The Super Hero Summer soars on and on...
After the Norse Gods and Mutants of Marvel, the next "long underwear character" to hit the big screen is DC's Green Lantern.
Hal Jordan is a hotshot test pilot who has an on-off relationship with the boss' daughter, a reputation for irresponsibility, and the almost-standard Hollywood father issues. When dying alien Abin Sur's power-ring seeks out his successor to join the universe-spanning police force, the Green Lantern Corps, Hal is chosen as a potential recruit. Forced to confront both Earthbound and alien-born enemies, Hal has to prove worthy of the Corps and realise that with great power comes great responsibilities. ( Hey, wrong film! )
Green Lantern, while enjoyable, is a very by-the-numbers super hero movie, with nothing particularly new to bring to the table. Ryan Reynolds is better than I'd expected as brash hero Hal, while Blake Lively ( as love-interest Carol Ferris ) and Peter Sarsgaard
( as mad scientist Hector Hammond ) are fine, but don't have enough to do. Far better is Mark Strong as head Lantern, Sinestro, who is all sneers and pride and is obviously being primed as turncoat/villain if there should be a sequel.
The action scenes are effective, with Green Lantern's rescuing of an out-of-control helicopter being the best example of the power ring's will-power-created "constructs" in action, and the final battle with alien entity Parallax being similar, but superior, to the defeat of Galactus in Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer.
The film comes into its own when the action relocates to Oa, home planet of the GL Corps and the blue-domed Guardians Of The Universe. The expansive CGI landscapes and huge crowds of assembled Lanterns make a refreshingly different backdrop to a super hero film, after the familiar cityscapes of the Batman and Spider-Man franchises. Hopefully, if there is a sequel, we'll see more of the green-screen wonders of the DC universe.
Green Lantern isn't a classic movie by any means, but I'd rate it Three Out Of Five Power Rings as it's just good fun, which surely counts for something when the biggest super hero film of recent years is the overrated and terminally serious The Dark Knight.....
And in the interests of "fun", here's a typically goofy Silver Age GL cover by the Green team supreme, Gil Kane and Murphy Anderson. They really don't make 'em like that any more :-)
Soundtrack: various '90s flashbacks by Portishead, Smashing Pumpkins, and Massive Attack