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Blake Lively (#110 of 4)

Down with the Sickness: In Defense of Green Lantern

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Down with the Sickness: In Defense of <em>Green Lantern</em>
Down with the Sickness: In Defense of <em>Green Lantern</em>

It’s not like critics weren’t given plenty of ammo. There’s virtually no motion Green Lantern doesn’t go through, no superhero trope it doesn’t blatantly exploit (Daddy issues? Christ figure? Check, check). Ryan Reynolds, whose career has been built upon the wry delivery of cheeky cracks (the heartthrob doing the sidekick schtick, as it were), is downright demure as the hero, leaving the question of how to receive him hovering like a bad joke. Cast as his underwritten love interest is Blake Lively, a slinky Gossip Girl vet who’s more red carpet mainstay than scene stealer, not to mention one of the easiest targets in Hollywood (even with her name, she’s asking for it). Enveloping the actors is an absinthe bath of visual effects, which kowtows to the fiercely modern philosophy of, “why try to shoot it when we can make it out of ones and zeros?” And, of course, there’s the shopping list of shameless product tie-ins (wash down your avocado Subway sub with some green-labeled Lipton Brisk) and that grab bag of handy nausea puns.

But did this chlorophyllic blockbuster really deserve to be such a pummeled community punching bag?