"In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight..." A motto to live by, and in the case of the summer blockbuster Green Lantern something that the producers and directors endeavored to bring to the big screen. They did not spare any expense, and gave the impression that they went over every detail of the movie with a fine tined comb to make sure everything was "perfect".
Before I begin the synopsis of Green Lantern, I must confess I am not a fan boy. I like the character, but do not read the comics and my history with the plot development is limited. That being said, I was able to look at this movie with little bias or expectations.
Green Lantern begins with a brief history of what the Green Lantern Corp is, their mission and the source of their power. After this, the history lesson turns to talking about Parallax, a fear based villain that was captured by the great Green Lantern known as Abin Sur of sector 2814. Then the movie flashes to present day, where Parallax is able to break free of his prison and start reeking havoc on the universe. After six months, Parallax manages to find and attack the mighty Abin Sur, hoping to take revenge on him for the imprisonment Parallax suffered. He managed to mortally wound Abin Sur, but Abin Sur escapes to earth and commands his ring to find a replacement.
Enter Hal Jordan, played by Ryan Reynolds, a hotshot test pilot for Ferris Aviation. After getting a brief history of Hal, and proof that he is insane and "fearless", he is brought before Abin Sur and is given the ring. Hal manages to charge the ring and is whisked to Oa to begin his training. While there, he meets Tomar-Re and Kilowog and begins to learn about the powers and responsibility of being a Green Lantern. After a while, he encounters Sinestro, who begins to truly test Jordan. Through this testing, Jordan feels that he is fearful and unworthy to be a Green Lantern and returns to Earth. As this is going on, crypto zoologist Hector Hammond is summoned by a government agency to autopsy the great Abin Sur. While doing this, he is infected with the fear energy of Parallax, from Abin Sur's wound. This infection begins changing him and giving him powers.
Hammond begins using these powers to try and harm his father by crashing his helicopter at a Ferris Aviation party. He almost succeeds, but Jordan decides that he has to save the innocent and summons his lantern power to stop the helicopter and protect his love interest Carol Ferris, played by Blake Lively. Soon after this, Hammond once again goes after his father; and once again Jordan attempts to stop him. However, this time Hammond succeeds and in the resulting battle both men learn that Parallax is on his way to destroy Earth.
Flash back to Oa, where the guardians begin telling Sinestro the history of Parallax and how he used to be a guardian before he was corrupted by the power of fear. Of course, Sinestro doesn't accept this and demands that the guardians create a new ring made of fear in order to defeat the mighty Parallax. In their fear, the guardians agree and the yellow ring is born. As Sinestro is about to put on the ring, Jordan appears with a heartfelt lecture on how one cannot give into fear, and how courage and will conquers fear. They have a change of heart and decide to let Jordan try and defeat Parallax, without help, while locking the yellow power ring away.
When he returns to earth, Jordan must save Carol from the machinations of Hector Hammond. In doing so, he briefly loses the ring. While this is going on, Parallax finally arrives on Earth and begins attacking Jordan. With the help of Carol, Jordan is able to regain his ring and beings to fight Parallax. He manages to remember what he was taught during his training, and after a hard battle is able to defeat the mighty Parallax. After all of this, he then tells Carol that he must go protect his sector, steals a kiss and fly's off into the sky.
After watching the movie, I can honestly say the plot line was very direct. The writers and directors did a good job of morphing what I understand of the Green Lantern story line into a easy to follow ark for the movie. However, I was hoping that they did not dumb the plot points down a lot; and I was not disappointed. There were elements present, nuances that made the fans around me ooh and aah. There were connections to the future movies yet to be made, and the future plots and subplots presented in the comics. Green Lantern did an admirable job of mixing years of stories and subplots with a direct, easy to follow storyline that non-fans could enjoy and understand.
The quality of the cinematography was top notch, and everything that I would expect from a summer blockbuster. The Computer generated images, or CGI were done with great care and expertise. The other worlds and aliens looked realistic, as well as providing stunning cinematic effects in the fights and uses of power. Each element of the special effects were done to perfection and the time and care was evident. While this was great, and added to the movie, I felt it was taken to the extreme. This is most obvious in the power suits of the Green Lanterns. As I stated above, I am not a super fan, but the suits were over the top in my opinion. the glowing lines actually distracted me a bit from the other elements of the CGI. I felt it was over the top and done just to prove they could, rather than to enhance the character and experience.
It will come as no surprise that the acting in Green Lantern is top notch. The top billets go to amazingly qualified actors who do their characters proud. Like many, I was concerned with giving the role of Hal Jordan to Ryan Reynolds. In the end, he did the character proud. Reynolds managed to bring his quirky personality into the role, while tempering it with the hot shot attitude needed to truly bring Hal Jordan to life. Reynolds acting added a depth that drew one into the character and added dimensions to the portrayal. The other major name in this film is Blake Lively. Gents, I do have to warn you that it took me a second to recognize her as a brunette, and it threw me off a lot. Despite that, she did an amazing job in the role of Carol Ferris. She played the tough as nails boss, while still managing a soft sweet side anybody would go "aww" at. Another major player was Mark Strong who played Sinestro. Anybody who has seen Strong in his other roles knows he does the villain quite well. In Green Lantern he managed to be the "good guy" while still seeming evil. The fourth and major name in this movie is Peter Sarsgaard. He is a relatively unknown in the acting world, but managed to hold his own with these heavyweights.
In the end, I enjoyed the movie. It was over the top and everything I expect from a good summer blockbuster. Green Lantern had action, adventure, suspense and a good kiss at the end. I would recommend this movie for both Green Lantern fans, comic/superhero fans, or anybody who wanted a good action movie.