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Originally published Thursday, June 16, 2011 at 10:34 AM

Movie review

'Green Lantern': Ryan Reynolds lights the way through brisk, vapid narrative

A movie review of "Green Lantern," which stars a buff Ryan Reynolds as the first human member of the Green Lantern intergalactic peacekeeping corps.

Special to The Seattle Times

Movie review 2.5 stars

'Green Lantern,' with Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong. Directed by Martin Campbell, from a screenplay by Greg Berlanti, Michael Green, Marc Guggenheim and Michael Goldenberg. 105 minutes. Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action. Several theaters.

quotes Crap. I've been waiting 40 years for a Green Lantern movie and it already needs a reboot. Read more
quotes Same here Dawg. Don't base your opinion from one reviewer who seems to not understand... Read more

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Green Lantern's ring is cooler than Thor's hammer, but not as awesome as Ironman's suit. That's based on a combined barometer of special-effects wow and engaging plot mechanics in "Green Lantern," the latest comic-book adaptation gunning for mega-movie franchise status.

Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is the newest member of a 3,600-strong corps of intergalactic peacekeepers and its first human member. Once the cocky test pilot and shallow womanizer accepts his solemn responsibility and skintight green suit, he also claims the supernatural power of the luminescent jewelry as his destiny. After all, the ring has chosen him to replace the fearless, fallen alien warrior whose duty it was to protect vast sectors of the universe from evil.

Using only the power of his mind, he can summon everything from swords and machine guns to race cars and fighter drones formed out of glowing green energy. It's a double thrill for him to fly through space to meet with hordes of computer-generated creatures who are his brothers-in-green, all of them harnessing courage and will in an eternal struggle to conquer fear.

That's the big underlying theme in "Green Lantern," which carries a healthy dose of Spider-Man and Superman morality in its brisk, yet often vapid narrative. Everything is very simple, especially the uncomplicated performance by a buff Reynolds, who cracks jokes, looks sexy and plays it heroic to the breaking point. Blake Lively is gorgeous as the brilliant girl, and Peter Sarsgaard has fun as a weirdo villain.

Much scarier is the colossal monster Parallax, a world-destroying cloud of tentacles and fire that discovers yellow fear in even the most courageous green superhero. The hyped-up yet superfluous 3-D dims everything down as usual. But "Green Lantern" likely has the colorful spectacle to distract audiences at least until the red, white and blue of "Captain America" swoops into theaters next month.

Ted Fry: tedfry@hotmail.com

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