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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No fear, 19 Nov. 2011
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This review is from: Green Lantern [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
For the uninitiated:

The two big American comic book companies are Marvel and DC. The former publish Spiderman, the Hulk, Captain America, The X Men and many others. And have been doing rather well of late with converting their characters into movie versions.

DC comics publish Batman and Superman and Wonder Woman. Movies of the first two have usually done well. But they're not getting as many of their characters onto the big screen as Marvel at the moment. So here, their parent company Warners have taken one of them and tested the water to see how a movie of a dc character who isn't Batman or Superman will do.

Green Lantern is one of the bigger characters of the DC ones who aren't Batman or Superman, and has been around for a while. And through a lot of changes on the printed page in that time. Basically he's a space policeman. An immortal race of aliens called the Guardians of the universe sought to impose order on the cosmos by setting up the Green Lantern Corps, a group of beings who have powerful rings that draw energy from willpower. They can construct anything the user imagines. But they're not effective against anything coloured yellow. For various plot reasons.

There are thousands of Green Lanterns, and they and the guardians are based on the planet Oa. When the Green Lantern of Sector 2814, which includes Earth, is killed by a being called Parallax who is fear incarnate, he crashes on Earth. And his ring selects a worthy replacement.

Hal Jordan. Test pilot. Man with severe issues with authority and someone who has never quite grown up and taken responsibility for anything. And will run away from situations and responsibility rather than commit. Not least because he saw his father die following a test flight years ago and hasn't quite gotten over that.

Hal's attitude never sits well with Carol, daughter of the owner of the aircraft company his father flew for. Yet childhood friendship means she can't quite give up on him, even as she takes the responsibility of running the company.

Also a disappointment to someone is Hector Hammond. Who grew up alongside Carol and Hal but disappointed his senator father by going into science. And not making much of a career out of that.

So now Hal has been chosen to become a green lantern will he face up to the responsibility? And the Green Lantern Sinestro who was a good friend of Hal's predecessor and who thinks he won't measure up. Then there's Parallax to contend with as well. Plus Hector once he also gets great power. And the military who have gotten their hands on the remains of Hal's predecessor...

Like any superhero movie that tries to start a franchise this has to get all the exposition out of the way first of all. And perhaps there's just a little too much of here. They probably could have left Hector out entirely for now. Added to which the story means that Hal has to start off as an irresponsible Jerk and complete his course towards being great Green Lantern by the end, so he may come over as difficult to like to begin with. And the crowded narrative means that Carol possibly doesn't get enough to do.

The scenes on Oa are all studio bound and done with backdrops and thus don't quite convince as well as they should, the other Green Lanterns we see are superby rendered. Only four of them actually get any dialogue [that includes Hal's predecessor Abin Sur] those who do are exceptionally good creations. Geoffrey Rush providing superbly eloquent tones for fish like Alien Tomar Re. And Mark Strong turning in a superb performance as the aforementioned SInestro, really showing what makes the character tick.

By the end Hal is right where he needs to be as a character to continue on the story and make any sequel really fly.

This is a movie worth judging for yourself. It does what it needs to do in order to start a series. And it may not measure up to some of the marvel movies that have done their characters origins. There may not be a sequel since it didn't do Iron Man style numbers. But it could really go places from the end of this. So I hope there is.

Stay watching during the end credits as there is one extra scene during them. Which is set up for a possible sequel.

The dvd has the following language and subtitle options:

Languages: English, Italian.

Subtitles: English, Italian.

The disc begins with several trailers, which can be skipped by pressing the next button on the dvd remote.

The only extras are a six minute long preview of a forthcoming cgi cartoon series of Green Lantern.

Plus a preview of Justice League issue one, a recently launched new comic from DC in which Green Lantern appears. Along with Batman and others. The preview shows you the first few pages, allowing you to navigate the panels via the menu buttons on the dd remote.

If you like the movie you may also like to look at Green Lantern - The Movie Prequels which collects five comics that tell what each of the main characters in the film were doing prior to the point where the story begins.
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Review Details

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Reviewer

Paul Tapner
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

Location: poole dorset england

Top Reviewer Ranking: 396