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Film Review: ‘Green Lantern’ tries to break superhero mold

Inspired, yet campy, comic book adaptation
By: Frank Miller, Gold Country News Service
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The trouble with superhero movies these days is because there are so many of them there is precious little new ground to tread.

How many times can we see the same origin story formula play out before the whole genre gets blown up in seek of something fresh?

“Green Lantern” strives to break the mold by offering up one of the first heroes whose powers do not limit him to simply rescuing girlfriends or stopping bank robbers.

Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is chosen by an intergalactic police squad known as the Green Lantern Corps who are tasked with keeping the peace in the far corners of the universe.

With the help of a powerful ring, Hal’s rookie initiation is a doozy. He must stop a swarming cloud-like villainous entity known as Parallax from destroying Earth along with the rest of the planets in the Corps’ jurisdiction.

The scope of “Green Lantern” is inspired and further proves that audiences are ready to embrace the overt sci-fi elements of comic book adaptations.

Reynolds, full of charisma and effortless affability, is right at home in the green CGI suit and his performance goes a long way toward smoothing over some of the film’s more obvious deficiencies.

The movie seems to meander when not in action mode chasing Hal around the universe. Also, secondary characters are poorly used and logic, even the goofy kind, gets thrown right out the window.

By all rights, this movie shouldn’t be enjoyable, but the film has some tricks up its sleeve and depending on your tolerance for campiness, “Green Lantern” may be the change of pace you’re looking for in a superhero movie.

It’s not perfect, and sequels may further flesh out some under-cooked concepts, but as it stands it’s a bold step in the right direction even if the path is a little rocky.

Frank Miller is a Sacramento writer.

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“Green Lantern”
Director:
Martin Campbell
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively and Mark Strong
Rating: Three stars (out of five)