hairline that makes his forehead look bigger than Texas and a wishy-washy attitude that brands him a total loser—even in his own father’s eyes. Then the poor bastard gets infected by the evil entity Parallax (voiced by Clancy Brown!!!), which causes his enormous forehead to get even bigger and imbues him with a lot more paranoia and some pretty scary powers. Man, does Sarsgaard work it in this role. He was my favorite damn part of the whole movie, in fact.

When its revealed that the actual fear-sucking-soul-devouring Parallax himself—who is now about half the size of the planet—is on his way to fill up on earthlings before he heads to the home of the Green Lantern Corps, everyone else is like, “Pshaw, humans – totally not worth saving”, leaving it to Hal to rescue the entire earth all by himself. Oh yeah, and there’s some kind of lesson about how your will is stronger than your fear in there, or something.

Obviously, it’s not too hard to figure the outcome of the whole thing, and I’m sure a lot of people will have a problem with chiseled (holycrap those abs) smirkboy Ryan Reynolds as the heroic Hal Jordan, but I had more of an issue with Blake Lively and her uncanny ability to nearly disappear from a scene when she turned sideways. Despite that and a few other wince-worthy moments (a Hot Wheels track? REALLY.), I actually enjoyed watching it.

Definitely worth the ticket price, although since the 3D worked more as an enhancement to the backgrounds and less as a “shoving stuff in-your-face” thing, you could probably safely skip the extra $$ and see a regular 2D screening.

Now, I’m counting on someone who IS a huge Green Lantern fanatic to come back here and tell me if they loved it or hated it—or both.