Saturday, 18 June 2011

Green Lantern

Summer Season has arrived bringing with it the years biggest and noisiest films and quite frankly I am in my element as these are the films cinema was made for.

The main problem with Summer Season is that there is a never ending conveyer belt of said big and noisy films being produced so the quality rises and falls *like a witty pun I can't think of*

The trailer for the Green Lantern solidly put the film in the “fall” category and it was out of respect for the Summer Season that I love so dearly I was there to see it.

PLOTTony Stark Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is a cocky arrogant dick who gets chosen by a dying purple alien to become a Lantern.  Ryan inherits a ring and a Lantern which is used to charge the ring when the power dies.  There is no logic as to how and when the power dies and it proves that alien technology is just about as reliable as the battery on my damn Blackberry.  The entire known universe is split into a neat and tidy 3600 sections with Jordon destined to protect one of them from a fear eating cloud which suddenly appears from nowhere.  There is a love interest.  There is a training sequence which actually uses the line “gravity is a bitch”.  There are daddy issues from no less than three characters.  Mark Strong inexplicably has an evil CGI moustache.  Jordan saves the day.  END PLOT

The plot of Green Lantern is a rehash of many comic book adaptations.  This isn’t particularly a problem as like it or not all genres follow certain patterns and trends - the problem with Green Lantern lies with everything else.

I will admit that after seeing Ryan Reynolds play Deadpool in Wolverine I did go through a very short lived dvd collecting phase - it’s how I roll - but he never came anywhere close to being an actor I would actively seek out.  There were glimpses of talent in Buried when he showed (and surprised) the world that he was capable of carrying a movie based solely on performance.  In Green Lantern Reynolds regresses to an almost caricature incarnation of every other role he has played.  I think what makes it all the more offensive is the fact that he didn’t even try.

The supporting cast of the Green Lantern is unusually full of strong actors with Mark Strong (complete with a sinister CGI moustache) Geoffrey Rush and Michael Clarke Duncan  all appearing as Lanterns although in the case of Rush and Duncan their roles were nothing more than voiceover cameos.   Peter Sarsgaard is usually a reliable soul but in Green Lantern he spent most of his screen time screaming dramatically and is in no way a decent villain.
With this moustache and being called Sinestro the big surprise was that Mark Strong didn't turn out to be evil in the last act.

I am quite good at appreciating a film for what it is. I went to see a summer blockbuster laden with effects and explosions so I am not going to complain about the fact that the film contained effects and explosions.

The problem with the effects in Green Lantern is that they are just plain bad - most definitely the worst of the year so far.  The idea of having a completely CGI suit may seem like a neat idea but it didn’t work.  I know Reynolds is toned to within an inch of his life but even he isn’t that sculpted.  Reynolds’ head also didn’t match the body to the extent it looked like it  was copied and pasted on via amateurish Photoshop.

The power of the ring allows you to bring your imagination to life and although this is admittedly a cool power Hal Jordan’s imagination appears trapped in a childish Acme time warp - I was half expecting him to conjure up an anvil to drop on the evil clouds head.  I do appreciate that the childish imagination is part of Jordan’s psyche but it just gave the entire film an unwelcome cartoon feeling.

I had no background knowledge of the Green Lantern comic before I saw the film but in a way this is a moot point as I am reviewing a film not a comic.  I don’t need to have read a single issue of Batman to know that Christopher Nolan made one of the best superhero films to date. 

The Green Lantern is quite simply a bad film.  It gets 3/10 - if Mark Strong and Geoffrey Rush cannot save a film then it is pretty much fucked to high hell. 


  1. sound no better the the comic that it was taken from the comic had good art but most of the time poor story line. thank you saved me a movie ticket. god bless

  2. I would find it hard to recommend this film to any one Roy. Green Lantern may end up being the flop of the summer.

    It did nothing to make me want to look at the comics!

    Thanks for reading!
    K :-)

  3. I think we disliked it for different reason but we agree it was a waste of time. GL is something I'm familiar with from a strong animated turn by Bruce Timm although in a different character, John Stewart, but I digress. It's a tough character to translate to the screen, I knew that from the beginning so I had a lot of hesitation. What came out was just such tired cliched drivel it was hard to imagine 4 writers came up with it! Mark Strong was the best thing in it, really wish he'd had a larger role.

    ***Spoiler ALERT***
    Sinstero does turn evil and becomes the Lanterns greatest foe in all versions of the story, hidden scene after the credits has this happening here too!
    ***Spoiler END***

    A real shame, I like the space cop idea of GL but they set most of it on Earth with really crappy characters.

    Nice to know we wasted the same amount of time on the same crap, suffering loves company!

  4. GL is a character I had no prior knowledge of - my first introduction to him was via the trailer. The trailer had a strong run here but it wasn't a grower and I couldn't warm to it at all.

    Ryan Reynolds really irritated me the entire film - there is something about his shtick that grates on me.

    I thought that they were hinting that Mark Strong was going to be the true villain of the film. It's a pity it didn't turn out that way as he would have been a much stronger bad guy than Sarsgaard

    If they make a sequel with Mark as the villain I know I will see it though - not point in pretending otherwise.

    I think we were half way down the isle just as the credits finally rolled! There was no way we were sitting through the credits

    At the exit of our screen there was the big full size X-Men cardboard poster greeting us at the door - should have went to see it for the third time instead!

    My only consolation is that it wasn't my turn to buy the tickets!!

    If there is cra

  5. I wil be intentionally avoding this!! After the god awful train wreck last week of Super 8..oops I mean Super Trash I couldn't face a another poor movie. First time in ages I haven't ventured out on a Thursday.
    And unlike Super Trash at least GL was promoted in the right way, but it is a worry that maistream Hollywood is producing such rubbish isn't it? I don'tt hink i've sen anything this year that has really impressed me except Winter's Bones which was an Indie.

  6. I see where you are coming from but this is summer season and for the next two months all we are going to get are the big effects heavy blockbusters - some will be good and others (such as GL) will be awful. It's the same old routine and one which I embrace wholeheartedly.

    The end of the year and the beginning of next is when all the big dramas etc will come to be in line with Oscar season so if you make it through the summer fluff the good stuff is yet to come!!