Dim pleasure: 'Lantern' not quite bright enough

Green Lantern presents yet another case of a human being given the responsibility of leading the battle of good versus evil, or, in this case, of the will versus fear. We learn that an ancient race of aliens has divided the universe into segments to enforce peace, but is being resisted by an alien named Parallax, who went off on his own, committed the sin of pride, and became a prince of darkness. If he reminds you of Satan, that can't be helped. Every superhero requires a malevolent egomaniac to battle.

The movie stars Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan, a test pilot who proves that humans are better at flying fighter planes than computers are. His fellow pilot is Carol Ferris (Blake Lively), the daughter of the tycoon Carl Ferris (Jay O. Sanders), who manufactures the fighters. Does Carl worry about his daughter flying in catfights at supersonic speeds? To answer that question would require him to reveal emotion, and he is locked immobile in superhero tycoon mode.

Far away in the universe, the benign aliens have created the Green Lantern Corps to spread out and combat the evil Parallax. One of these corpsmen is sent on a mission to find a worthy man on Earth to become a member of the Corps. His spaceship, which has survived a journey across the cosmos, crash-lands, and he lives long enough to hand over a green ring and a lantern to, of course, Hal Jordan. Hal learns that the ring gives him great power, but he must believe in the triumph of his will and conquer the weakness of fear. Full review.

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