Opens: Friday 6/17
Us Rating: **
A muscular Ryan Reynolds dons a body-hugging jumpsuit as Hal, the title's irresponsible pilot turned superhero, in a surprisingly flat 3-D flick. Aided by a green ring he receives from a dying alien, former normal guy Hal joins an intergalactic fraternity united to stop the universe's evil force, Parallax.
Meanwhile, back on Earth, he battles a psychotic science professor (a loopy Peter Sarsgaard) and fights for the affections of fellow pilot Carol (a polished Blake Lively). In his first outing as a comic book hero, Reynolds excels in action scenes, offering a boyish swagger, plus a humor and vulnerability that show he's far from fearless. Yet there's not much variety to his performance, and his emotional connection with Lively feels forced (like when he weakly serenades her at a dive bar). A greater issue: The routine save-the-planet story line never has any real sense of danger or suspense. Add to that inconsistent comedy, goofy aliens and hammy supporting actors -- including Tim Robbins as a smarmy senator -- and Green Lantern fails to shine.
-- THELMA ADAMS