I wanted to like this movie. I really did. I tracked its progress as it developed, and checked out spoilers and other news as it got closer to release. When the early reviews came with less-than-positive comments, I was disheartened. Marvel Comics has developed a better track record with producing Hollywood fils based on the original source material. Apart from Batman, DC Comics has done less than stellar.
Here’s a quote from io9’s review of the film.
It’s hard to imagine a story that has more wish-fulfillment stuffed into it than Green Lantern. This lucky guy gets chosen, out of all of us, to have this amazing ring that can do anything. And he finds out that he’s a member of the coolest organization in the entire universe. He says a cool poem (“oath”) to activate his powers, and almost nobody knows that plain old Hal Jordan is this mysterious all-powerful hero. It’s basically the purest, most escapist heroic fantasy ever.
It would take a lot of work to make something so pure and beautiful into a boring movie, devoid of fun or exhilaration. But Green Lantern rolls up its green sleeves and works hard.
There a lot of problems with this film, including it being boring, derivative, and the plot holes/contrivances don’t make any sense:
- The cast is boring. Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Tim Robbins, Angela Bassett, and the rest of the cast feel two-dimensional, and seemingly have no real chemistry between them.
- Reynolds “emoted”, but I was tired of being told that he was kinda of a loser with daddy issues. In Hollywood, this is a plot contrivance so that the protagonist can overcome his fear and come into his own. This is a cliched superhero origin story that has been told a hundred times now. If this came out in the 90’s, it would fit right in. Instead, it pales in comparison to good films like Iron Man and the Christopher Nola trilogy of Batman films. Heck, I’ve watched better films coming out from the DC Animated Universe studio at Warner Brothers.
- The Green Lantern Corp, faced with the imminent threat of the Parallax cloud monster, are ineffective. When told that the aforementioned cloud monster, who represents and thrives on “fear”, the Green Lantern Corp and the Guardians (on Oa) refuse to help. This only makes sense in a Hollywood movie, as now the hero must attempt to save Earth on his own. Oh please. The Guardians and none of the rest of the 3,599 Green Lanterns refuse to help? Really?
- The dialogue was cheesy.
- I don’t need any more cloud monsters. I. Just. Don’t.
This was a tired movie, a throwback to the superhero films of the 90’s and 00’s.