AWFJ Women On Film – “Green Lantern” – Susan Granger reviews

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During a lengthy CGI prologue, an unseen narrator explains that Emerald Energy is Will Power, the strongest force in the universe. The Green Lantern Corps is an elite, intergalactic federation that polices 3,600 sectors under the command of an ancient race of Yoda-like immortals, called Guardians, residing on the planet Oa. But now a menace known as Parallax (voiced by Clancy Brown) threatens to destroy the balance of power, exuding the yellow power of fear.

Meanwhile on Earth, cocky hotshot Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is a reckless, irresponsible test pilot who, having discovered a crashed spaceship with dying alien Abin Sur (Temuera Morrison) aboard, is given his chunky Green Ring, along with the Green Lantern that powers it. To the dismay of its leader Thaal Sinestro (Mark Strong), Hal Jordan is the first human chosen for The Green Lantern Corps and, as such, must learn the oath and how to harness the infinite power of his imagination (“Anything I can see in my mind, I can create”), along with combat training by computer-generated Xudarian Tomar-Re (voiced by Geoffrey Rush) and huge, ogre-like Kilowog (voiced by Michael Clarke Duncan).

Jordan’s digitally-enhanced torso transformation stuns his lifelong friend/lover and fellow test pilot Carol Ferris (Blake Lively) and flight navigator/confidant Tom Kalmaku (Taika Waititi) – but not deranged xenobiology professor Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard). Nerdy Hammond has always been a belittled by his arrogant father, Senator Robert Hammond (Tim Robbins), until he’s asked by Dr. Amanda Waller (Angela Bassett) to autopsy Abin-Sur’s purple-skinned corpse. That changes everything.

Written by Greg Berlanti, Michael Green, Marc Guggenheim and Michael Goldberg, based on DC comic book characters, and directed by Martin Campbell, it’s the Hal Jordan superhero origin story. But, unfortunately, it’s just bewildering, color-coordinated splash and flash, meaning dazzling visuals with little substance except: “Alone, we are vulnerable – united, we are invincible.”

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Green Lantern” barely ignites a flickering 3. It’s a major disappointment, including the so-called Easter Egg (an additional scene) featuring a surprising revelation during the final credits.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.