When I first heard about the Green Lantern I only knew him by name and pictured him as some dude dressed in green holding a magical lantern fighting crime. Needless to say my first perception of the character made him seem ridicules. Having done some research I saw that I had some misconceptions about the character but felt he was a pretty crummy superhero. So I did not have high hopes for a movie about him starring a dude from Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza place but I did not have high hopes about Thor either, so I was ready to have my mind changed. After dragging my friend and paying for his ticket because he has no cash money (Twight) and enduring 105 mins of Ryan Reynolds looking ridiculous, I have to say that the Green Lantern is still a pretty crummy superhero.
The problem is not that the Green Lantern in premise alone is pretty silly because most B superheroes are, it is that the film never seems to believe that it can make a good movie out of what they have. Comic Book movies fall into two categories, the ones that try to do what they can with what they have and those that surrender to it. I mean Batman is really laughable when you think about it. Just think about what kind of material any mediocre comic would have on the subject of a man wearing a bat suit and talking like he was constipated. It is not that Nolan’s or even Burton’s batman films over looked this but they choose to try and prove to the audience that not only can a person in a bat suit be entertaining but also could be menacing and a real threat to any evil it went up against. Green Lantern does not do this and most of the plot and characters feel lazy. A Green Lantern Corps kinda seems interesting until you see that they are made up of what looks like critters you find in your local pet store aquarium. Even the casting seems lazy, as Ryan Reynolds does not even remotely come close to what you’d expect to be a superhero and he does not really play one, he is basically playing himself which would be fine if the film featured various nut shots and your normal gross out comedy. (To be honest the film does feature a nut shot…..touché Ryan Reynolds)
But the other casting seems to fit right because the screenplay does not ask these characters to play anything else than superhero clichés that have been established by other superhero films. There is not much thought into any characters and there really is not much need for any of them. You probably could have saved your self some money and not casted Tim Robbins who does not do much except give some characters somebody to talk to. There are really no good performances to point out in this film because there really are not any performances here, just retreads of characters that the actors have play previously (is it just me or does it seem like Tim Robbins plays his role like he is Andy Dufresne…. I hope I make it out of this silly movie, I hope).
With all that aside the main problem with the film is its screenplay which seems like it was written by the Fantastic Four team. I do not think I have seen more clichés in one movie more than this one. Green Lantern is built like your everyday superhero origin story but it seems like it is uninterested in an origin story. Everything is rushed through and scenes in which we should learn the where and HOW of what is going on are quickly edited together almost if the writers were like “yea I know but we have to do this so we can get the point where the yellow cloud eats the city!” Because of this the physics and plausibility of what is going on are thrown out the window and we are left with the feeling that we do not really understand why the Green Lantern can do what he does but that the point is he just can. I am not asking for a science lesson on the Lantern corps but I would like to know the limitations of what is going on cause when you do not give me that, it takes all the drama out of the situation. Superhero films owe us that because if you want us to watch somebody wear a green ring and fly around for two hours then you better give us something to suspend our belief a little bit. Then there is the sub plots about Hal Jordan’s (The Green Lantern) dad dying when he was young which does nothing but say “Hey look he is like every superhero ever made”. I get it, your dad died and your still pretty upset about it but how does this have any relevance to the yellow cloud about to eat Los Angeles!
I have good money that their will not be a Green Lantern 2 and that is a shame because I am sure the character could be made into a good film. The special effects are decent (one of the few things good about the film) and a star wars superhero sounds like it could be interesting but this film may have killed any chances of having a good film made about this DC superhero. Marvel is making leaps and bounds when it comes to their superhero films because they are actually looking for talent and inspiration when it comes to their comic book characters. They do not take themselves too seriously but they make each character interesting and give us a reason to sit in a dark theater for two hours. The Green Lantern and DC fails because it does not want to honor its source material. Its existence feels like that never ending trend to give each superhero its due and to cash a check. Films like the Green Lantern will either die out because of superior comic book films or will kill any chance of the superhero genre to grow and make films like Spider-Man 2 and The Dark Knight a lost species. The Green Lantern is like my grammar, its messy, not well thought out, and rarely gets its point across.