Film Review: Green LanternMovie Reviews — By ecksmanfan on June 20, 2011 1:08 pm
For years now, DC Comics and Warner Bros. Studios have partnered in bring two of its most iconic characters to the big screen: Superman and Batman. Some of these films have been among the most successful and popular comic books films to date, while others have failed miserably, but that is another discussion. Up until recently, the desire to have lesser known DC Comics characters brought to the big screen has been minimal, at best; but with the success that Iron Man brought to Marvel had the folks at DC and WB reconsidering and they quickly went to the drawing board and got Green Lanterninto production. While the Green Lantern is a very popular character among comic fans, the general public has very general knowledge of the charachter, gaining most of that from previous animated television series like The Justice League. Hal Jordna, a/k/a, Green Lantern, is among the most pivotal and prominant charachters in DC Comics history, so I was not surpirsed to see this character head to the big screen first, but his first venture to feature film doesn’t really do this character the justice he deserves. While the film is entertaining at times, the film as a whole fails to reach the levels of other characters, which is a shame, as DC and WB had a lot riding on this project.
Hal Jordan is among the best pilots out there, but he also has his faults, mostly his ego. After an alien lands on Earth and summons Hal Jordan to his side, Jordan is thrust into a world that many only thought to exist. Jordan is given a Green Lantern ring, which allows him to become an “space cop” of sorts, a corps of othe beings who are sworn to protect the thousands of districts in our universe. Powered by Will and the lack of fear to do what is right, the Green Lantern Corps must face a foe unlike nay other they have faced before: the fear-driven Parallax.
As with any comic book charachter-based film, the first movie in the franchise is usually devoted to the origins of said character, Green Lantern is no different. That being said, instead of being about the Green Lantern character and the corps that he belongs to, this film concentrates more on Hal Jordan, and as one fan put it, “his daddy issues.” I don’t have a problem with this concept, but it shouldn’t be the main focus of the film. I want to see the Green Lantern Corps joining together to fight this “great foe.” i was unimpressed with the lack of team effort that should be prevalent in this story.
Before I get on to this next portion, let me say that I am a big fan of Ryan Reynolds. Ever since I saw him on television with Jeremy Piven in Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place, I knew that he would go on to become a huge star. Now, let me say this: Reynolds was miscast. He does a decent job in the role of Hal, but he just isn’t what I pictured for this part. He was his usually wise-cracking self, but it just didn’t fit with the script, as the several comedic scenes in the film, while funny, just seemed out of place. Blake Lively handled her role well, but was overshadowed often and Peter Sarsgaard as Hector Hammond embraced his creepy role, but often took it to a level of cheese. The one person who stood out to me was Mark Strong as Sinestro. Strong was perfectly cast, but his character lacked the appropriate screen time to make him more effective. His future role in films, should there be more, was revealed in an after-credits scene, but I felt it was rushed considering how little he was on screen. The same could be said for Kilowog and Tomar-Re, who also lacked the needed screen time needed to make the effective. Oh, and Michael Clark Duncan as Kilowog? No bueno. Sounds like it would work, but the Poozer-hating Kilowog is not a New Yorker.
My biggest problem with this film may sound odd, but it is the stand-out problem: Green Lantern comes across as too comic book-y. In a world of ‘grounded” comic book films, this film, and others such as Thor, delve into a world that movie goers have yet to see. And while we have many sci-fi and horror films that explore different and unique concepts, they are still able to grasp a concept of “real world.” This idea can be achieved with a character like this but they failed to do so and it all just comes across as cheesy to me.
Now, It may seem like I hated this movie; but in actuality, it wasn’t terrible. It has some great action sequences, the special effects are top notch, but may be too plentiful at times, which can be distracting. For instance, the suits that the members of the Green Lantern Corps wear are just too much. The could have been just as effective in a simplified version. But this is a “popcorn” film in every sense of the word: it is loud, action packed and just fun. As a comic book movie, however, it all just falls short.
As I mentioned earlier, DC Comics and Warner Bros. have a lot riding on the success of this film, as it was being used as a tester for how lesser known characters are accepted. Should they be pleased by the success of Green Lantern, and I will be surprised if they are, they will bring more characters like The Flash, Wonder Woman and Hawk Man to the big screen, and possibly a Justice League film, which would tie all of these characters, along with Batman and Superman, into a team-up film, much like Marvel has done with next year’s Avengers.
All in all, Green Lantern is a choppy and almost cheesy film, but it will entertain nonetheless. It’s not a film that you have to see in theaters, and will be just as effective at home on your own screen. Hopefully, however, the lack of success this film seems to be having will not effect future DC characters reaching the big screen.