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September 2013

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GREEN LANTERN leaves some critics Green With Envy...or Nausea




Despite what the critics are saying, GREEN LANTERN will see green at the box office. Make no mistake. This film isn’t perfect (surprise!), but it’s a fun summer romp (kinda like Danny and Sandy had Pre-GREASE), that delivers kernels of popcorn fun, boasting colorful special effects, and faithfully embraces its comic book roots.

Let’s face it, with supporting characters such as a billowing cloud of evil smoke named Ex-Lax…uh…I mean Parallax (not to be confused with the smoke monster on LOST) and fellow Lantern guardian Sinestro (Hmmm…I wonder if he’s going to turn out to be...I don't know...uh... sinister? Tee Hee…), it would be easy for this movie to devolve into Adam West Batman-Camp-Fest-territory. I almost expected there'd be a Jar Jar Binks-like Jack O'Lantern (Get it? Lantern?) character. But the film straddles that slippery slope better than a politician on Twitter, managing to be fun, without setting up camp at Yellowstone.

In a nutshell, the story revolves around the Green Lantern Corps, a group of intergalactic warriors powered by the force of will (i.e. fighting the urge to take a pee break in Titanic), that are headquartered on the distant planet of Oa (somewhere in Hawaii, I think). When Parallax escapes confinement and attacks head honcho Lantern guardian Abin Sur (not to be confused with the Al Qaeda operative), the powers of the ring are transferred to cocky-Earth-test-pilot-stud Hal Jordan, played charmingly by Ryan Reynolds, who looks stunning both in the CGI Green Lantern suit, as well as in his birthday suit (well, almost—but he works those tighty-whities briefly…hehehe…get it? Brief-ly?).

Meantime, geeky scientist Hector Hammond (played by Peter Sarsgaard), who also happens to have a thing for Jordan’s lifelong friend, fellow-pilot, and potential love interest Carol Ferris (played by unlikely Blake Lively…I made a rhyme!), becomes infected by a PTD (Parallax Transmitted Disease). With the evil Parallax threatening to smoke out the Green Lantern Corps from the Universe, and Hammond wreaking havoc on earth, the stage is set for Hal Jordan to grow a Green Pair and prove he has what it takes to get over his childhood trauma and assume his spandexed place in the universe, complete with bejazzled ring accessories. Can he do it? Hmmm.

Yes, this movie isn’t an intellectual masterpiece, neither was Thor (which I originally thought was about a man with a lisp describing a muscle ache). But it delivers the summer goodies and even pokes fun at its own genre, as in a scene between Reynolds and Lively, which takes a shot at the typical superhero cliché of not being able to recognize someone you know well, simply because they are wearing a partial face mask (or glasses in the case of Clark Kent and Lois Lane). And, as should be expected these days, make sure you stay through the end credits for an extended scene which provides a clue as to what a GREEN LANTERN sequel might entail (no, It doesn't involve a St. Patty's day gone awry)—should the studios get enough green in their bank accounts.

So check your cynic in at the door and enjoy GREEN LANTERN for what it is, an entertaining, sparkling little emerald gem that doesn’t pretend to be anything that it’s not, unlike most matches on those dating sites---long walks on the beach? Hopeless romantic? REALLY? Not that I’m speaking from experience of course.

Until next time, when I continue to keep the Reels, Real!


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