Every year I think it's the Summer of the Superhero! A season where the cinemas are filled with a non-stop avalanche of superhero films. This year seems to be even worse than last. But they're cash cows, commanding the box office with the might the main characters possess. The latest is Green Lantern, which stars Ryan Reynolds in his THIRD attempt at playing a superhero (first was in Blade III, second was in Wolverine). Luckily, playing pilot Hal Jordan aka Green Lantern is more believable and enjoyable than any of his previous attempts.
Reynolds is joined by the stunningly gorgeous Blake Lively (The Town, Gossip Girl), Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes), Tim Robbins (Shawshank Redemption) and Peter Sarsgaard (An Education, Jarhead). Stealing the show, by far, is Sarsgaard who plays villain Hector Hammond. He is downright disturbing as the tortured genius that becomes more and more deformed as the film goes on and his screams of suffering cut right into my nerves like a knife. He is almost flawless as a villain for a superhero film. He's just over-the-top enough to be enjoyable but skilled enough to be menacing.
The director of Green Lantern is Martin Campbell who has a background in several James Bond films as well as the last Mel Gibson action film, Edge of Darkness. You can imagine that Green Lantern is quite a departure for him considering that most of it is very, very heavy in science fiction. This isn't the realistic superhero film like The Dark Knight or even the realistic fun superhero film like Iron Man. A lot of the movie takes place in space and there are more aliens in it than all of 2010's alien movies combined. That doesn't mean it's not good, but it does mean it's not for everyone.
I wonder if that's why every critic seems to be taking great pride and joy in crapping all over it. I'm not afraid to say that Green Lantern is a good film. I enjoyed it just as much as I enjoyed Thor, maybe even slightly more. It's bright, colorful and fun. Sure it has a lousy script with cheesy dialogue that makes us wonder if it was scripted by the scribes of a made-for-TV movie, but overall it delivers.
Another area that Green Lantern excels more than I thought it would is in the 3D FX. A pleasant surprise considering the fact that if you pay over $10 for a single ticket, I want to see some fun 3D surprises. Thor fell WAY flat in that department but Green Lantern is exciting and even gets you to sit back quickly in your seat from some of the FX.
Don't get me wrong...Green Lantern isn't Oscar material or even spectacular filmmaking. But is it fun? Yup. Will it excite you and make you laugh? Yes. Will you leave the theater feeling like you got your money's worth? I did. Maybe I enjoyed it so much because I had rock bottom expectations for it, but I feel bad there seems to be an unfounded vendetta among critics against Green Lantern. I can only hope that "by Green Lantern's light" it perseveres anyway.
Green Lantern (Rated PG-13)
Gavin Grade: B