Opening Green Lantern in the same month–or the same galaxy–as X-Men: First Class was probably a scheduling necessity, but it forces a ruinous comparison. Capably adapted from one of the bazillion storylines in DC’s 70-year-old Green Lantern comics series, the new movie has some promising sci-fi elements and a pair of normally appealing stars. But the picture is slathered with so much CGI goop that at several points it’s indistinguishable from a Saturday morning cartoon show. Very soon you start wondering why you had to leave your living room to see it.
The movie begins in deep space with a riot of digital hubbub (pricelessly silly in big-deal 3D). We meet the Guardians of the Universe, a council of wizened Yodas ensconced on very high stools (which amusingly recall the much more amusing Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension). The Guardians have divided the galactic vastness into thousands of separate sectors, all patrolled by an interstellar police force called the Green Lantern Corps, each member of which is armed with a super-powerful green ring and a glowing green lantern with which to recharge it when the super-power runs low. We also make the acquaintance of a rather amorphous evil entity called Parallax–a destroyer of worlds and so forth. When Parallax attacks a Green Lantern patrol ship, the captain is forced to ditch his craft on the nearest reachable planet, which turns out to be Earth. Wounded and dying, he recruits a local human, Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds), to take up his ring and lantern and join the Corps. As a bonus, Hal also gets to wear a bright green super-suit with built-in muscles and a tiny green mask.
Hal is a brave, handsome, and of course headstrong test pilot in the employ of Ferris Aviation, where he’s maintained a years-long touch-and-go relationship with the boss’s daughter, Carol Ferris (Blake Lively)–a test pilot herself, naturally. Since considerable time is devoted to this underpowered romance, it’s unfortunate that Reynolds and Lively–such engaging actors in other films–never really warm to each other here. But then they’re given little assistance by the dialogue. Carol laments that proud loner Hal has always been “scared I was getting too close.” Changing into his flight suit, Hal says to her, “Let’s get these pants off and fly some planes.” Smooth.
Read the full review at Reason.