Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Ringbearer

It is a good thing that Ryan Reynolds has a blockbuster in his hands with Green Lantern – the guy is so unfortunate-looking and so not talented at all.


Seriously, though: Does it get any better than R2?

I know it does (I so totally don’t mean that as a put-down, btw), but that’s neither here nor there this weekend because this is the actor’s time. The fact that his starmaker – an eagerly anticipated blockbuster adapted from the DC Comics canon that will do well no matter what I or anyone else has to say, really is a little bit too much emerald shine (and way too much CGI and over-expository cheese) is plain olunlucky for Reynolds...but there’s only room for improvement in the sequel.

Yep, I’m saying Green Lantern ain’t all that. And it pains me to do so because I like Ry and I feel protective of the guy, sometimes inappropriately. I wanted this one to be an surefire hit for him.

It’s not, story-wise, and it’s not his fault but rather the powers that be’s.

The movie suffers from a case of the too much-too little. There’s too much going on: too much exposition, a heckuva lot of dense mythology that’s not downloaded as smartly as it was in, say, Thor, for instance, and much too much trickery (with the adds-nothing shtick of 3-D to boot!)....

And there’s too little charm. Reynolds oozes the stuff – why not exploit it in a more effective way? When he’s in his green suit he literally looks like a special effect, and I don’t mean because his body’s insane but because he looks like a freakinspecial effect. Kinda makes it hard to connect with him, guys.

Whaddya gonna do, right.

R2 stars the s--- out of the movie as Hal Jordan, an attractive, cocky, seemingly unafraid test pilot with a knack for keeping his closest friend and family at a distance. As you may have surmised from my description, things with Hal aren't quite so simple. He has fears, but for plot reasons the movie telegraphs for you to get on your own, he doesn’t fess up to them.

Elsewhere in this vast universe of ours lives a force of peace protectors, the Green Lantern Corps. They are a 3,600-member strong legion of intergalactic patrolmen, essentially, tasked with keeping each sector of the great out there safe, armed with the green-hued energy of will, channeled by the wearer by a mighty ring, which means anything they need to fight evil they can will into being (in brightest day, in darkest night...).

Their main nemesis is fear, embodied by the color yellow, and, in Green Lantern, by a smoky cloud named Parallax, which kills by literally scaring its prey to death. Or something like that. (On Earth, it takes over the mind and body of the chip-on-his-shouldered Dr. Hector Hammond, played by Peter Sarsgaard.)

Anyway, Hal is chosen to take over a legendary Green Lantern who didn’t fare so well after his encounter with Parallax. He’s the first human ever to be chosen. And he’s not sure, or too into being up for the job. Which is why he’s so perfect for it because he is way more brave than he gives himself credit for – just ask his suffers-no-fools childhood friend-turned-smokin’ fellow test pilot and savvy businesswoman Carol Ferris (an auburn-haired Blake Lively, who eschews her Serena van der Woodsen mumbles here).

With her encouragement and his own determination, Hal proves that he has what it takes not only to become the man he doesn’t yet know he can be but the greatest Green Lantern ever).

Too bad the filmmakers didn’t dream up a movie that does this as well because Reynolds is good, but not that good that he can elevate this one from mediocrity.

My Rating **1/2

Photo: Warner Bros.

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