Green Lantern

Release Date: June 17, 2011

Movie of the Day for Wednesday, May 6, 2009
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Fear my ability to accessorize!

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Position Staff In Brief
16/18 Les Winan Enjoyable if you don't think too hard about it. One too many plots make it less coherent than it could have been.
137/171 Max Braden I think I have to put this at the bottom of this year's big budget superhero adaptations, despite being a big fan of Reynolds.

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In brightest day, in blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight
Let those who worship evil's might,
Beware my power...Green Lantern's light!

They are the police force of the universe, brave people whose force of will is such that they may manipulate the Force…err, the forces of nature by channeling their desires through a power ring. Chosen by the Guardians of Oa through a process intrinsic to the nature of the ring itself, these heroes are given almost God-like abilities to shape the world in their image. And they choose to make gigantic green boxing gloves when they throw their psychic punches because they are just that boring and literal-minded. What a bunch of nerds.

If you have ever kept up with the Justice League, you are probably familiar with the Green Lanterns. There seem to be about a million of them with the common denominators being woeful lack of imagination and obsessive passion for accessorizing. And I don’t mean to typecast but in the area where I have been raised, a man who wears a ring on his middle finger is immediately presumed to be…of a certain sort. He would be described as “a disco-dancing, Oscar Wilde reading, Streisand ticket holding friend of Dorothy” in the Clueless vernacular. Not that there’s anything wrong with it.

The idea of the Green Lantern is one of the most divisive in the realm of comics. No less than an industry icon than Frank Miller has gone out of his way to paint them all as useless idiots. He has written Batman to hate all of them, going so far as to emasculate one by having him get his ass handed to him by a pre-pubescent version of Robin. The concept of a piece of jewelry giving someone limitless powers is a bit too dainty for him, and it’s a problem that DC Comics has struggled to combat for a while now.

In 2004, a new spin was given to the premise. Noted comic book writer Geoff Johns wrote a six episode story arc entitled “Green Lantern: Rebirth” that attempted to update the concept for modern readers. The second and easily most famous Green Lantern, Hal Jordan, a character from the 1950s, was given new life in order to combat…well, let’s just say bad guys rather than geek up the discussion too much. In the process, Jordan’s former mentor and now arch-enemy, Sinestro, was able to attain almost limitless power. Over the next couple of years, the evil man with the evil mustache built up his own group of anti-Green Lanterns, the Sinestro Corps. The two armies feuded across the galaxy, and their war continues to this day. Along the way, DC comics readers were reminded what it means to be a Green Lantern and some of them actually bothered to care. Clearly, I am not one of them, but that is a side discussion.

The success of Johns’ reinvigoration of the product has DC wanting to make a movie about Hal Jordan. Of course, DC always has big plans about making movies but while Marvel is off making buckets of money with Iron Man, Spider-Man, and the X-Men, DC is left wondering why nobody cared when Superman returned. To date, if the DC character is not Batman, consumers have not been willing to pay to see him in theaters. Hoping to create a storyline that might alter this acknowledged aspect of the movie industry, Everwood creator/BOP fave Greg Berlanti has been hired to direct a film scheduled for release in 2010. Berlanti is a master of character-focused storytelling, and the story he has been given to tell here is one that would play well onscreen.

Hal Jordan is a fighter pilot as well as a man without fear. As a boy, he watched his father, also a fighter pilot, die while attempting to test out a revolutionary new plane. Undeterred, Jordan still followed in his father’s footsteps, working for Carol Ferris, the father of the man whose test plane killed Jordan’s father. Depending on which version Berlanti decides to tell, Jordan will be either stranded on an alien planet during one such flight mission or he discovers an alien stranded on Earth. Under either circumstance, the alien is Abin Sur, a dying member of the Green Lantern Corp who is seeking out his replacement. Jordan is chosen to become the new bearer of the ring and the storyline will focus upon his first mission as a nearly omnipotent nerd as well as his relationship with Ferris. Despite all of my sarcasm about what I consider to be one of the dumbest superhero ideas ever created (and I include Ant-Man in that), this story does lend itself to great visuals. If Green Lantern ever does get made (and given DC’s recent track record with Wonder Woman and Justice League, that’s a huge if), it could draw in a lot of casual observers due to a hot, plane crash-based trailer. (David Mumpower/BOP)

Vital statistics for Green Lantern
Main Cast Ryan Reynolds
Supporting Cast Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong, Angela Bassett, Michael Clarke Duncan, Tim Robbins, Geoffrey Rush
Director Martin Campbell
Screenwriter Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, Michael Green
Distributor Warner Bros. Pictures
Official Site
Rating PG-13
Running Time 105 minutes
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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