Directed by Martin Campbell
Starring Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong
Thanks to "Green Lantern," I've officially reached my saturation point for comic book movies this summer. Not only was the movie upstaged by "Thor" and "X-Men: First Class," it also dredges up the most trying traits of the genre.
The Green Lantern (Ryan Reynolds) is part of the Green Lantern Corps, an intergalactic agency of glowing green beings that protect the universe through the power of their almighty rings.
To recharge the ring, you rub it on a lantern thingumabob. To engage it, well, you simply will things to happen: Will a gun in your hand and it shall appear. Will a train engine to materialize and voila - it's there. The power of will is such a recurring theme that some of the scenes border on self-help hooey.
By day, the Green Lantern is Hal Jordan, a hotshot jet pilot who flirts with fellow pilot Carol (Blake Lively) and is subject to fits of brooding over his father's death years ago.
Mopey Hal is plucked (literally, by a floating green orb) from the street and recruited to the Corps to help fight Parallax, an amorphous brown blob that feeds off fear and is destroying the universe, one planet at a time.
Good comic book movies celebrate the outlandish nature of the source material: Suddenly men in tights are sexy, and Batman's crazy toys really are kinda wonderful. Bad comic book movies, on the other hand, are sunk by the far-fetchedness - and their flimsy stories aren't weighty enough to provide a counterbalance. "Green Lantern" belongs in the latter category: The story is starved for imagination, the dialogue bland to the point of self-parody.
On the upside, only one more comic book movie ("Captain America") to go this summer!