Green Lantern lights up the screen, but will it shine at the box office?
Warner Brothers and DC Comics will enter unfamiliar territory this week. A major DC superhero that isn’t Batman or Superman will finally make it to movie screens. But will audiences embrace the emerald glow, or will it blind them?
Green Lantern is a spectacular science fiction adventure, featuring stunning effects, a talented ensemble of actors, and action that leaps straight off the comic book pages. At the forefront of the adventure is Hal Jordan, the cocky test pilot who is faithfully brought to life by actor Ryan Reynolds. As a staunch member of the group that was initially unsure about the casting of Reynolds, I can honestly say now that he totally sold me. From Hal’s dry wit to his hidden vulnerability, Reynolds does a great justice to the character.
Other actors who deserve praise include Peter Sarsgaard, who exudes the disturbing creepiness of Hector Hammond, and Blake Lively, who finds the balance between no-nonsense businesswoman and lifetime friend to Hal Jordan in the character of Carol Ferris. However, the true gem among the cast is Mark Strong as hardened Green Lantern Corps veteran, Sinestro. While all of his time onscreen is brilliant, his shining moment involves a very well-delivered speech in the middle of a sparring session with Hal.
But no movie is without its faults. Actor Tim Robbins just seems to be happy to be in a movie and gives a fairly lackluster performance as Senator Hammond, and composer James Newton Howard, most likely under pressure from Warner Brothers to capitalize on the success of Iron Man, mixes his orchestrations with some excessive rock. Also, other members of the Green Lantern Corps, especially drill instructor Kilowog and master of exposition, Tomar-Re, voiced by Michael Clarke Duncan and Jeffrey Rush respectively, almost seem like an afterthought and deserve far more screen time than they were allotted.
It’s very difficult to guarantee that this movie will be a summer blockbuster. The target audience of comic book fans is fairly specific, and those unfamiliar with the characters or the stories will more than likely be a little weirded out by the sci-fi trappings. Iron Man’s lovable a-hole, Tony Stark appealed to audiences, so hopefully the cocky Hal Jordan will do the same and get people talking positively. With any luck, the film will do well enough at the box office to not only establish Green Lantern as a bankable franchise, but also to allow for the production of future films featuring DC’s pantheon of heroes. While all of these outcomes will be determined in the coming weeks, one thing is certain right now: this happy Green Lantern fan is proud to be a Corps member.