Blu-Ray Review: Ryan Reynolds Can’t Save Goofy ‘Green Lantern’

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CHICAGO – After the abysmal theatrical reviews, I thought it would be easier to completely dismiss “Green Lantern,” the least-acclaimed and least-profitable of the Summer 2011 Superhero Quartet (which also included “X-Men: First Class,” “Thor,” and “Captain America: The First Avenger” — and I would rank them in that order in terms of quality with “GL” bringing up the rear). The fact is that this is not an “Elektra” or “Ghost Rider”-level mess. There are things about Martin Campbell’s film that work, especially in the first half, but a goofy story and aesthetic ultimately sink the film to cartoonish levels.

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 2.5/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 2.5/5.0

So extremely heavy on special effects that it probably should qualify for Best Animated Film, especially in the second half, “Green Lantern” is going to look SO dated in just a few years. It is such an over-the-top CGI fest that all character and all interest in the plot starts to fade as more and more visual effects litter the screen to the point where none of it has any weight at all any more. The cast is literally buried under increasing levels of makeup and excessively cartoonish special effects to the point that viewers no longer care what the hell is going on.

Green Lantern was released on Blu-ray and DVD on October 14th, 2011
Green Lantern was released on Blu-ray and DVD on October 14th, 2011
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

For its first act, “Green Lantern” actually ain’t bad. Reynolds is, once again, an engaging lead as Hal Jordan, a reckless pilot who seems to have learned his life philosophies from Maverick from “Top Gun.” Constantly pushing his own limits has created enemies although also certainly made him a bit more intriguing to the lovely Carol (Blake Lively) and his inner foundation of goodness has made him an interstellar choice for the Green Lantern Corps. When one of the members of this universal group of guardians dies, he crashes on Earth and his ring “finds” Hal, choosing him to be the next Green Lantern. Of course, being tasked with keeping peace around the universe is a daunting profession but Hal proves that he’s up for the challenge.

Green Lantern was released on Blu-ray and DVD on October 14th, 2011
Green Lantern was released on Blu-ray and DVD on October 14th, 2011
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

With a screenplay by four people (Greg Berlanti & Michael Green & Marc Guggenheim and Michael Goldberg), “Green Lantern” is just a mess tonally. It never comes together in the way that great Marvel movies need to in order to be entertaining. We root for Hal due to the strength of Reynolds’ charisma and Lively is more likable than usual but the villains are silly (especially a miscast Peter Sarsgaard) and the plot gets less interesting as the movie goes along. Martin Campbell is adept at action but not as much so once the film gets heavy with CGI. He works better with humans than effects. There’s also the nagging feeling (as with three of the four movies in this summer’s superhero quartet) that this is more of a set-up for a franchise than a film that could ever stand on its own. Of course, now it seems unlikely that a franchise will ever come.

The Blu-ray release of “Green Lantern” includes a healthy dose of bonus material (including a 9-minute longer version of the film) along with the great “Maximum Movie Mode,” a feature that allows behind-the-scenes material to play picture-in-picture as the film unfolds. Deleted scenes, a digital comic, and much more — this is great Blu-ray for a not-so-great movie.

Special Features:
o Maximum Movie Mode: Green Lantern’s Light
o The Universe According To Green Lantern
o Justice League #1 Digital Comic
o Deleted Scenes and More
o Digital Copy Of Feature Film

“Green Lantern” stars Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong, Tim Robbins, and Angela Bassett. It was directed by Martin Campbell. It was released on Blu-ray and DVD on October 14th, 2011.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

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