So about this Green Lantern movie….
Last night (or should I say early this morning) I went and saw it. The movie was pretty much how I expected it to be…not great, but no terrible.
It was average. Out of this summer’s super hero films, Thor is still the best, but this is a strong second, tied with X-Men: First Class.
What I liked:
Ryan Reynolds did a decent job as Hal Jordan. Hal was a smart ass, which worked well for Reynolds, especially when you consider the roles he usually plays. They hit home the fact that although he is a bit of a screw up, his heart is in the right place.
The special effects (especially the 3D heavy scenes) were amazing on the big screen. The aliens and energy constructs are visually stunning. I can see why the film was so expensive, reportedly costing in the ballpark of $300 million.
Speaking of visuals, Parallax wasn’t a bug but more of a giant evil amoeba type thing. The revision of him being a former Guardian (who was corrupted by trying to absorbing the power of fear from the yellow power battery) that went rogue made much more sense.
They also did a good job of tying Hal in with Carol Ferris and Hector Hammond, with the three of them having been childhood friends (how convenient!) due to their family’s involvement with military aviation. Hector was jealous of Hal being popular, being involved with Carol, and that his father liked Hal. When Hector gets infected by Parallax, it only made sense that he went after Hal.
Amanda Waller! It was great to see that a minor character in the DCU was given a fair amount of screen time. Angela Bassett played the underground government operative who was responsible for the secret alien research facility. I wonder if she is going to play a role in the DC films like how Nick Fury and Agent Coulson have been tying the Avengers films together.
What I didn’t like:
The movie felt like it had scenes missing. Early on, Hal goes to his nephew’s birthday where they introduce his family briefly, but it really doesn’t do much to advance the plot. The Hal/Carol relationship was never explored. By the end of the film, it wasn’t clear if they were dating or just friends (another Reynolds reference!) Hal’s Green Lantern combat training was brief, making you wonder how he was able to defeat Parallax, the biggest threat the Green Lanterns ever faced. It makes me wonder if scenes were cut from the theatrical version, like what happened to Daredevil. The extended version of that film is significantly better, and I wonder if Green Lantern has suffered from bad editing.
Hal’s Green Lantern uniform looked ridiculous on screen, with the sinewy-Photoshopped look. And the mask…well, even they made jokes about how lame it was during the film.
The most offensive part of the film to me was the lack of acknowledging the creators of Green Lantern. No mention of Martin Nodell and Bill Finger, who started the whole shebang with Alan Scott. The same goes for John Broom and Gil Kane, who created Hal Jordan, the lead character of the movie, as well as many of the concepts of the movie (Sinestro, the Guardians, TOMAR RE!)
This movie felt a lot like Star Wars, with the whole struggle between will and fear seeming to rehash a lot of the Force and dark side themes. The Guardians’ citadel really reminded me of the Jedi council scenes in Phantom Menace and Revenge of the Sith, down to Hal pulling an Anakin and saying that they need to follow his plans.
So as I was getting ready to leave the theater, content with the film I saw. What it lacked in story, it made up for in visuals. My brother reminded me that there is a bonus scene during the credits. Then I saw something that made me shake my head in anger.
At one point in the film, Sinestro suggested creating a yellow fear-powered ring to user against Parallax. In this bonus clip, it has Sinestro replacing his green ring with a yellow one, with his costume transforming in to the yellow/black one from the recent comics. The switch from Sinestro from green to yellow made no sense.
In the comics, Sinestro’s turn came from a hatred/jealousy of Hal. This film addressed that, as Sinestro was not keen on him joining the corps and disagreed with his plan to handle the Parallax situation. But at the end of the film, you would assume that Sinestro had grown to respect Hal.
Not only did he save Hal at the end of the film, but Sinestro praised him in front of the whole corps. If they were buddy-buddy by the end, why would he do something like that?
And in an unintentional bit of comedy, Bleeding Cool reported that the brief slide at the end of the film that directed the audience to pick up Green Lantern comics at your local comics shop, they had the wrong web address. Hearing about this gave me a slight chuckle, but I can empathize with them, since I’ve made that mistake before.
Should you see it?
Well, the film was not as bad as it could have been. It certainly could have been better. It’s a decent enough film to warrant going out to the theater, so I’ll say yes.
Hopefully, if there’s a sequel it will be better.