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Movie Review

Green Lantern

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence and some language.

Reviewed by: Raphael Vera
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
Genre:
Action Adventure Sci-Fi
Length:
1 hr. 45 min.
Year of Release:
2011
USA Release:
June 17, 2011 (wide—3,600+ theaters)
DVD: October 14, 2011
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures

keeping peace

superheros

heroism, bravery and courage

self-sacrifice for others

good vs. evil

Featuring: Ryan ReynoldsHal Jordan/Green Lantern
Blake LivelyCarol Ferris
Peter SarsgaardHector Hammond
Geoffrey RushTomar-Re (voice)
Michael Clarke DuncanKilowog (voice)
Tim RobbinsSenator Hammond
Angela BassettDr. Amanda Waller
Mark StrongSinestro
Temuera Morrison … Abin Sur
Jenna Craig … Carol Ferris at 11
Jon Tenney … Martin Jordan
Mike Doyle … Jack Jordan
more »
Director: Martin Campbell
Producer: Warner Bros. Pictures
De Line Pictures
DC Entertainment
more »
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures

“In brightest day. In blackest night.”

Copyrighted, Warner Bros. Pictures

Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is a cocky, womanizing test pilot who just happens to be the best at what he does. While Hal works for Carl Ferris, President of Ferris Aircraft, he clearly still has a soft spot for his childhood sweetheart, Carol Ferris (Blake Lively), who is stepping up to take the reins of her father’s company.

Little does Hal know that his small universe is about to get infinitely bigger.

For billions of years, the self-appointed Guardians of the Galaxy have been maintaining order through their peace keeping force known as the Green Lantern Corps. Powered by a gigantic lantern on the planet Oa, they are about to face the greatest threat in the form of an evil being, Parallax, that is able to draw out the life force from any living being.

Mortally injured by a battle with Parallax, a Green Lantern is forced to land on Earth. Commanding his ring to find a worthy successor, it chooses and brings Hal to his side. Now, gifted with the power to create almost anything he can imagine, Hal Jordan will soon come face to face with the entire Green Lantern Corp, train on Oa with a brusque Green Lantern named Kilowog (Michael Clarke Duncan) and try to save the Earth from the threat of Parallax.

Areas of concern

Language: Moderate. The film is rated PG-13, primarily for violence and language. ‘Hell’, ‘damn’ and ‘screwed up’ are used only once each, the Lord’s name is taken in vain twice (God____), ‘son of a b____’ 2x’s, b___ by itself 1x , the s___ word 2x’s, the ‘a__h___ 2x’s, bast___ 1x, and Hal uses his middle finger in a sneakily obscene manner, once. This is probably as minimalist as Hollywood will go in a PG-13 film, but it is still family inappropriate.

Violence: Moderate. When the villain feeds off the life of his victims, we see their life essence in energy form, and it seems as though their souls and skeletons are being ripped from their bodies. It is the most disturbing visual, especially for younger children, of the film, and it is repeated several times. Dr. Hammond, the scientist who examines the dead Green Lantern alien is accidentally exposed to Parallax’s essence during his autopsy (not graphic), and he reacts violently to this later. Hal Jordan’s initial examination on Oa is equally unpleasant, gut wrenching and unnecessary. There is, also, a scene where Hal is beat up by some disgruntled workers.

Sexual Innuendo: Moderate. There is no sex or nudity in the film, but there is one scene where Hal wakes up in bed with a girl, and, although nothing is seen, the implication is inescapable. As are some of the other suggestive remarks, “disappointing girls everywhere,” ‘flying’ (a metaphor) with any girl that will ride a plane with him or when Carol, explaining why she saw through his Lantern disguise remarks, “I’ve seen you naked!”

Upon his first arrival on Oa, Hal is rendered unconscious, and, during a prolonged examination, he is undressed and only in skivvies (underwear).

Lessons

The dying alien tells Hal that in order to recharge his ring he needs to recite an oath, only he never gets the chance to tell him what the oath is. Hal futilely tries different oaths, until the Lantern’s light reveals it to him, and he finds himself speaking what needs to be said.

I could not help but be reminded of how, in our Christian outreach to the world, we should not be surprised when the Spirit gives us the words to speak.

“But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you” —Matthew 10:19.

The villain, Parallax, seems to feed off of fear, and even remarks to his first victims, “You are afraid. Good!”, but the Word of God reminds us where our true concerns need be.

“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell” —Matthew 10:28.

During Hal Jordan’s crisis of faith, Tomar-Re, a fish-like Green Lantern voiced by Geoffrey Rush, tells him that, “The ring never makes a mistake. It saw something in you that you haven’t seen yet.” Hal may not have felt worthy to be a soldier in the ‘Corps,’ but neither were any of us when God called us.

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name” —John 15:16.

“But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the Truth” —2 Thessalonians 2:13.

The concept of making your thoughts become reality by sheer force of will has always had a great appeal to a comic book audience, and Hal Jordan lives up to this in force, by the climactic battle. But, perhaps, it also appeals to something in all of us that says faith in the one true God can accomplish anything.

“I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” —Matthew 17:20.

“Green Lantern” is an original comic book film entry, which showcases its hero’s unique powers impressively via visuals that do leap to life in 3D. As a film, “Green Lantern” is hampered by sporadically poor pacing in a script that seemed to be missing crucial back story and, as such, the film, while entertaining, does not live up to its full potential. It is an average effort that is not suitable for younger kids who should have been the film’s ideal target.

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Mild

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—For Father’s Day I decided that I would take my dad to see the “Green Lantern.” It was a movie that he and I really wanted to see, and we decided to go, despite what other critics were saying about the film. I had my expectations walking into this film, and I have to say that all of them were filled. The “Green Lantern” is a movie based off of, of course, the Green Lantern comics. I had never read the comics, so I wasn’t completely sure what the film was about. Technically speaking, the acting was admirable, especially from the lead, the special effects were breath-taking (see the movie in 3D for the full effect of this film), and the story was predictable, yet utterly enjoyable, at the same time.

Objectionable content? Some swearing, a bed scene at the beginning of the film, and some brief, but terrifying scenes. Overall, a good film, but my advice is for teens and adults only. By the way, stay till the end of the film (after the credits) for a surprise. You won’t be disappointed with this film. Good job.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
Alexander Malsan, age 21 (USA)
Positive—I was only somewhat impressed by the previews and planned to wait for it on DVD and the “Rotten Tomato” rating reinforced my reluctance, that is until I read the review on Parchment and Pen’s blog (http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2011/06/movie-review-green-lantern/) which aroused excitement. I must say, it went far above my expectations. The plot was great, especially the fear vs. Will (and courage) aspect. I enjoyed the movie, Thor, but the story line was not nearly as inspiring. I did take my two older boys, thinking they could handle it. Unfortunately, it was too intense for them. I was however, able to have some good discussion time with them about not allowing fear to keep us from doing the right thing: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Tim 1:7). We talked about such examples as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and how fear (or potential fear) did not stop them from having the courage to speak the truth and resist the evil of idolatry.

Having said all this, the film was not without its disappointments. I heard no less than 12 swear words and the use of God and Jesus as an exclamation at least 3 times. Most of the time, they seemed very pronounced and over-the-top. There were also at least three sexual innuendos that were very uncomfortable, although they were not as bad as the content during the previews. It is with great reluctance that I do not offer a neutral rating on account of these issues.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—J. Paul, age 41 (USA)
Positive—This was definitely not my favorite super-hero movie… but it was okay. I was really liking it up until the villain’s head started mutating, then it almost got a little too weird for me. My main complaints would be that the really cool action sequences weren’t very long, and that the other green lanterns didn’t get in on any of the fighting. It was a fairly entertaining movie, though, for someone who likes science fiction-type stuff.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Kadie Jo, age 19 (USA)
Neutral
Neutral—I think of the 3 superhero movies I’ve seen this summer (“Thor” and “X-Men…”), this one is the weakest. I don’t know why this was a 3D movie. I only needed my glasses to keep the movie from being blurry. My advice, save your money and see the 2D version. IMHO, the story line was so-so, and the action left a little to be desired.

And, in case you’re wondering, there is a little something after the credits, but it’s waay predictable for those who know “The Green Lantern” story.

From a Christian perspective, there was some profanity and implied violence, but that’s to be expected from PG-13 movies these days. Fortunately, there was no nudity, nor were there any implied sex scenes. The thing that bothered me the most is that I felt there was a subtle stab at Christianity, because the movie talked about humans being a relatively young race, as compared to the other beings in the universe, and how small-minded and arrogant we are for thinking we are the center of the universe—especially in light of the fact that Rom. 8:18-23, and many other verses, demonstrate that we are.

It, also, kind of reminds me of how the world thinks Christians are small minded for believing that Jesus is the only way to be saved. I just had to share that this movie’s point of view is wonderfully refuted in a nice ChristianAnswers.Net article found at christiananswers.net/q-eden/space-life.html.

Another thing I didn’t like was that it made no mention of God, and explained away the need for Him by having some immortal elders serving as guardians of the universe. For the reasons I stated above, I do not recommend taking any young person to see this movie without having a serious conversation about aliens and evolution afterwards. It is by music and entertainment that the god of this world indoctrinates our young people, and we don’t want any doubts floating around in their young impressionable minds.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Frank, age 42 (USA)
Negative
Neutral—I found the “Green Lantern” to be somewhat of a let down after watching “Thor” and “Pirates of the Caribbean.” I was expecting better 3-D effects. The producers had a great opportunity with the story line, but just couldn’t quite make it up to par, in my opinion. I gave a moral rating of Average because it has a suggestive bedroom scene at the beginning of the movie which implied that the main character had slept with a girl in a one-night stand and then felt no problems leaving her the next morning. It also had mild/moderate profanity sprinkled throughout.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—Dgulik, age 39 (USA)
Negative—The evil beast Palaxar is a blatant evil being. Yes the evident battle between good and evil is very clear. The drastic lengths they go to make him look so evil is unnecessary. Please remember, the devil tries to appear as an angel of light not darkness. Also, no human can defeat evil in it’s purest form by their own will power. This is a bad lesson to teach to young people who have not yet come to know Jesus Christ. As there savior and it is the dominating theme and lesson in this movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—B, age 31 (USA)
Negative—Any movie that uses GD even one time is very offensive. There is no need in this word ever being used in a movie. Especially a movie intended for kids.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: ½
—D Moss, age 42 (USA)
Negative—Not only as a movie goer was I disappointed, but as a comic book fan, I was offended. Moral stuff aside, foul language, violence, and some sexual innuendo, the movie had poor acting and a storyline that dragged. It had a very long subplot that involved the villain Hector Hammond. It was meant to give us a sympathetic view of him and show why he became evil, but I honestly didn’t care. The movie never made me feel sorry for him once.

Ryan Reynolds did not capture the spirit of Hal Jordan from the comic books. Hal is a reluctant hero who wowed everyone when he became the Green Lantern, but the story has none of that. Hal is simply a loser who is a good pilot and gets the Green Lantern ring only to learn responsibility. There’s the movie in a nutshell.

I would not recommend it as a comic book fan or as a movie goer.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
Jacob Airey, age 23 (USA)
Comments from young people
Positive—This movie was amazing! I went with my 17 year old brother and my father for Fathers’ Day. All I have to say is it is an awesome movie!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Noah, age 13 (USA)
Positive—It was really good except for the language, and there’s one part where this guy got stabbed in the head.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Stafford, age 12 (USA)
Negative—…I went to see this movie with a few of my friends, since it was one of their birthday’s, and, to me, it seemed like a very interesting movie, as I’m a fan of such super hero movies. Boy was I foolish for ever considering watching it. First of all, the language is absolutely absurd, even if it was a little, it was still rather uncomfortable for me to sit there and watch the film as horrid profanity flew out of some of the characters’ mouths. My friends were quite secular and of mixed religions, and they seemed to enjoy the movie and were pretty comfortable, even with the swear words and all. I heard God’s name used in vein quite often; there even a soft J**** C***** came out of one character’s mouth, which I found rather disturbing.

The rest of the film was pretty moderate: There was only one scene where someone was holding (and drinking) alcohol, however it wasn’t very apparent. The film itself was superb! I just hate, I repeat HATE!!!… it when they have to use profanity in superhero movies. I honestly regret going to see that movie. My soul literally felt contaminated and God knows I needed His mercy after I got home. I advise you NOT to see the movie, unless a censored version will come out(hopefully, yet unlikely). I don’t see why they need to add swear words in such great films! It’s so adolescent. Grrr.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Ceejay, age 16 (Canada)
Positive—The story, to me, was very interesting. I was very impressed how many Scripture meanings were found in the movie! I found one at the near end of the movie—the point where Hal overcomes his fear, 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” This verse, I think, describes the whole film. And the way the ring warns him reminds me of a proverb, where the wise foresee evil and turn away, but the fool passes on and are punished (not exactly right text).

Also when the villain has Hal without the ring, John 15:5, “I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” How he needed the ring to fight, we need God.

When the thugs attacked him when he first got the ring, I don’t remember if his eyes changed color but, the other time when his eyes changed to when the rings power was used reminded me of when Samson got his strength, Judges 14:19, “And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon, and slew thirty men of them.” At first I freaked out at the villains appearance and the way he “sucked out” the fear. I believe that we need to be careful with what we put in our hearts.

I WOULD NOT permit ANY children below 15 to see the film due to the appearance of the villain. I think the movie could have been made, A LOT BETTER. The bad words, the part where he’s with a girl in bed, his examination, and suggestive talk were all not needed. If they left that out it could have been a excellent movie for teens!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—Josiah, age 16 (USA)
Neutral—I rented this film from my library 3 years after the movie went into theaters. I had only watched Marvel comics films and, after being impressed by the Dark Knight Trilogy and Man of Steel, I wanted to try another DC comics film. Well this did not blow me away. It seemed thrown together and had many plot holes and should of been directed by some one else.

Ryan Reynalds did a great job playing Hal Jordan, but the film was lacking depth. Just when it started to get good it just got ruined. Overall, it was entertaining, but it is not a “Captain America: The Winter Solder” good.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Matthew, age 13 (USA)