I’m a Green Lantern fan. I’m not one of those from the beginning Lantern fans, I’m talking the Geoff Johns era Lantern fan. That would probably make a whole bunch of geeks out there vomit in revulsion because they don’t like the Geoff Johns era because it made Green Lantern relevant after they blindly followed his lameness throughout the decades before. But that’s neither here nor there, as a Lantern fan (a pretty big one in my opinion) I felt it only proper that I review the recent Ryan Reynolds starring film. I was very excited after the second trailer came out for the flick, but once I missed it the first week in theaters the critics and my colleague Dr. Kronner had already done the damage. The movie was lambasted as a piece of crap that failed at every turn. Dr. Kronner had a more reasonable assessment but he stopped short of calling it awesome or even good. Well I’ve watched the Blu-Ray disc this very night and let me tell you: This movie sucks major arse, especially if you’re a Green Lantern fan. Casual movie goers would enjoy it and that’s about it, which explains it’s heartless box office performance.
So for those of you who do not know, the movie is about an ancient species of beings called the Guardians who have harnessed the green energy of will power and created an intergalactic force of peacekeepers to maintain justice throughout the space sectors of the galaxy. The peacekeepers wear rings imbued with the green energy of will power and the wearer can make any construct they can imagine to serve and protect those in need. Sounds great right? Yes, in theory it does and in the comics it is awesome but this movie really just falls flat and makes the mistake of spending far too much time on Earth and not in the galaxy showing us what the Lanterns can do.
Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan I could live with. He was wise cracking and humorous at times but nothing too over the top for Mr. “I like to wear no shirt” Reynolds. But as for the costume he wore, in particular the mask, I found myself laughing out loud at it in certain scenes. I still can’t figure out if the laughter was a confused laughter because I should have been crying at what a joke they had made of the Green Lantern Hal Jordan.
It’s a shame because the movie did have some potential in many ways. The scenes on Oa and elsewhere in the galaxy were very well done and made up the best parts of the movie. As I said before there just wasn’t enough time allotted to said parts. Kilowog, Tomar Re, Sinestro and the Guardians all looked fantastic as well. Mark Strong did a fine job as the veteran lantern Sinestro who starts off as a mentor to Hal Jordan before eventually turning into his greatest nemesis. The one issue I had was with Parallax and it was not because they changed up his origin and character quite a bit. It was because he basically looked like a squirming pile of burning dog shit. Watch the movie if you want to see what that might look like on screen.
Instead of more Oa and space action we are served with a generic romance between Hal Jordan and fellow pilot Carol Ferris, played by Blake Lively. Lively is definitely a very, very hot slice of pizza but she really doesn’t have much of an onscreen presence. However, that doesn’t mean I’m against a sequel where there is a possibility of her being in the uniform of a Star Sapphire.
The other bit of Earth story we get is the completely pointless one of Hector Hammond, played by Peter Sarsgaard. Hector is a childhood friend of Carol and Hal who is more of a bookworm who gains telekinetic powers from a connection with Parallax; this again is for no good reason other than to have someone for Hal to fight on Earth. I give props to DC and the studio for making Hammond, a lesser known Lantern foe the main villain besides Parallax to face off against Hal, but unfortunately most of the scenes with him made me laugh. And I assure you that was not their intent.
His gargantuan cranium looked sillier than it does in the comics and he had a propensity for screaming about anything and everything that brought an amused smile to my face. This would be the sort of smile I get when I see a drunken idiot in a bar trying to fight everyone in sight and making a complete ass of themselves. Epic fail Mr. Hammond. Epic fail. But seriously big ups to the literal roast of Tim Robbins, because that was entertaining for about ten seconds.
Overall I have to give the movie a 2 out of 5 bears. It would have been a 1 out of 5, but since Ms. Lively was looking so superbly elegant in the movie I’ll bump it up. The other point would be for the scenes not taking place on Earth because they looked pretty, especially on Blu-Ray.
Otherwise the movie just didn’t have good enough pacing or anything on Earth worthy enough to care about. Hal’s fear wasn’t touched upon nearly enough except in a silly flashback seen from viewpoints of footage we had seen about fifteen minutes previously and a couple parts that took him two seconds to decide “I’m not afraid. Let’s party”.
A sequel is definitely most welcome, granted they work on focusing it more in the galaxy at large instead of boring old Earth. With Sinestro utilizing the yellow ring of fear at the end that would make for a good set up for a third film if he is exiled from the Green Lantern Corps by the end of the second movie. And if they need a villain that doesn’t suck as hard as Hector Hammond for the sequel I suggest they use Artrocitus and his Red Lanterns due to his history with the Guardians… and because they are totally bad ass.