“Thats a Bad Outfit”: Review of Green Lantern

I think that Frank Miller said it best when describing comics: he said, “Comics are the Bastard children to movies.”In movies there is better control with pacing, you can have music to set the tone, and the obvious benefit of motion. The best artist in the world has a hard time making a character nod in a comic book. Comic book movies have had their ups and downs. For every great comic book adaptation there have been two that were duds. Those movies that were duds always received the same complaint from the fans: It wasn’t like the comic. A movie should be judged by what is presented, but I can understand the disappointment. As comic book fans we have been trying to convince people for years to take a look at these high concept stories, because once you get past the costumes and silly names there are great stories to be told, and to see a movie like Green Lantern miss out on so many great opportunities to help its fans make that argument-is like a punch in the face.

The main goal of any movie or comic book is to tell a story. Now normally there are certain guidelines one should follow when telling a good story. Stuff like character development… you know little things that help draw the audience in and give a shit about the subject. Green Lantern struggled to maintain the simplest story telling points by having story get in the way of the characters. Hal Jordon played by Ryan Reynolds tries desperately to fight against the script. For every time Reynolds tries to maintain his cocky gung-ho attitude the story forces him to freeze up and act totally against the character. Normally having two conflicting persona can lead to a deep a complex character study. The problem with that in this movie is that it feels schizophrenic at best. Blake Lively had it worse portraying the character Carol Ferris. In the beginning Carol is a strong willed ex-pilot turned suit, by the end she is reduced to nothing more than a typical movie retarded chick (*cough* Kathrine Hiegl). Peter Sarsgaard was sadly misused in the movie as Hector Hammond. Too late in the movie is when we start seeing character development showing his insecurities with about his father played by Tim Robbins. As a second string villain he never achieved his great moment of villainy so he ended up just being this pathetic nerd for GL to kick around.  Sinestro played by Tom Strong captured the authoritative aspect of the character, but the after-credits scene discredits everything he did in the movie for no logical reason other than to get a few cheap hoots in the theater. Other notable character just seemed underused like Amanda Waller played by Angela Basset who for whatever reason gets a weird flash back origin story curtsey of Hector Hammonds big fat head.

Another key to telling a great story can best be summed up by saying : “Show don’t Tell.” In this movie you are told  in the opening credits via a Dune like slide show about how the Guardians, a race of immortals, created a peace keeping force. We are also told that Abin Sur is the greatest Green Lantern of all time. Then we see Abin Sur die and the Guardians look like little blue assholes. The moment was missed to show Abin Sur really kicking ass instead the parties involved elected to go this route which leaves you not giving a shit about him. I guess they wanted to spend more time showing Hal Jordon making googly eyes at Carol Ferris. We are told that the great threat of Parallax, the movies main villain, is this planet devouring menace. However we never see it devour any planet, hell not even the aftermath of his destruction. With a few throw away lines the audience are told about Hector, Hal, and Carol’s old friendship which made the whole scene feel like an afterthought. It was so out of place and could have easily been taken out of the entire movie and not make a difference.

Movies have a leg up in storytelling because they have motion  as well as control of the pace in which the audience experience the story. Visually speaking when Green Lantern is on-its on. When Hal Jordon is doing his ring slinging it gave this fan-boy a chubby. Seeing Hal fly around Oa with Tomar-Re, or seeing constructs being made on the fly due to Kilowog’s training was just an awesome scene, and so was the proceeding Sinstro beat down. I will even go so far as to say the ending scene with Parallax had some great moments. The opening scene however has to be the low point of the Visual aid departments contribution on this flim. The whole opening reminds me of the opening for Mass Effect 2, because both open in space and look like video games. As far as pacing goes it was like trying to start a low gas powered lawn mower, cutting out once it starts going. For instance when Hal first gets his ring there is a whole three scenes before he goes figures out what it does. The scenes in between the point when gets the ring and uses it doesn’t even fill us in on anything we didn’t already know and were forgettable except for the waste of time that I remember. It seemed like the Director Martin Campbell didn’t want us to see anything cool for more than a minute. Like the whole audience would end up like the Nazi’s in Raiders of the Lost Ark if we saw Green Lantern do something cool for a substantial amount of time. Some scenes lacked proper segway. At one moment in the flim  I asked myself  “how did Green Lantern know that Hector Hammond was tearing up a secret Government base?”

Does all this make Green Lantern a Bad movie. Hell yeah it does. What makes it even more disappointing is that there is a good movie in there. Somewhere under that giant green turd is a great movie with intergalactic space cops patrolling the galaxy and stopping the bad guys by any means necessary. What the audience was treated to instead was an insecure pilot with a retarded girlfriend fighting a guy in a wheelchair and his pet cloud/octopus/gas cloud while a bunch of disapproving aliens tell him he sucks.  AVOID.

4/10: bio-hazard to the eyes.

Pour me a drink Superman…

Not so easy is it?

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~ by Andrew Braid on June 24, 2011.

2 Responses to ““Thats a Bad Outfit”: Review of Green Lantern”

  1. Dude, you did such an awesome job on this review that I don’t want to do one now, cause you took the words right out of my mouth!!! Nice job!!!

  2. Right?!

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