Review: Green Lantern.

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.

About Lina

A university graduate with three too many degrees and an urge to just keep moving. Not too keen to stay on the beaten path, moving is all that she feels like doing. Pieced together from a little bit of everywhere (culturally speaking) she has a love of pop culture and learning that is kind of out of control. Sometimes she acts a little bit like an insane old British lady or an eight year old on speed. Let's not get her started on the books (or soap operas or her affection for making up drinking games). Then we'd be here all day.
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8 Responses to Review: Green Lantern.

  1. Jess says:

    Soooo this blog is called “Girls Read Comics Too” and you spend half the review claiming to know next to nothing about Green Lantern? Obviously not everyone knows the back story of every character, and I’m not saying they should, but there’s this fabulous new invention called Wikipedia, which you could check out sometime between viewing the film and writing your review to find answers to questions like:
    “Isn’t the Green Lantern a black guy?”
    “Can anyone tell me if they were actually giving accurate comics history or we were just being fed lies?”

    • Lina says:

      Okay. Here’s the deal: this article was started after a conversation between myself and the other contributors about the differences between seeing a movie and knowing the background already and going into it completely blind. My first instinct is to ALWAYS go to wikipedia or some other site and see how much I can gleen. But I barely read DC comics as is and the majority of the viewing public is NOT going to be pre-invested in the Green Lantern (unlike say, Batman or Superman whom almost everyone can identify). So it was an experiment. You can agree with the methodology behind it or you can call me on it (like you so graciously did). But thanks for being so nice about this. I appreciate it, because while yes, I do know that John Stewart was the black Green Lantern from the cartoons and later versions of the title, the internet is a mess when it comes to finding information, even if you know where to look.

    • Dee says:

      As a reader of DC comics, I found her review interesting for a number of levels. As one of the people responsible for what GRCT is, I thought it was even more valuable. Not everyone knows Hal Jordan or his life. The whole point of the review was to take a comic book lover who knew NOTHING about GL and to gauge their reactions.

      Her review was exactly what it was meant to be. It was the review of a person who adores comics, but doesn’t know Green Lantern. She went in cold, and then reviewed cased on only that and nothing else.

    • MattG says:

      That wooshing sound you may (or may not) hear is the point blowing right past you.

      The whole idea of the review was to go into the film with as little prior knowledge as possible to see how the film fares on its own.

  2. Shea says:

    Looks like a rental, unfortunately. I was hoping for it to be more fun and a little cheesy, but I suppose I’ll just have to hope and wait for him in a Deadpool movie for that instead.

    • Lina says:

      Exactly! I love a good cheese fest that’s fun and energetic and I was hoping for this to be that. It showed so much promise but sort of crashed and burned. But definitely a rental material.

  3. Pingback: Green Lantern und die Kinokassen – keine Liebesgeschichte « Ein Comic Leben

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