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Laramie Movie Scope:
Green Lantern

The ring's the thing

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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June 20, 2011 -- “Green Lantern” is a by-the-numbers superhero movie based on a comic book hero of the same name. Warner Brothers and DC Entertainment were both pretty worried about the success of this expensive movie after some recent flops by similar films and the recent decline in 3D movie ticket sales, so they put on a full-court media blitz and promoted the heck out of this film. It resulted in a $50 million first weekend box office take, so this film should at least break even. It isn't a great film by any means, but it is probably good enough to do the job.

Ryan Reynolds (“The Proposal”) stars as the buff superhero (hot shot test pilot Hal Jordan), chosen by an elite warrior to be the protector for the Milky Way Galaxy and beyond. He is given a ring and lantern that give him incredible super powers, including the ability to fly and to be able to materialize anything he needs with mere thought. Jordan feels unworthy of this responsibility and is reluctant at first, but eventually embraces his inner hero. He undergoes training on a distant planet with an alien trainer who is a lot like a drill sergeant, but the highest ranking Green Lantern warrior doesn't think Jordan is worthy and dismisses him. As you can tell by now, this is a very standard comic book style plot.

The basic idea seems to be that other species treat fear as something that can be eliminated by will power. The battle, for them is between fear and will power. Humans, on the other hand, come at the same problem from another angle. Fear cannot be overcome by will power in humans. Fear is with us always, at least it is for sane people. Fear is overcome by courage. It would have been nicer if the movie had recognized the power of love. Love is a greater power than fear, and it also has a role in the part that courage plays in overcoming fear. Fear is like a negative power. It weakens a person. It causes people to run away, to abandon their principles and to betray their friends. Love is a positive power. It gives people courage to stand up to evil, to sacrifice, and to protect those they love.

The only reason you go to see a movie like this is the special effects and the fight scenes, right? It has both in spades adn the 3D effects are good, too. The story is good enough and there is enough humor in it so that it doesn't get too serious. When you are dealing with such silly, outlandish material as this, the last thing you want to do is get serious. On a comic book level, this delivers the goods. It rates a B.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2011 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)