EDITORIAL: Why A Green Lantern Sequel Deserves A Chance
I recently sat down to watch Green Lantern on Blu-ray, having only caught it the one time at the flicks. Despite still hating quite a few elements, I do see some redeeming features that could be expanded upon for a sequel...
Martin Campbell's Green Lantern isn't very popular here on CBM. I mean it's not very popular in many places because it's simply not a very good movie, but here I think we all felt that sting of disappointment a little more. We really wanted to see DC launch another great franchise that didn't have the words "Bat" or "Super" in it. I remember reading the first batch of 2 and even 1 star reviews prior to seeing it for myself and really hoping that they were wrong. When I did see it, I thought they were. For about the first 40-45 minutes I really enjoyed Green Lantern. I mean it wasn't particularly great, but I remember thinking that the reviews were very harsh and if it maintained the level of quality we would have an entertaining enough but underwhelming movie on our hands akin to Marvel's Iron Man 2. But it didn't maintain that quality. At all.
Re-watching the movie recently I stick to my guns that it does do a few things right. Despite a few off moments the first half does a pretty good job of maintaining the tone with patches of humor (some funny, some not), action and reasonably effective drama. The special effects are pretty good, Oa looks great, Ryan Reynolds is fine as Hal Jordan and Mark Strong makes an awesome, if underused, Sinestro. And overall the movie is actually a pretty faithful adaptation of the origin story. We are on out way to a solid enough first outing for ol GL. Then the roof caves in. Sometime after Jordan returns to Earth the movie seems to be hijacked by someone intent on making us hate the fucking thing. And they succeed. Woeful attempts at comedy and romance, Blake Lively being even worse than she was in the first half (if that's possible), one bizarre, screeching villain and another that's basically a head in a fart cloud. Even the editing and camera work seems to take a dip in quality. It's very strange, but practically everyone I shared the cinema with as we watched the movie seemed to feel the same. I could see people looking at the person beside them, some laughing out load. Others left. I'm not exaggerating.
So WB/DC, you fucked up. There are no two ways about it. But was it such a monumental fuck up that you don't deserve a chance to put things right? We recently heard from Geoff Johns among others speak about plans for a sequel. Honestly, I'm for it IF a conscious effort is made to look at that first movie and find out what..or who, went wrong. We know Martin Campbell is at the very least a competent director so was it studio pressure to dumb down the story? Insistence on more "humor"? Or was the script always just lacking in the final act with no attempt to salvage it made? I haven't watched any of the special features on the Blu-ray yet but I hear from those that have that there is a definite impression of too many cooks on the movie. I didn't HATE Green Lantern and I do think it gets a bit too much stick. I believe that a sequel could work and I also wouldn't mind seeing Ryan Reynolds back in the title role. If WB and DC go ahead with this then it can't just be a case of flinging more money at it, or upping the action/set piece quota etc. Look at your audience, find out what they really want to see in a Green Lantern movie and not what you THINK they want to see. And this isn't a case of not being able to please the fanboys either because even regular movie goers weren't impressed with the film. Don't be lazy just because you think we are. Yes some will be fobbed off by silly jokes, bright colors and explosions but the majority won't be and Green Lantern's BO should prove that to you. (I realize that argument is in jeopardy looking at how much cash the Transformers movies make but one step at a time eh?)
That's my take, but what about you guys? Will you give Green Lantern 2 a chance? And if so what would you like to see done differently?
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