An All-American Comics character born in 1940 comes to life on 2D and 3D screens for a generic run-through of the usual adolescent identity issues in “Green Lantern.” Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is a civilian test pilot who is repeatedly told he is irresponsible. He gets it. He admits it. But he will change to save the world and get the girl. One of 3,600 intergalactic protectors under the command of the immortals on planet Oa crashes on the California coast one night. The glowing green ring of this purple-skinned alien zooms off to find a replacement earthling. It’s Hal, who will soon learn that green is the color of “will,” and “will” is the ultimate fuel running the cosmos, and he can “will” into existence anything he thinks in the line of duty or just for kicks. He gets a green suit to go along with his new superhero status. Greg Berlanti, Michael Green, Marc Guggenheim and Michael Goldenberg write a screenplay with a few jokey nods to the silly coolness of his new calling. Martin Campbell (“GoldenEye,” “Casino Royale”) directs with no particular point. Just in time for Father’s Day, all the emotional stuff is about Hal living up to the reputation of his pilot dad, his childhood sweetheart taking over the aeronautics corporation of her dad, and a xenobiologist at a local community college getting back at his dad, the Senator. Turns out yellow is the color of fear. The evildoer in “Green Lantern” is a disgruntled energy engineer-type who tapped into fear as an alternate source of power for the cosmos. A teaser scene in the end-credits suggests a weaponized yellow ring will fuel a sequel. A rainbow of other emotions could mean there are more super-mood rings to come. With Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong, Angela Bassett, Tim Robbins, Temuera Morrison, Jay O. Sanders, Taika Waititi, Jon Tenney. 105m. (Bill Stamets)
“The Green Lantern” opens Friday.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images will be published in Spring 2022.