Yesterday I went to see the much-hyped Green Lantern movie. Before sitting down in the movie theatre, I had worked pretty hard to limit my knowledge of the film. I carefully avoided appearances by the stars on various morning and late night chat programs, fast-forwarded through adverts that appeared on television. I saw the first theatrical trailer about two times and promptly forgot most of it. It just wasn’t up my alley.
But in the interest of giving new things a try, I decided to go to see it and write a review. To emphasize how little I knew about this movie going in, I’ll sum it up on a few quick bullet points:
- It involves a ring. That is green. This ring does not appear to gift the wearer with the ability to change into animals or types of water (re: the Wonder Twins). It might glow? I don’t know. The word lantern has to mean something.
- The movie stars Blake Lively (minus her pretty blonde locks) and Ryan Reynolds. Apparently Peter Sarsgaard is in it too, but I think that might be a clever promotional lie.
- There’s a lot of CGI, various types of aliens and that sort of thing.
- Isn’t the Green Lantern a black guy? Or am I totally off the mark on that one? I think I might just be misremembering my Saturday morning cartoons.
Well. After viewing it, I can’t say that I know more about it, but I am going to try to work through what I do know without that many spoilers. It could be pretty tricky, but we’ll give a try.
Okay. Let me just get this out there: I tried really hard to get into this movie, but at the end of the day it just didn’t happen. I love a good bad movie as much as the next girl, but there’s a line between being glorious camp and mediocre snoozefest and this movie spent most of the time hanging out on the latter side. It’s a shame, because any movie that has just a wide-variety of aliens AND Peter Sarsgaard sort of calls to be absurd. Heck, I’ve seen Van Wilder. I know that Ryan Reynolds can be hilarious when he wants to be. But something about this just fell flat.
It could be the fact that the movie took its time when it came to introducing our hero, Hal Jordan. I will admit that I did enjoy getting the background info (or rather background info for this version). and sort of setting the intergalactic scene for what was going to happen. I can appreciate a little history as much as the next girl, but there is a fine line between just the right amount of exposition and drowning the audience with it. There were quite a few moments where I felt like I was bobbing along waiting for the golden moment where I would just Get It. Alas it never really happened.
When Hal Jordan (Reynolds) finds the dying Abin Sur (played by a thoroughly made-up and CGI-d Temeura Morrison aka Jango Fett) and sets the plot that was actually relevant to my interests in motion. You see the Earth is in danger from being taken over by the big bad yellow fear energy cleverly named Parallax (the use of double letters AND an x tells us that he is up to no good) and Abin Sur gives up his life and the ring to Hal and gives him a new destiny. Because you know, you’re nothing until you have this big crazy destiny. The rest of your life has just been a lie.
Because no film is completely without a multitude of villains, after the government takes Abin Sur’s body to their secret lair the scientist in charge, Hector Hammond (Sarsgaard) winds up becoming infected by the Parallax and starting on his path to terrorize the earth. Um, this is where things got hazy again while I watching it. Hammond uses his new found agenda to gain psychic powers and grow a massive brain (which I have issues with purely from a real science POV, so I’ll check those at the door). He wants power and respect from his dad and all of that and he tries his hardest to gain those things. Hal has to stop him, save the government AND keep his girlfriend which can be a lot of stress for a guy to handle. I’ll give the writers points for having Carol Ferris (Lively) figure out that Hal was the Green Lantern pretty quickly. Since he’s just wearing a bandit mask and still very much looks like Ryan Reynolds. I wasn’t entirely sold on Carol as a character (she was just the girlfriend, nothing else really and she make a lot of shocked faces which was something), but that could just be a poor translation from page to screen.
The movie ends in a fairly expected way, leaving room for a sequel that I don’t really want to think about right now. I would elaborate more on the plot details and how it hits the climax, but I am still trying to figure out which one was the real climax (I am going to go with the last Big Intergalactic Confrontation), but it could’ve been any number of things. This movie simply had too many stories going on and couldn’t make its mind up over which ones it wanted to really show off.
To make a long story short, there’s a large chance that I would’ve liked this movie more if it had spent most of its time on Earth and if I had known something about the title before going to see it. Or I could’ve had the opposite reaction. Am I telling you to go out and pay the $9 or whatever to see it right now? No. But if you were, just be aware that it could’ve been more with a bit of careful script editing. It just wasn’t.