Green Lantern Review

Green Lantern Review

DC brings Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps to the big screen, but does the film live up to expectations?

Director - Martin Campbell.

Stars - Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Mark Strong & Peter Sarsgaard.

DC’s third major comic book film after the success of Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, sandwiched by the flop that was Superman Returns leaves us pondering on how the adaptation of the Green Lantern will unfurl.

We are thrown into space where three aliens in astronaut style suits are on course for research or some seemingly acquitted expedition, until they fall into a trap by the villainous entity that is Parallax, who grows on others fear. After seeing this scene alone, it is merely brevity in reference to its huge budget, but justifiably as the CGI is inspired. Parallax then hunts down his subjugator, A member of Green Corps, (an interplanetary guard ensemble who live on Planet Oa) Abin Sur, however he fails in his attempt and a scathed Abin Sur flees to earth, to meet his successor as he must pass on his heroic callings and super powered ring, which can create anything one wills, in an illuminated green form.

Meanwhile scenes on earth show a young man by the name of Hal Jordan played by Ryan Reynolds, in his 3rd comic book character depiction. We are introduced to Hal as he wakes up late with his catch of the previous evening as he rushes of to his aviation practise but does this superhero pilot his way out of the saturated comic book movie box office?

Unfortunately the Emerald Knight is darkened by its many flaws, first the major cast member are miscast as funny man Ryan Reynolds is just too cocky to be considered likable, disparate to the Marvel Comics’ Tony Stark played by Robert Downey Jr. Peter Sarsgaard’s character is akin to the ‘Freakshow’ of the Harold and Kumar films, but much of the blame falls to the writers, which there were many of, and did a very fragmented job as many came in to pick up the pieces of their predecessors.

The characters were unimaginably poor, for a film which had such few action scenes, you would imagine, deep character development with a bourgeoning story all amalgamated with moving dialogue. Instead you get the formulaic Hollywood lines that somehow flatten the already one-dimensional characters.

Blake Lively merely portrays the efforts of the make-up and wardrobe departments, as the films eye-candy, her mediocrity will have the audience from ‘The Town’ questioning why she deserved the hype in the first place. Geoffrey Rush plays Tomar-Re mentor to the guileless Hal Jordan. Like all others, a lifeless character resulting in Rush’s vocal contribution parallel to a droning audiobook narration voice-over.

Mark Strong depicts Sinestro, a member of Green Lantern Corps who is fundamentally incredulous over Abin Sur’s inexperienced successor. Mark Strong undoubtedly gives the strongest performance of the cast portraying Sinestro with a leading yet cunning presence.

Unfortunately, the criticism follows right on through many departments of the production. The score is at times cringe worthy too, especially within a scene where Kilowog (voiced by Michael Clarke Duncan) is pitilessly training Hal Jordan to some tawdry ringtone-like hip hop instrumental.

The CGI is surprisingly impressive and maintains the interstellar edge well, although at times it looks like something out of a 6th generation games console, especially when it comes to the look of the Guardians albeit that the appearance was heavily moderated and filtered down from the promising concept art, which teased many of the fans.

The major problem with Green Lantern is the noticeable inconsistencies in its plot and characters, and the fact that it attempted to draw concepts from so many other comic book movies, the long scenes that bridge the action scenes were wasted as opposed to the suspenseful The Dark Knight, or the emotive Hulk. The humour was just ill-aimed unlike the calculated yet charismatic delivery of Iron Man’s Robert Downey Jr.

All in all it’s a film that can’t find its own identity and fails at using too many formulaic methods of Hollywood film making and instead becomes a difficult 1 hour and 45 minutes for both fan and average movie-goer, falling abundantly short from fulfilling the comic book adaptations bright potential.

Icarus Conran is a freelance journalist with experience in writing and editing. To get in touch please contact via [email protected]
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DanteSparda - 7/5/2012, 8:41 AM
Kind of late for that review isn't it?

It's a real shame that Green Lantern met this fate in the big screen, specially with all the money and all the detail they put in creating all the aliens of the Green Lantern Corps., also it came during a very bad time for Warner Bros. with his Harry Potter franchise over and it's Nolan's Batman about to end they really needed this to succeed, it looked like WB was starting to get shy about bringing another comic character to the big screen that wasn't Batman or Superman but with the success of The Avengers it seems like they're taking the shot again with several movies in pre-production.

Also I think they should take the risk to launch a sequel of GL instead of a reboot, just with another director, it would be easier and cheaper to do since they could recycle all the alien character models, sets and other special effect from the first film and they don't have to re-tell the origin story again, I don't think it matters if in the sequel there are a lot of (necessary) changes along the way like the tone of the movie, character traits and even the costumes and SFX.
IcarusConran - 7/5/2012, 9:33 AM

Better late than never. Either way, its been moved to the review section.
IcarusConran - 7/5/2012, 10:01 AM

I totally agree, with you. Neither Reynolds or Lively have that final cutting edge to make the audiences believe that they were genuinely falling for each other. In saying that the barrier of Employer/Assistant, created a tension which worked in favour between Downey Jr's Stark and Paltrow's Poots. Adding to that, their acting range, Green Lantern's relationship element was rather bleak.
IcarusConran - 7/5/2012, 11:01 AM

Martin Campbell has had his share of success. I don't think its the director per se. More so the direction the studio want to take it in, or whether this rebel turned superhero genre has become saturated. I think drastic changes need to be made in how the story is told, in order for this kind of film to still entice its audiences.
DanteSparda - 7/5/2012, 11:36 AM

Good directors don't always make good comic book movies; take Brian Singer's Superman or Ang Lee's Hulk for example, and given the liberties that previous directors have had with DC movies I think that all the flaws with the narration and characters are Martin Campbell's fault.
IcarusConran - 7/5/2012, 11:59 AM

You've made a very good point, I can't dispute that. However I feel visionaries can only revitalise the Comic Book Movie genre, as the plots are becoming increasingly similar. In saying that I enjoyed Ang Lee's Hulk, even more so than Letterier's. It would be refreshing if the likes of Von Trier or Malick adapted a graphic novel or comic book.
DanteSparda - 7/5/2012, 1:27 PM

I agree in that of similar stories, but I would blame origins stories for that, most of super heroes origins are very similar, almost everyone follows the same formula, I hope that in future super heroes movies they try to tell the origin of a character in around 30 minutes and the rest of the story is dedicated to the main problem that hero is facing.
Darkknight2149 - 7/5/2012, 3:14 PM
Those interested can vote on whether a sequel or a reboot of this film at
marvel72 - 7/5/2012, 4:15 PM
sinestro was the only thing that was good about the movie.
IcarusConran - 7/6/2012, 4:09 PM

Mark Strong is terrific. His presence alone in any film is a big contribution. But he has chosen some odd roles recently.

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