Green Lantern

Posted: June 20, 2011 in Movies
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Green Lantern is Warner Brothers’/DC Entertainment’s attempt to start another superhero franchise outside of Superman and Batman. (Past attempts included Catwoman, Jonah Hex, Steel, and the aborted Wonder Woman TV show) I’m going to do this differently from my other reviews, I’m just going to break down the good and the bad, because there’s plenty to be said for both.

The Good:

Like the best FX/Franchise/Blockbuster movies, the story tries to be about something other than action and FX. The main theme of Green Lantern is fear, and how we face up to it. The main character, Hal Jordan, puts up a front of never showing fear, which originates with his relationship to his father. Of course under the surface he’s filled with fear, which hurts his relationships with his family and potential love interest. Hal’s victory over Parallax, the main villain, is at least partly based on facing his fear, as opposed to mere fisticuffs.

The basic concept of the Green Lanterns is explained in a brief opening monologue, almost reminiscent of the Superman movies exposition scenes with Marlon Brandos’ Jor-El.

There’s an earthbound villain that, in classic superhero style, has parallels with the hero, regarding father figures, and failing to live up to expectations.

The story makes basic sense, in that Parallax is using fear, and the Green Lantern Corps’ (aliens who also have the super-powered rings that are used to keep the universe safe) failure to deal with that lead to Hal Jordan becoming the first human ring bearer.

The Bad:

My biggest complaint is that, for as much money was spent on special effects, some of the effects looked really goofy. Both villains heads looked goofy, the council of the Corps looked really goofy, and many of the outer-space scenes  looked like a video game. This is the inherent problem in scenes that are %100 CGI, it takes you out of the movie. As opposed to say Thor, which had actual built sets with accompanying CGI. Also, Hal’s debuts his heroics on earth by stopping a disaster that’s almost laugh out loud funny.

Hal Joran was not unlikeable enough in the beginning. We see he’s a tad irresponsible, but that’s not enough. He’s nowhere near the total jerk that Tony Stark is, nor is he AS arrogant as Thor, or as selfish as Spiderman was initially.

His romance wasn’t strong enough, we’re not rooting for them as much as a couple. Also we see Hal’s family in one early scene, then we completely forget about them.

Finally there’s little things in the plot that don’t make sense. Hal fights the Earthbound villain, then the two are separated for no good reason. Did Hal just let him go? We see there are thousands for Corps members, but only a few (of the best) go to fight Parallax (and die). Wouldn’t thousands and thousands of Corps members be able to beat him?

Also, early on we are told, TOLD, that Parallax destroyed 2 planets or something like that. Why did the TELL us this, why did they not SHOW us? That could have put Parallax over as a dreadful villain. Speaking of which, for a villain that is based around fear, he brings no sense of dread to the screen.

There’s a really great movie hidden somewhere in Green Lantern, but it just doesn’t get there. I’ve always been a Marvel fan, but I don’t dislike DC. DC comics has great characters. Green Lantern is a great character with a rich mythology. In a way it’s like Star Wars with superheroes. I want to see DC make other film franchises besides Superman and Batman. I’ve wondered for years why we don’t see a DC Cinematic Universe to compete with Marvel’s. Unfortunately Green Lantern is just not going to do it. By the way, to the best of my knowledge, there were no references to anything else in the DC Universe, nothing about Gotham, Metropolis, Martian Manhunter, New Gods, etc.

Green Lantern is a combination of the traits of a really great film, mixed with the traits of  a really bad film. I’ve never seen anything quiet like it actually. 7/10.

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Comments
  1. I saw Green Lantern last week and loved it. The only thing I knew going into the theater was he is a DC comics super hero.

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