Saturday, 22 October 2011

The Green Lantern

The Green Lantern is the billionth (a slight exaggeration) adaptation of a comic book, The Green Lantern concerns Hal Jordon (Ryan Reynolds) who is a pilot for the US Air Force who is selected and recruited into the Green Lantern Corps (who act as an intergalactic police force) after inheriting a ring that gives him superpowers, he must fight the Parallax which threatens to bring destruction to the balance of the universe. Meanwhile, on Earth, Dr Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard) is exposed to the fear entity granting him super powers of his own. While in cinemas The Green Lantern struggled to break even only gaining just a few thousand over its total budget however DVD sales will make the final total look far more attractive. Critics' reviews were less than positive and it seems they have a point.

The Green Lantern starts off well with a well staged test flight in which an exciting dog fight between two unmanned planes and two planes, which are in development and testing stages, (both are manned by Jordan and Carol Ferris who is played by Blake Lively) takes place. However that is as good as it gets as The Green Lantern is a formulaic, boring and bland superhero movie that never goes beyond its comfort zone. It is a film that has been done many times before and been done much better. Despite a shortish running time of 110 minutes the film feels overlong and after the opening ten to fifteen minutes the film lands on the runway never to take off again. The Green Lantern (like many superhero movies) does not have to be intelligent or greatly innovative but it has to be entertaining but The Green Lantern is neither intelligent or entertaining. Its lack of originality is not the greatest problem but the fact that it is, for the best part of the film's length, dreadfully dull is problematic.

There are of course many reasons for why The Green Lantern is not quite as entertaining as Thor, Captain America or the Batman franchise. One of the main reasons is the deeply uninspiring performance of Ryan Reynolds. Reynolds, who has been in plenty of dull movies, has proven himself to be a perfectly decent actor; Buried and The Nines are two perfect examples of films in which Reynolds' performance was exceptional, Buried in particular is a highlight as, similar to James Franco in 127 Hours, the whole film rests on Reynolds performance. However, in The Green Lantern any charisma that makes Hal Jordan a likeable character is lacking, this mainly is due to how thinly written the character is who strangely for a film that is nothing more than fluffy entertainment is given very little amusing things to say. Other characters are just a poorly written, the romance that blossoms between Carol Ferris and Hal Jordan is obvious, predicable and chemistry free, Thomas Kalmaku (Taika Waititi) who is Hal Jordan's best friend turns up randomly out of blue and then disappears off again into the background and Peter Sarsgaard (in perhaps his most dismal performance in a long time) makes for a rather tame and uninteresting villain.

Director Martin Campbell who previous efforts include Goldeneye and the rebooted Bond franchise obviously has some experience in action movie making as Goldeneye and Casino Royale are fine films but here the action remains oddly dull and no matter how much GCI Campbell chucks at the screen it's not going to make the rather lacklustre action set pieces any more entertaining if the audience struggles to find anything to care about. The Green Lantern is a typical soulless blockbuster we are accustomed to seeing; it is GCI heavy but lacks anything that adds up a good film such as character, an interesting story and emotion. At the core, under the surface, The Green Lantern is lifeless and empty as the remotest parts of the Earth. The GCI is not impressive enough to make up for any of the film's failings (unlike in Avatar). Also The Green Lantern's failings at the box office (the film made only $219,000,000 of its $200,000,000 budget) sheds more light on the quality of film as even the average cinema goer ranks The Green Lantern right near the bottom of the list when it comes to quality in the superhero/comic book movie genre.

The Green Lantern is typical Hollywood fodder, big name, big budget, big special effects and nothing more. If you are looking for a film that is about superheroes watch Thor or the new X Men film because they are simply better. There are plenty of better films out there are that are far more entertaining, far more engaging and in much higher quality than The Green Lantern. With a lead performance that is as forgettable and unremarkable as the whole film itself, The Green Lantern is not even worth a rental.



  1. good review, Myerla. As you know, I liked this movie, but its always good to hear a differing opinion. Nice work

  2. I'm still kind of curious about this one, but I won't have too high expectations for it. great review though!