I'm breaking my hiatus from movie reviews because I'm honestly so distraught right now. I've seen a lot of great films so far this year; Rango, Source Code, Thor, Super 8, X-Men: First Class, among others, that sadly I was too busy at the time to write raving reviews about them. And hell, as disappointing as Tron: Legacy was, at least it was cool to look at and listen to.
Green Lantern, on the the other hand, is no where in the realm of these films. And it really really troubles me to say that. I have wanted to see a live-action Green Lantern film since I was a kid. Sure, my tiny brain was entertained by the campy Batman films I grew up with, but how awesome would it have been to see some guy floating around in space with a ring that can do anything?! That's like, the most BASIC way to explain Green Lantern comics, at its core that's what it is, and it just expands from there. This film, doesn't even get that right.
No no, instead we have a Stark-esque jock who doesn't really do anything, and suddenly has flashbacks of his never mentioned father while flying. And then we have Hector Hammond, a no-body of the DC Universe who might actually have more depth and screen time than the titular character. Whom of course becomes nonexistent by the film's end so why did we waste so much time on him anyways? Oh, and just for the hell of it, throw in Parallax, a relatively new DC creation that had absolutely nothing to do with Hal Jordan's origin.
In fact, fuck it, lets take Hal Jordon, the Green Lantern Corps, and all other things people might recognize, throw them out, and hand them over to a director who admittedly said he was not familiar with the character. Yeah, that sounds great; while we're at it, have 5 or so people handle writing duties so it doesn't feel like 1 film at all. Does this sound ridiculous to you? It does to me. I don't understand how no one in charge of the characters handling at DC thought something was wrong here.
This film is a mess. Don't be fooled by all the advertising and promotional materials that show all the crazy alien Green Lanterns or Hal on Oa, because no, people can't handle that. Instead, lets put most of the film on Earth, have the Green Lantern save maybe 1 person, and not introduce any of the real Green Lantern elements until 2/3 into the film. Yeah, this is sounding great right? .... right? ... hello?
The biggest problem with this film is that clearly, no one knew what film they wanted to make. There's a slow paced story of a man who can't outgrow his father's shadow (where this came in, I have no idea), there's another story about some bald guy that looks older than his dad, there's a story about crazy space politics, there's a story of revenge and supposed corruption, there might be a love triangle? Seriously, there's just way too many stories going on in this film and none of them are interesting enough to care. In the end credits, there's suddenly a scene of Sinestro putting on the yellow ring and changing, clearly setting up a sequel. Why? I couldn't tell you, at least not if I had never heard of the character before, because he has such little screen time in the film I have no idea what his motivations would be to do so.
Which leads into the other problem, trying to be Marvel. Marvel did a bold thing with Iron Man, and eventually The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor and the upcoming Captain America. It made a film with the hopes of starting a cinematic Marvel Universe in which all its characters inhabit. But what Iron Man did right was it allowed itself to be its own stand alone film, only really setting up its connection to the other films after the credits; something both Iron Man 2 and Thor got wrong. Green Lantern, while not making any clear links to other DC heroes, was made with the purpose of eventually setting up an expanded universe. It's here it goes for the Iron Man 2/Tron: Legacy approach; instead of having one, cohesive film that works really well by itself, we have a film that is clearly setting itself up for a much better/more interesting sequel, and forgets that it needs that first great film to get people actually interested in what's to come.
What else is wrong? Where to start? Casting: No. Ryan Reynolds, you are not Hal Jordan. As soon as I heard he was cast I immediately had doubts about this film. Hal Jordan isn't this kooky wise guy who goes around making jokes, showing everyone and their dad (literally) what he can do; he's also not bronzed. Hal's seen some shit, he has a sense of right/wrong and a strong demeanor. Reynolds is just Reynolds here, his persona works for Deadpool or Wally West's Flash, but not Hal Jordan, never Hal Jordan. Blake Lively, sure, she's got a body, but again, Carol Ferris is never portrayed as this hot tanned just-over-teenage model, who is somehow also a really smart test pilot. Sure, she's a smart, good looking character in the comics, but... she also doesn't have Lively's ... dare I say... unlively acting presence.
Aside from them, Hector Hammond is an unneeded character, and really was just laughable looking. The main members of the Corps, Tomar Re, Kilowog and Sinestro were also great, BUT, they're barely have any screentime and are ultimately wasted. Which goes into the next problem, special effects. 80% of these characters were created by animators, not motion capture artists, which while that would be great for say... Toy Story, but this is a real live action film is supposed to be at least somewhat visually believable. I got to understand the gross use of motion capture suits, it makes sense in the other-worldliness, but when Kilowog starts moving like a cartoon character and not a physical being, you've suddenly taken me out of the world. And let me tell you, some of those Green Lantern effects, especially in flight, we awful. Like, SyFy TV movie awful...
I really could go on and on about what was wrong with the film. The score sucked, the 3D sucked, I already tore apart the story, the writing, the acting, the directing, the casting... the blatant attempt at suckering people in for a shitty film in order to fund a more expensive, probably more well made sequel. If you're a fan of DC, and have been waiting for a great superhero film that can stand alongside the likes of Superman: The Movie, Batman Begins, and The Dark Knight, look away. I don't care how much you might love the character, look away, you don't want to see this. I'm officially more of a Marvel fan now.
Overall Score: FuckThisMovie/10