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Jumat, 17 Juni 2011

Superhero saga 'Green Lantern' fails to shine

Have you ever had one of those days when you’re leaving your nephew’s birthday party and a big neon-green bubble swallows you up and takes you to the site where a magenta-skinned extraterrestrial crashed his spaceship while he was looking for the perfect human to anoint as the next savior of the universe?

It happens to jet pilot Hal “Highball” Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) in “Green Lantern,” and he’s not entirely sure how to handle his new role. Director Martin Campbell and screenwriters Greg Berlanti, Michael Green, Marc Guggenheim and Michael Goldberg are equally uncertain
Although Campbell is the man who made the world take James Bond seriously again in the 2006 smash “Casino Royale,” he and his team can’t decide whether to pay tribute to Green Lantern or poke fun at him. So the film flip-flops furiously between straight-faced science-fiction and the kind of glossy goofiness found in Joel Schumacher’s notorious “Batman and Robin” or the “Fantastic Four” movies; the art of weaving together humor, adventure and romance — which director Kenneth Branagh seemed to do quite easily in “Thor” — overwhelms Campbell and, as a result, “Lantern” is often on the blink.
The movie’s patchy plot and awkward tonal shifts make it all too evident this project was put together by committee. Hal is a daredevil determined to honor the memory of his dad, a flyer who went up in flames and nearly took eyewitness Hal with him.
That’s some of the serious stuff. But Hal also has a fiercely flirtatious relationship with fellow jet jockey Carol (Blake Lively), who quickly catches on to his true identity, even when he’s encased in an iridescent emerald-colored body suit and matching mask.

“I’ve known you all my life — I’ve seen you naked!” she squawks. “You think I wouldn’t recognize you because I can’t see your cheekbones?”
This is the allegedly funny portion of the program.
Then there’s the mythology of the Green Lantern Corps, which is sloppily served up with plenty of video-game-y visual effects and multiple trips to the realm of the Guardians, a circle of gray, bubble-headed immortals perched on mile-high thrones, apparently designed so that the gnomes could show off their scarlet robes that are longer than Lindsay Lohan’s rap sheet.
The Guardians and the Green Lantern warriors are up in arms about Parallax, an evil force that has escaped the prison planet of Ryut and is threatening to devour the universe. The Parallax fuels itself with the fear it absorbs from its enemies, but Hal resolves to overcome his own trepidations to save Earth and turn Parallax into cosmic calamari.
While Reynolds is a natural comedian and a sharp dramatic actor, the role of a superhero doesn’t fit him quite as well as his costume does, mostly because the writers have weighed him down with a surplus of lame dialogue. Lively also gets stuck with a go-nowhere role that’s not much more than a tough but tenderhearted potential damsel in distress.
Outstanding actors such as Angela Bassett and Tim Robbins are brought in, given a few moments of screen time and then turned into human projectiles for the special effects crew to smack into walls, smash against windows and hurl across floors.
The only one managing to hold his ground against the barrage of CGI razzle-dazzle is Peter Sarsgaard as Dr. Hector Hammond, a milquetoast who turns into a maniac after an alien autopsy goes awry. As Hector deteriorates, disappearing under multiple layers of increasingly grotesque makeup, Sarsgaard keeps raising the stakes, twisting his lines into sinister spirals. 
In a movie full of explosions and pyrotechnics, Sarsgaard turns out to be the only real firepower.
Although a brief stinger midway through the end credits opens the door for another installment, the prospects for a “Green Lantern” sequel don’t look terribly bright.

Sources: MLIVE.COM

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