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'Green Lantern' review: As Norm Macdonald would say, "Wait, what?"

MoviesEntertainmentTim RobbinsAlbert EinsteinAngela BassettMartin CampbellMark Strong

*1/2 (out of four)

Somehow Hal Jordan (Ryan “Sexiest Man Alive” Reynolds) has become a renowned fighter pilot despite being a habitual quitter or something—the movie doesn't show him quitting but does say fear once caused him to break things off with Carol (Blake “Also Quite Sexy” Lively), which was clearly a major fail. Sorry, Hal, when a mystical ring chooses you to join the intergalactic tribe of green lanterns that patrol the universe for evil, you’ve got added responsibility whether you like it or not.

Um: Never is it fully clear why the thousands of other (non-human) lanterns don’t help out, especially Hal’s primary outer-space contact Sinestro (Mark Strong, who can check off “purple vampire-looking thingy” from his attempts to play characters of different ethnicities in almost every movie). Also unclear: Why this DC comics hero deserved a feature film when director Martin Campbell (“Casino Royale”) constantly falls back on redundant lectures about will vs. fear but never shows why we should care about the primary villain, a smoky, growly, skeletonish beast called the Parallax.

The verdict: A few questions the movie can't answer: Since when is green the official color of will and not indicative of, say, jealousy or envy? Why does Hector (Peter Sarsgaard), who already looked like young Albert Einstein, transform into what looks like inflated David Crosby when he turns evil? Why doesn’t Hal have any temptation to abuse his powers, and if he can conjure anything he wants, why doesn’t he just imagine the Parallax Killer 5000? Reynolds underplays Hal and zaps the energy from a movie that wastes everyone involved (including Angela Bassett and Tim Robbins in meaningless roles) and combines the look of a cheesy B-movie and a modern video game, if neither were any fun. Watch out, every other comic book movie on the way this summer; the senseless, stunningly boring “Green Lantern” will give the world a bad case of superhero burnout.

Did you know? When someone tells Hal to watch his back, he replies that that’s not possible. And who doesn’t love a dude who arrogantly corrects other people’s sentence structure.

Watch Matt on “You & Me This Morning,” Fridays at 7 a.m. on WCIU, the U

mpais@tribune.com

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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