Green Lantern. Not sure where I should start. I wanted to like this movie. Hell I wanted to love this movie, but that just didn’t happen and I will tell you why.
When I first learned of the Green Lantern movie I was excited. As the weeks and months went by and I learned of Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan that excitement waned a little. Then I saw the first “Van Wilder” preview; the one with Hal snapping his arms out and his uniform popping into existence and that excitement grew into dread. When the next set of trailers came out, my excitement came back a little until I saw the semi-terrible CGI that was on tap. I still wanted this movie to be good, I want all super hero/comic book movies to be good, but I was less than confident as I walked into the theater.
For those of you who don’t know anything about Green Lantern let me tell you the super thin plot of this movie. Paralax (who is Hal Jordan in the comic books) is a big bad guy who looks like a cloud of diesel exhaust and he’s going to destroy the universe. A Green Lantern named Abin Sur, who once imprisoned Paralax, decides to go and fight this cloud of evil. During this way short battle he gets injured and has to go to Earth to find his replacement. This just so happens to be a test pilot very similar to Maverick in Top Gun. Not only is he cocky and arrogant, he’s also prone to “Talk to me Goose” moments while flying dangerous missions.
So Abin Sur crashes his bubble ship on the shores of the Atlantic and asks his ring to go find someone to replace him. In comes Hal Jordan. That’s pretty much the plot of the whole movie. I won’t go into every detail because honestly a lot of it is pretty boring and I don’t want to spoil the whole movie before you see it.
Let me point out a few of the things that really bothered me about this movie. In the beginning Hal is flying his F-35 jet around trying to avoid these new drones Ferris Bueller Industries is trying to sell to the government. He’s whipping around in every direction, pulling what looks like fantastic G’s and it’s like he’s driving a Lexus around. Sure his head moves back and forth a few times, but he’s not out of breath or straining while flying, he’s just holding a casual conversation with his “Wingman” Blake Lively. Now sure, I’m nitpicking here, but for a 200 million dollar movie, I’m allowed. Let’s not even mention he destroys a 150 million jet while defying orders and gets a stern talking to. Pathetic.
While in this office, getting a stern talking to, Hal Jordan gets to deliver one of his greatest jokes in the movie. “Hey Hal, you better watch your back.” And in his best Van Wilder voice Hal’s witty response is, “That’s impossible.” Wow. Do I even need to say anything after that? My podcast partner likes to use the words Lazy Writing and I think that fits here. Whatever you want to call it, I call it fucking stupid and not funny in the slightest.
When Hal is transported to the crashed alien ship, he gets the ring and calls his friend to come pick him up. This prompts the conversation of where he got the ring he's wearing. This really cracked me up, NOT. He says he got it from the alien he buried under a rock pile near the coast, which is another stupid thing, but I’ll let that one go. After hearing that he got the ring from the alien, his friends response is, “He Proposed?” Wait, I have to take a break, just writing that joke is making it hard for me to concentrate I am laughing so hard. There are a few more bad lines in the movie, but other than that the rest of the dialog is so bland, besides a few moments with Sinestro, that it’s hard to believe this script was re-written like twenty times before filming began. But the worst of all is the ending of the film. I’m not going to give anything away here, Green Lantern wins, but as he’s “winning” (insert all the Charlie Sheen comments you want here) he delivers this wonderful line as he pushes Paralax into the sun. “The bigger they are, the faster they burn.” Well holy shit, that is so fucking bad I am at a loss for words. In no way does that make any sense. Bigger things take longer to burn my galactic Top Gun pilot friend.
Should I even mention the part where Blake Lively calls in a Helicopter crash AS IT’S FUCKING HAPPENING? Does that even need to be addressed? God I hope I don’t need to tell you why that is fucking stupid. Enough said.
So the dialog is bad or boring through most of the movie. There are a few lines from Sinestro that are actually pretty cool and Mark Strong was pretty damn good. But then there’s Blake Lively who is clearly only there to fill the required Jessica Biels role. She wasn’t terrible, but she wasn’t good either. It was a little like Natalie Portman in Thor, only you could tell that Natalie had more in the acting tank and Blake was running on empty. Her legs looked very nice and I guess for 40 year olds living in their parent’s basement that might be enough. I would have put Starbuck in the role if I was casting Carol Ferris Bueller and probably Bradley Cooper as Hal Jordan. Ryan Reynolds is too small to play Hal Jordan. IMO.
So besides a few moments of Cable Access green screen, the rest of this movie is decent. The constructs look great. The flying around with a green halo over his body looked wonderful. And the suit, lets talk about the suit. I loved the suit. I don’t know what all the fuss was over the suit. I liked the power of the ring going around the suit as he used it. I thought that was cool. That explains a little why he can get thrown through cars and shit. I didn’t like the neck part of the suit, that looked like something from The Mask with Jim Carrey. I had to be specific because Eric Stoltz was in a movie called Mask also. Not like that mask. At least it didn’t look like the 70’s TV show uniform…that would have been much worse.
The look of Oa was pretty sweet. It looked like the old Final Fantasy movie, but hey that’s just fine. Who am I to tell anyone that Oa isn’t a cartoon looking planet, I’ve never been there. The Guardians, The Watcher looking dudes, yeah they rocked too. This is also where I thought the CGI lacked a little, especially in placing Ryan Reynolds in front of all those aliens, but I can forgive it since I’m not far from a 40 year old living in my parents basement.
Someone somewhere compared this movie to Star Wars in 1977 and I think that’s a terrible comparison. In 1977 the reason Star Wars didn’t fair well at first was because there was nothing else out there like it at all. Star Wars broke the mold, Green Lantern didn’t break jack shit. Green Lantern had moments of Top Gun in it, moments of Iron Man (the flying around and shooting things from his hands) and all the other super hero movies. Star Wars had some terrible acting in it for sure, but it also had nothing for a budget. Lucas couldn’t afford to hire anyone with any acting chops and it’s surprising he got Sir Alec Guiness to be in the movie. Green Lantern had money being thrown at it and they could have paid for any actor. Lucas had to use his former carpenter as Han Solo to fill out the roles. Green Lantern is a pile of shit movie compared to Star Wars. It will never go down in history as being anything other than a two-bit super hero movie along with all the other ones. There is NOTHING new in Green Lantern that we haven’t seen before it many other movies; bad jokes, silly storyline and bad acting.
The bottom line with this movie is I give it a C. It didn’t fail me completely and I did have a little bit of fun. I loved the part when Hal visits Carol for the first time in the suit and she recognizes him in like twenty seconds. That was actually touching and real on an emotional level the rest of this movie doesn’t even begin to embrace. And I think it makes fun of how silly that little tiny mask actually looks. That wouldn’t fool anyone. Much like Clark Kents glasses.
As far as how much I liked the film well that’s the tricky question isn’t it. I like super hero movies. I like them a lot. I like to go to a movie and be somewhere else. This world is full of horrible things and I like to escape in my movies. This movie allowed me to do that. For me, I give it a B-. I will be buying the Blu-Ray and I will watch it again. This movie was worse than Thor, which was worse than X-Men First Class. None of these movies were perfect, even First Class had some moments in it that I didn’t like, but it was a pretty awesome flick. I won’t write a review on those, but here is my grading on each of those films.
Thor – B+
X-Men First Class – A-
So the bottom line is if you are a total Green Lantern geek then this movie is built for you and you will probably like it. But let’s be honest there isn’t much substance to this movie and you need lots of popcorn to get through it. Go out and make up your own mind. I’m sure it’s final cost of 300 million (after promotion and distribution) will NOT be made, so we probably won’t see a sequel. Enjoy it while it lasts folks. I sure hope Captain America is as good as X-Men First Class. That would be awesome. Poop.