Ryan Reynolds stars in this DC Comics riposte to the Marvel-dominated superhero genre.
Director: Martin Campbell Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Peter Sarsgaard, Blake Lively ***
In a Marvel-dominated summer, it appears to be crunch time for DC Comics which, outside of its main properties of Batman and Superman, has not had the wider success of its rivals.
Thus we have Green Lantern, the story of Hal Jordan (Reynolds), a cocky pilot who is given a powerful ring when he stumbles upon a crashed alien aircraft. It gives the wearer infinite superpowers, also inducting Hal into a corps of galactic protectors known as the "Green Lanterns".
As a powerful enemy threatens to destroy the universe, it falls on Hal (the newest recruit) to master his new abilities and save everything he holds dear. He does this with the help and support of his childhood friend Carol (Lively). Reynolds makes a superb lead, capturing the charisma and charm of the character perfectly. Equally, the director Campbell creates a world that is fantastic, vivid, and works terrifically visually.
The story, however, struggles to carry the viewer throughout, mixing some rather unbelievable elements (such as Sarsgaard's over-the-top villain) with a plethora of characters and superhero lore that may be a little too much for the newcomer (although it will delight comic book enthusiasts).
The special effects are superb, but whereas Marvel's summer movie Thor revelled in its outlandish setting, Green Lantern dithers between realism and all-out fantasy. It's not the disaster many observers predicted, but this film will certainly not give the makers of the forthcoming Captain America film any sleepless nights.