I know that I’m a bit late on the review front for Green Lantern and I’m sure most of you reading this have already read several reviews declaring how abysmal the Green Lantern film is. Now, I’m not here to tell you it’s a great film that truly captures the essence of Oa and the character of Hal Jordan, most simply because that would be a lie. Although the storyline is riddled with problems, Blake Lively’s acting is absolutely brutal, and many characters are underused, the film still manages to entertain despite the obvious problems. It’s clear that we are now living in the age of 3D and CGI films, and it’s even clearer that those were the focal point of this film. Green Lantern may not be a masterfully written screenplay, but it sure as hell is enjoyable to watch. Read on for the skinny…
I have to admit that going into this film my expectations were exceedingly low given the amount of unfavorable reviews coming from critics across the board. I had no hopes; there was very little chance of me liking this film. However, when I sat down in the theater I found myself more than stoked to see Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan (he’s one of the only redeeming qualities of the film). The initial thirty-or-so minutes of the film are awesome. A great introduction to the Green Lantern Universe, some glorious special effects, and even Abin Sur looked surprisingly in place. Regardless of the tacky moments, the onset of Green Lantern left me with some optimism for the rest of the film.
Then something happened. Almost everything went to shit. It seems as though the team of writers finished writing a quarter of the script and then said “screw it; let’s make another crappy superhero movie instead!”. Hal finds the ring, or the ring finds him, he speaks the oath (a powerful scene), and then he’s on Oa. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind CGI and I thought all the characters looked great. But almost every scene that takes place on the mystical planet is entirely pointless and redundant.
Kilowog and Sinsetro may have looked the part, but for some reason the film fails to get at the core of their characters and build their relationships with Hal. Sinestro becomes somewhat of a joke about halfway through the film demanding a yellow ring (which never even gets used).
Returning to Earth, and who knows how he got there, Hal Jordan “quits” the Crops and reverts to his playboy lifestyle but with a slight change of heart that ends up getting him in fights with colleagues. Somewhere in the galaxy, Parallax is consuming worlds and making his way to Earth.
Parallax looked like a wave of garbage with a cabbage patch doll’s face protruding from the mess. One more “bad thing” I’d like to mention before moving on is Hector Hammond, probably one of the strangest performances I’ve ever seen (and I imagine the script was not much help). I could go on for a while talking about what I didn’t like about the movie, but that’s not why I wanted to write the review, so I’ll leave it at that. Who knows, maybe they’ll improve the script in the sequels, but for now this remains a visually stunning film that lacks the emotion and depth of the comic books.
While I usually dislike comparing new films to old ones, it seems like it will be helpful here. Early on in the production process of Green Lantern they said they want it to be the Star Wars of DC movies. Well, it’s now clear that the meant the new Star Wars trilogy. Obviously the new trilogy is nowhere near as good as the original, but it still has found a huge fan base, and is undeniably engaging. This is precisely how I see Green Lantern.
Now, bad comic book movies are nothing new, in fact it’s almost a guarantee. But does this mean people will stop going to see them? Does it mean people won’t enjoy them regardless of how cheesy the writing is (and trust me, the scenes with Blake Lively are reek of cheddar)? Does it mean there is no way to enjoy them? The short answer is no, there will always be a faithful fan base for any superhero film. Nearly every critic review beat this film to a pulp, saying it was one of the worst superhero movies of the decade. Now I understand that people are upset that Green Lantern didn’t live up to the hype, but those words are a tad harsh. Even a film like Spider-Man 3 can be enjoyable once you realize it’s not just a Sam Raimi film, it’s the third installment of a trilogy, and we all know what he does with those (see Army of Darkness).
Green Lantern is far from a good film, but it is extremely captivating. Ryan Reynolds plays a commendable Hal Jordan (when he speaks the oath it gave me chills), and the special effects are next level. Despite the majority of hostile critics I would urge you to go see this film, don’t watch it on your computer, don’t download it; it’s meant to be seen on the big screen. Despite the utter failures of the script to present the heart of the Green Lantern Corps, there are enough redeeming qualities that give some semblance of hope for future of the Green Lantern installments.