Friday 17 June 2011

Movie Review: Green Lantern

After the studio has invested a supposed budget of two hundred million dollars, you'd think I'd have more than a one word review. Sorry, this is it: OK. Yep, that's it, just okay. Which believe me is a generous step up from "no". Some heads are going to roll at the studio over this as it's just hard to believe all that money could be spent and the best one could up with is a rating of 23% on Rotten Tomatoes. This is definitely going to be a case of where the studio better make sure or they better hope there's enough hype to suck people into seeing the film on the opening weekend because after the word gets out, you probably won't be able to pay people to see it.

Ah, the opening weekend, my explanation and or excuse for my presence at the cinema. If you're a comic book fan, you're going to see this no matter what. How could you not go? But what about everybody else? There are a lot of non comic book fans who like sci-fi and special effects and stuff like that, so what about them? Well, it all comes back to one thing: ya gotta have a great story. No matter how much of a budget you throw at it with the stars, the special effects, and the stunts, if you don't have a good tale to tell, you just aren't going to be able to hold onto your audience's attention. What's wrong with the tale?

Some may disagree, but I've always felt we like a superhero to be a little closer to us. Now, yes, Hal Jordan is sort of like us, but his superpower ends up being so vast and his journey so far away from home, how can any of us mere mortals relate to him? Yes, Spiderman has a superpower but somehow any of us could be Peter Parker. The Green Lantern isn't just battling evil; he's battling for the planet, even for the entire universe. Spiderman is not above rescuing a cat from a tree or some similar act that would make any of us a hero. Couple the enormity of the Green Lantern's actions with a background story supposedly so profound and all encompassing, that we have the "immortal" Guardians overseeing everything. Yes, everything, absolutely everything. It's funny, when you're 12 years old reading about this stuff, it somehow seems quite plausible, but when you're older - older like me; now think of the immortal Guardians - you feel that you need just a tad bit more logic to render a premise believable. Let's not forget that any story starts with a premise and if your audience doesn't buy into that premise, your entire story isn't going to work.

As an aside, I think Ryan Reynolds makes for a good Hal Jordan slash Green Lantern. He's buff; he's handsome, and I think he works well as the character. I imagine the ladies would be swooning over this guy.

I saw the film in 3D. Good? Bad? The famous movie critic Roger Ebert hates 3D calling it an annoying distraction. In this film, I can see what he's talking about. A good film, that is, a good story, doesn't need 3D or for that matter, any special effects gimmick. As I sat there watching a story that didn't quite cut the mustard, I was thinking that the 3D was not adding enough wow to the screening to make up for its deficiencies. Okay, 3D can be interesting but lord give me a great story in 2D any day.

Final Word
Two hundred million dollars. Wow, that's a lot of money. That should buy a lot of talent along with the special effects but I'm afraid the results are at best only okay. I wouldn't bother. Okay, if you're a diehard comic fan, yeah, sure, go see it. But if you're planning your weekend and want some great entertainment, I would advise you to look elsewhere. If you're in the mood for some sci-fi superhero stuff, I would say X-Men: First Class is a better choice.


Rotten Tomatoes: Green Lantern: 23%

Wikipedia: Green Lantern (film)
Green Lantern is a 2011 superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name. The film stars Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan, with Martin Campbell directing a script by Greg Berlanti and comic book writers Michael Green and Marc Guggenheim, which was subsequently rewritten by Michael Goldenberg. Green Lantern released on June 17, 2011 in 3D.

Wikipedia: Green Lantern (character)
The Green Lantern is the shared primary alias of several fictional characters, superheroes appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. The first Green Lantern (Alan Scott) was created by writer Bill Finger and artist Martin Nodell in All-American Comics #16 (July 1940).

Wikipedia: Green Lantern Corps
The Green Lantern Corps is the name of a fictional intergalactic military/police force appearing in comics published by DC Comics. They patrol the farthest reaches of the DC Universe at the behest of the Guardians, a race of immortals residing on the planet Oa. According to DC continuity, the Green Lantern Corps has been in existence for three billion years, surviving multiple conflicts both internal and foreign. Currently operating divided as pairs amongst the 3600 “sectors” of the universe, over 7200 members (known commonly as Green Lanterns) are estimated as serving within the Corps. Each Green Lantern is given a power ring, a weapon granting the use of incredible abilities that are directed by the wearer's own willpower.


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