Movie Review: Green Lantern
- Published on Saturday, 18 June 2011 05:09
- Written by Kevin
Coming into this summer one of the most hyped movies is DC Comics and Warner Brothers' Green Lantern. There is a lot riding on Green Lantern for DC specifically as it not only has to be their Iron Man but Warner Bros is hoping this turns into their replacement for Harry Potter. It is a lot of pressure to put on one movie. As a fan, I went into Green Lantern hopeful that Martin Campbell and Ryan Reynolds would be able to pull it off. Did Green Lantern become DC’s Iron Man or was it another Jonah Hex? Hit the jump button and find out.
As I said, I had a lot of excitement for this movie. If I was not excited to see Green Lantern you can bet I would not have spent $10 to go watch it. When I purchase something I expect that whatever that purchase is will live up to my expectations. I do not waste money on something that I do not expect to be good. I do not work like that.
Coming out of Green Lantern I could not say that this movie lived up to my expectations. As I told my friends when walking out of the movie, this was just a ‘meh’ movie. For all the hype everyone at DC and Warner Bros have given this movie I feel bad that Green Lantern turned out this way. In no way is this movie this generation's Star Wars, as Geoff Johns and DC would like to convince you it is. It is not even close to being Star Wars.
There are just various missteps throughout the film. Thinking about Green Lantern, the best comparison I can come up with is that this movie is just like The Last Airbender. In both cases the two franchises, Green Lantern and Avatar: The Last Airbender, built a universe in their respective mediums that is larger than life. In the comics and cartoon, respectively, all of the creators who worked on these franchises have been able to build an environment where we marvel at the world(s) that exist around the characters. There is a very special Star Wars type quality from both franchises that as fans we see.
The same cannot be said about the movies for both. In both cases, the movies lack direction as the writers and directors are not sure how to get over the concept of these franchises. Because of this, it leads to characters telling you that the threat they are facing is a "world ending" threat rather than the viewer being convinced of it by the actions taking place on screen.
For everything that can be said about the choice of Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan, I will say he did a serviceable job in the role. At no point was I convinced Reynolds was making the role his own, mostly due to half the time he acts like a typical Reynolds character you see in his comedy films. There are moments towards the end of the film where Reynolds does seem to finally feel comfortable in the role but nothing overly convincing.
Reynolds was nowhere near as good as Robert Downey Jr. or Chris Hemsworth in their roles as Tony Stark and Thor. In both cases, it could be easily said that both actors are those characters. Robert Downey Jr is Tony Stark and Chris Hemsworth is Thor. In Green Lantern all you can say is that it is Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan. Reynolds is not the character. He is just another actor playing a role.
A lot of that also falls on the script as Hal is written to be a guy that constantly quits everything he does. The only reason the viewer is given to actually get behind the character is because he is supposed to be the hero. But, a character that is constantly quitting only to be given a hundred more chances until he does not, is just the wrong portrayal for the character to have.
Even with the small amount of backstory with Hal’s father’s death is not enough to get the viewer behind the character since that is not fleshed out enough to get the viewer to care. At the end of the day, the Hal Jordan in the film comes out looking like some jackass that deserves to get his ass kicked every chance the character has.
Speaking of things that are not fleshed out, something else that is horribly done in the film is the fact that we are supposed to believe that Hal, Carol and Hector Hammond, the villain of the film, where all childhood friends. At no point does that seem to be the case. Sure, Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively, who on a side note is smoking hot, had nice chemistry. But, it was nothing more than that. And Hammond came out looking like some guy that just happened to see Blake in a magazine and decided to become her stalker since she was the first woman he ever saw. There was simply no backstory given.
Then there is the biggest pitfall of this movie. Unlike how we were given reasons in Star Wars to care about characters like Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Obi Won Kenobi in Star Wars, Martin Campbell and the writers of Green Lantern rely on telling the viewer how great characters such as Abin Sur, Sinestro and the Green Lantern Corps are. At no point do are we given a reason to be convinced these are badass characters. You have to know that coming into the movie which is just horrible.
Sinestro is the biggest example as all the character does in this movie is talk about the incoming threat of Parallax. For a character that in the comics is seen as the biggest badass of the Green Lantern Corps, here in the movie Sinestro is no better than a spokesman on TV trying to get over how great a product is. It is a giant waste of a character which is what can be said about everything that happens on Oa.
If you thought Oa looked great in the trailers, you were right. Oa does look very good in the film when on the giant screen. It is one of the very few good things about the movie. Unfortunately, everything you see in the trailers from Oa is what you get in the film. The time that Hal and the viewer spend on Oa could not have been more than 15 minutes.
That is just pathetic when it is the only other planet other than Earth that we see in the movie. With a run time of almost two hours and a movie that is promoted as a big space opera for it only to take place in space for less than 1/7th of the movie is just wrong.
Then there is the big bads of the movie in Hector Hammond and Parallax. For his part, Hammond is nothing more than a plot device to get Parallax away from attacking Oa and instead attacking Earth. And when you see the cheap way Hammond goes out there is no other way to say how the character is treated other than poorly.
And for the big monster villain, it is sad that Parallax just became a DC movie version of Galactus from the second Fantastic Four villain. Parallax only looks menacing because of its size, but it is as dumb as dirt. The final fight with Parallax would have been the perfect opportunity to include the rest of the Green Lantern Corps. But, because this is Hal’s story we get a quick finish that is not very satisfactory.
It is too bad that Green Lantern had to turn out like this. I had high expectations coming into the movie because not only am I a fan of the character but because I wanted to see DC Comics be successful with a franchise that was not Batman or Superman. Sadly, unlike how Marvel is just rolling with one hit after another, DC still has long road ahead of them before they are going to be able to become more than the “Batman and Friends” company.
Movie Rating: 3 Night Girls out of 10