A movie review of Green Lantern with Deadpool, Deadpool and Deadpool(actually, not.) (NOT!) (Not.)
Green Lantern is DC’s singular reply in 2011 to Marvel’s recent spate of superhero movies. Featuring Ryan Reynolds as Green Lantern Hal Jordan, and also starring Peter Sarsgaard, Blake Lively, Tim Robbins and Mark Strong (and Jango Fett as Abin Sur), Green Lantern tells an intergalactic tale about a man chosen by a ring powered by willpower to protect and safeguard the universe while battling the problems closer to home. Helmed by director Martin Campbell (Casino Royale), did he and his team of writers manage to wrangle out a tale to tackle the recent success of X-Men: First Class and Thor? We’ve been asked this question by quite a few of our followers, and so we’ll go into detail on what we think below.
The buzz behind the Green Lantern movie hasn’t been the most positive, with early reports more than unhappy with the choice of a digitally rendered costume, issues with the costume design, and the early trailers failed to inspire much confidence, accusing Ryan Reynold’s Hal Jordan to be too much of a clown and insufficiently stoic. And of course there’s that digitally rendered mask – and in a day and age when physical masks could be made without looking campy or horrible (see Batman) (or that other Green hero, the Green Hornet) – the choices made for this film seemed odd at best. The odds were stacked against this movie from the start – and what with X-Men: First Class being so very good, Green Lantern really had to bring the full force of the corps to succeed here.
Indeed. And while early RottenTomatoes aggregates has it pegged at a horrid 24% (at time of writing), one suspects Metacritic’s current average of 50% (ditto) is a lot closer to what the movie is worth.
In Brightest Day:
Not that we’re being merciful, mind you. There is quite a bit to like about Green Lantern, especially since they managed to tone down the campy jockishness so prominently displayed in the early trailers. Let’s begin by going through the positives, sadly mostly with caveats. Mark Strong is very good as Sinestro (aka the best name for a hero.) (Obv.) and really commands each scene he is in (Sinestro as a hero one of the best parts of Green Lantern!! Egads!). And Reynolds is great too, balancing his heroic stature with a somewhat insecure, human side (but also a problem in the movie) (But look at that bod!). Some guys would love Blake Lively as eye candy – but her character seems an mish-mash – an ultra hot business-woman hotshot dogfighting pilot who looks better dressed down than dressed up. Tomar-Re (Geoffery Rush!) and Kilowog (Micheal Clark Duncan, of course) are fun to watch, as are many of the other Lanterns, but it’s a pity that unless you have a great memory for all the different Lanterns, most of them will just be filler – and the featured Lanterns definitely don’t get enough screen time.
In Blackest Night:
This is really because we just spend more time focusing on Hal’s backstory instead of having grand adventures in space. I guess the weakest problem is that the movie just isn’t well plotted, nor paced, nor written (there is really one obvious horrible joke in there) (I laughed!). Considering they begin the movie proclaiming that the only people without fear are worthy enough to wear the ring, it’s odd that the lead character is wracked with constant fear (as are some of the other Lanterns) – the ring, instead of chosing a hero worthy to rise up right away, instead becomes the training ground for someone with potential. Maybe it’s the film trying to tie the film back to being a story about humans (as usual, the young, clumsy race learning it’s place in the stars), but even with the focus on humanity, the issues plaguing Hal Jordan and his human adversary, Hector Hammond (Sarsgaard, making the most of his role) are largely unrelatable – a hotshot pilot still plauged with memories of his father’s death, and a college teacher with daddy issues- even when said daddy (Tim Robbins) tries to offer him a leg up. If we’re meant to feel that Hal has had a hard life – well, that really comes as a stretch, so this disconnect pervades the movie and really reduces any chance of enjoyment. All this leads to a very very very slow second act, such that any appearence of the Lanterns in space is sweet nectar for the parched.
No evil shall escape my sight:
Amidst all this oddness, which, indubitably, adds up to a weirdly uncomfortable experience, one thing unexpectedly becomes Green Lantern’s strength: the action scenes and all the CGI involved. The movie is quite the visual spectacle. Odd design of Parallax aside (suffering from the Galactus cloud, are we?) everything seems lovingly rendered, from the smallest Lantern to the Guardians themselves – and even Hal Jordan’s mask, which threatens to be just a little too wonky, ends up not being distracting but actually works pretty well (and I suspect was in CGI just so that they could do ONE scene). And the final climatic battle is really quite the nail-biter, for some reason that I can’t really explain – maybe my heart rate had dipped so much that the excitement presented was very, very welcome? The CGI can be a little too obvious at parts (the introduction seemingly almost Blizzard cut-scene quality) (but yet not), and each time someone lands on the ground the camera cuts away to a closeup (haven’t mastered the look of people landing?), but in the end, where it counts, the CGI works.
Let those who worship evil’s might:
I’ll just put this picture of Blake Lively here.
Beware my power… Green Lantern’s light!
So does the Green Lantern have any power? Sadly, not as much as I wished it would have. It seems like a lot of wasted potential, especially since you have such a likable star in the main role. Still, as mentioned – potential is there, and with clunky backstory out of the way, and with the chance of Star Sapphire finally making a full appearence together with Sinestro, maybe there is a chance for Green Lantern after all. It’s a pity that we have to wait for the second movie for any real chance of true success.
(This also marked the first time I’ve ever witnessed subtitles (and only in Chinese no less) beseeching the audience to stay for a secret scene to be presented during the credits (but seriously, unless you were dumb you’d have seen it coming from about 5 sectors away) – were they afraid that you’d miss it and then never come back for the sequel? Shouldn’t the movie earn the right to have a sequel first?)
Deadpool says: 7/10
Deadpool sez: 6.5/10
Deadpool sayeth: 6/10