Green Lantern (2011)

Reviewed by Eric Larsen

Rated PG-13 Running Time: 1 hour 54 min.

You came near when I called you; you said,
“Do not fear!”
Lamentations 3:57

Ryan Reynolds and Mark Strong in Green Lantern

© 2011 Warner Bros. Pictures

Hal Jordan is a talented yet reckless test pilot. Living in the shadows of his famous father, a pilot who died during an accident in a test flight, Hal is secretly afraid of life. One day at a crossroads of his own, having wrecked his plane to prove that he was a better pilot than two government drones, Hal is chosen for something big.

Throughout the galaxy serve the Green Lantern Corps. An ancient group of Guardians developed the corps to police the galaxy and face the troubles that arise. A once imprisoned source of great power and evil which thrives on the power of fear is once again released and threatens to destroy the universe as we know it. The Green Lantern member, Abin Sur, who had once imprisoned it, is wounded before he can attempt to restrain it once more. Dying, he sends his ring that gives him his superpower, to search the quadrant of the galaxy for a worthy replacement. Surprisingly to Hal and those who know him, he is the one chosen for responsibility and this great duty.

Growing up reading the Green Lantern comic books, I enjoyed it for its humor but also its universal nature. Hal is taken to Oa the planet of the Green Lantern Corps and is trained amidst as diverse a group of aliens as one could imagine. Through both the comics and the film, we are reminded that while we are all different, we all co-exist and need each other to survive.

Hal learns that his ring runs on willpower, while Parallax, which threatens the Earth and all elsewhere, thrives on fear. Learning this, Sinestro, the leader of the Corps, hopes to harness fear to defeat that which seemingly otherwise cannot be conquered.

Hector, a childhood acquaintance of Hal, is given a great opportunity, yet despite having achieved what was asked of him is still not respected or appreciated for who he is. A brilliant mind, he gets unexpected opportunities of his own which have fatal consequences. It’s disturbing to see the choices made and knowing this Hal challenges Sinestro realizing that the only real choice in attempting to defeat Parallax is not to succumb to fear and evil, but to try nobly even if success might not be possible.

Green Lantern is a fun film that allows us to think about what others see in us and how by grace we are loved and may even accomplish things we can’t even imagine ourselves.

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