Who's In It: Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong, Tim Robbins
The Basics: Cocksure pilot Hal Jordan (Reynolds) is just doing his thing, making people angry with his risky sky business, until one day he gets possession of a pretty ring that makes every fantasy in his mind come to life (like how my girlfriends describe marriage). Automatically and somewhat reluctantly, he is inducted into the space police and given a snazzy green suit that runs off his will. Of course, there's trouble brewing in the universe that's threatening Earth, and of course he's going to have to step in if he wants to save his home planet. But will he do it? And is it possible to get his suit any tighter? Give me something here, people.
What's The Deal: This movie is like Fredo to my Michael Corleone, and it has broken my heart. I was so excited for this one, since it had the ingredients of a winner: namely a charismatic and cut lead who has a super power with limitless visual potential. Sadly, when the credits rolled, I was left empty and still craving my SPFF (Summer Popcorn Flick Fix). Turns out that the only power this movie had was to put me to sleep by the second act. Dang! We were so close, people. How did you mess this up?
You Didn't Let Ryan Do His Thing: The reason Ryan Reynolds was a perfect choice for this role was that he has everything going for him: good looks, sense of humor, and physical prowess. The script didn't give him any depth or opportunities to win over the crowd. Where was a sequence with him getting familiar with his power on his own and showing us who his character really was? Where was a sensitivity that made me buy the love subplot? He did his best, but at every opportunity, the script decided to go nowhere.
You Wasted Another Good Actor (Spoilers): Peter Sarsgaard is totally pointless as the sort-of-bad-guy-but-not. Infected by the evil fear-monger Parallax, he acquires telepathy and telekinesis and a SERIOUS fivehead (as opposed to forehead) and then is promptly killed. Wait, what? His daddy issues and fury over being an abused nerd gets him thrown into a computer and then swallowed? That just plain stinks.
You Were Too Inside The Box: My optimism for the film came from the fact that the Lanterns can create whatever they want if they use their will to conjure it. This means that at any given moment, rhyme or reason be damned, they can put anything they want into a fight to their advantage. This is one of the most brilliant moves by a comic book creator ever and was completely overlooked by the screenwriters. I understand that as Hal is learning to use his new power, his constructs will be elementary. But by the end of the film--the nearly ACTIONLESS film--could we see something really over the top and crazy cool, please? My comic-book reading man friend claims that this is why children should have been consulted. He's right--if you want something nuts to happen in an imaginary fight, just ask a 5-year-old what would happen. Or whoever pioneered anvils falling on Wile E. Coyote's head.
You Will Make Me Rich If… …you give me a nickel for every time the words "will" and "fear" are used in this film. I felt like the movie was a weird homage to Patrick Swayze's character in Donnie Darko who made a living off using the same two words for his shtick. No joke, the phrase "You guys are even afraid to admit you're afraid" was used. I guffawed out loud. Then I cried a little.
But At Least This Movie Was Written By Folks Who Know Action Movies: Oh wait, no it wasn't. IMDB credits four writers for the film, with most of them coming from the scintillating world of family television dramas. This explains how the movie ended up not "bad," per se, just boring as all get out. So please excuse me, I am going to go take Brothers and Sisters out of my Netflix queue.