Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
USA, 2011. Warner Bros., De Line Pictures, DC Entertainment, DC Comics. Screen story by Greg Berlanti, Michael Green, Marc Guggenheim, Screenplay by Greg Berlanti, Michael Green, Marc Guggenheim, Michael Goldenberg. Cinematography by Dion Beebe. Produced by Greg Berlanti, Donald De Line. Music by James Newton Howard. Production Design by Grant Major. Costume Design by Ngila Dickson. Film Editing by Stuart Baird.
Ambitious, beautifully shot but ultimately flat entry in the superhero genre, with the always amiable Ryan Reynolds trying but failing to make much of an impression. He plays a hotshot jet pilot whose unruly ways are hemmed in good when an alien crash lands on earth’s shores and its powerful ring becomes Reynolds’ property. The power it wields is to make your will a reality, its bearers “lanterns” of the universe who protect the vulnerable from forces of evil. This is a good thing considering that a villain named Parallax is on its way to destroy Earth, its energy of pure fear infecting a nerdy high school science teacher (Peter Sarsgaard) and turning him into a bulb-headed monster. The setup is interminably long, with the memory of a dead father haunting our hero while the love of a good woman (Blake Lively) tries to inspire him to achieve more, but the story’s dark side is as disingenuous as the interplay between the romantic leads is dull. Reynolds is never convincing as anything other than a likeable guy, while a weird blend of jokey self-awareness awkwardly and incorrectly pierces what is otherwise a bland and self-important affair.