Green Lantern

(2011)
Green Lantern

Starring Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong. (12A)

 

Following on from the successes of numerous Supermen, Batmen and Spider-Men, another comic book hero gets his chance to save the world in a big budget, special effects-packed movie. This time, the man in the very clingy lycra suit is Ryan Reynolds as cocky pilot Hal Jordan, a reckless guy with daddy issues who comes across a dying alien that has crash-landed on earth. Said creature is actually a Green Lantern, a keeper of intergalactic peace, and on his deathbed he bequeaths his special glowing jade ring to Hal, who pops it on his finger and discovers it gives him super-powers of the flying and kicking ass variety. Trouble is, nerdy science teacher Hector (Sarsgaard) has been infected with a different type of glowy energy (green, it seems, is good, orange is very, very bad) that gives him a swollen head (literally) and the ability to channel a mega alien baddie called Parallax. The other Green Lanterns throughout the universe (led by Mark Strong's Sinestro, looking like a cross between Spock and Hellboy) don't fancy helping, so it could be up to Hal to step up and save the planet.

 

With a prologue about the origins of battle between the Green Lanterns and Parallax that will petrify the under-10s (Parallax is like a big lumpy cloud of boulders, but it has a screaming face, a bit like the dust-cloud skull in The Mummy), this is aimed at older kids looking for a new, interesting superhero. Unfortunately, they will find it a bit hard to find him in this mess of CGI effects, too many minor characters and under-developed sub-plots (Hal's galactic training takes about five seconds, while Hector's problems are never properly explored).

 

Reynolds, who can do snarky humour and macho drama with equal ease, is well-cast in the lead role (and, mums, he looks very cute, too) but doesn't get enough time to show what he can do, while Sarsgaard and the always-watchable Strong are wasted. Gossip Girl's Blake Lively, as Hal's ex/childhood friend/possible love interest, is forgettable (and who in real life wears heels that high to work?) but pretty – perfect window dressing for a movie that looks fabulous but leaves you wishing there had been a bit more to it.

Star Star Star

SCARY MOMENTS:

As mentioned above, the opening prologue, in which Parallax grows by sucking the souls and flesh of creatures, will be too scary for younger (under 10) children.

 

SPOILER - Under-10s may also be upset during a scene in which Hal remembers his father dying in an airplane explosion.

 

Younger children may find Hector's transformation scary. 

Green Lantern
IF YOU LIKE THIS, WHY NOT TRY:

Who we are?

We review 100s of movies aimed at children, teens and families, with more added every week. More details here

Our ratings

Unmissable

Very Good

Good

Watchable

Horrible!