Thursday, June 16, 2011

"off the wall and out of this world"

"Green Lantern" is both off the wall and out of this world — literally. More science-fiction space opera than superhero epic, it works in fits and starts as its disparate parts go in and out of effectiveness, but the professionalism of the production make it watchable in a comic book kind of way.

The film's wacky premise comes from the 1959 rebooting of the earlier comic book that floated the notion of a huge intergalactic legion of way-powerful Green Lanterns, each with his very own lantern — think upscale lava lamp — and each being the protector of a particular corner of the universe.

But though the Lanterns and their potent matching rings have been around for eons, a member of the human race has never been tapped to join the corps. And when hotshot test pilot Hal "Call Me Irresponsible" Jordan gets the nod, there is a lot of scratching of heads both on Earth and elsewhere.

That mirrored the response in Hollywood when charming leading man Ryan Reynolds was tapped for the role. How would he look in the computer-generated, form-fitting Lantern uniform, and would he have the gravitas to take on the dread Parallax, the evilest entity that ever lived?

As it turns out, Reynolds can handle most of what the script by Greg Berlanti & Michael Green & Marc Guggenheim and Michael Goldenberg throws at him. The problem is, not all of that stuff is worth doing.

(For the complete review by By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic click on the heading above.)

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