First off, allow me to give you a brief chronicle of my experience with the Green Lantern production up until it's release. My initial reaction to Ryan Reynolds being cast for the role of Hal Jordon was negative, but it wasn't an aggressive position. I simply thought he didn't fit the part at the time. Then there was the first trailer. My reaction was similar to many viewers at that time; the trailer was unimpressive and looked unfinished. The comedic aspect of the first trailer also gave the impression that the film may be overly silly with Hal firing off cringe-worthy one-liners. If we fast-forward through the CGI debate and the release of many clips and TV spots, my position on the upcoming film was one of excitement and positive anticipation. I attended the film on opening day and these are my thought on it. Some entries may be considered spoilers.

I saw the film in 3D with a surprisingly small crowd at my favorite theater. When the lights dimmed, I couldn't help but think of the bad reviews and wonder if the CGI had in fact been improved against some unflattering internet footage. It started, and my last thought of negative reviews were diminished by the enchanting opening narrative. There was nothing left but the movie, myself and my own personal experience.

The movie was still in it's opening stages when the first red flag went up. The issue of the CGI effects would present itself early on. In a scene where the entrapped Parallax is shown for the first time, the CGI model of the character is so bad that it falls in the category of SyFy channel CGI. It was thoroughly distracting even after the scene was over. I couldn't help but wonder how the shot made the final cut.

After the initial CGI debacle, poorly executed effects scenes would pepper the film, giving it a hit-and-miss feel when it came to the visuals. But I was impressed with Hal Jordan's costume for the most part. Reynolds is in great shape and they seem to have defined the color lines of the suit, which previously bled together in early renderings. Now, I'll touch on one last item of the CGI before I actually get into reviewing the story. There is an action sequence consisting of Hal Jordon versus Hector Hammond. This scene is atrocious. At one point, Hammond is moving various objects in the room to use as weapons. This involved the moving of two mechanical cranes, which in motion, looked like some shit from 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit'. It literally looked like they drew it. That's my final word on the FX.

Ryan Reynolds is very charming and likeable in the role of Hal Jordan, and contrary to previous worries, the comedy is not overbearing or distracting. There are miss-fires with some lines, but there were people laughing when I wasn't and vice versa. So, it's like most movies in that regard. The acting was good from the entire cast, with only the female lead coming close to falling off when given too much to say at once. And even in that case, the script required her character to execute cliched dialogue in certain areas. But I actually felt a sense of connection between her and Jordon, which is rare when it comes to the love-interests aspect of these films. The couple felt as though they actually knew each other. Also, Mark Strong's performance is engaging and he pulls you in every time he's on the screen. This is exceptional considering his character is underused in the film.

It is common for the origin story CBM to hit the standard pattern: Establish hero origin simultaneously with villain origin and set up sequel. This formula often times leaves the impression of undeveloped characters and situations and Green Lantern is not exempt from this. Unfortunately, Green Lantern has the playing field to establish it's origin story as well as develop certain aspects of the film. Instead, the film wastes time on insignificant items that don't contribute to the overall story. Hector Hammond is completely useless in the film and only adds for a slightly amusing side note. The actor is well equipped in pulling of the creepy villain, but he nor Parallax ever establish a central sense of villainy. Hammond could have carried the weight on his own, but he's reduced to a servant of Parallax for all of five seconds before he gets the life sucked out of him for failing. This is a waste of valuable time considering Hammond's origins are far more extensive than Parallax'. It takes up much screen.

The planet Oa is beautiful but unexplored. Hal Jordan's time on the planet is brief and you really don't get a sense of him getting to know the place. He is only seen in two or three areas on the planet. The animated film; Green Lantern: First Flight somehow managed to tell Hal's origin story as well as establish him on the planet, complete with alien interactions. In all fairness, First Flight takes place predominately in space, and showing this many CGI aliens would refer us back to the FX problems discussed previously. Still, unnecessary elements like Hammond's storyline and Hal having the exact same talk with Carol could have been traded with more Hal on Oa. One mess-hall scene with alien interaction could have achieved a wider scope of the planet and the core.

Ultimately, Green Lantern suffers from it's presentation. The story is unique and unlike any other superhero. Similar to THOR, Green Lanterns story is not about mutant powers, radiation exposure, bug bites or vigilante. But his unique story is packaged as a film for children. With it's lack luster effects and often times, 1990's soundtrack music, it comes off on the level of Spy Kids, Underdog or Inspector Gadget. Of course it's light years ahead of those films, but if it was released in the 90's, it would look right at home. For all of Ryan Reynolds rising to the occasion, he has to perform under a very poor production. If the films budget was 200+ million, there is no excuse for production values this low. Someone should be fired from future films.

I rooted for the film and wanted it to win, but it fell short. It fell short, needlessly. If this turns out to be a devastating blow to DC's already thin live-action campaign, it will be understandable. I still felt warm and fuzzy seeing Sinestro put on the yellow ring in the end credit sequence, but the film is a gamble if it dictates DC's future. But just like an abusive relationship, if there's a sequel, I'll most likely be back.


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Member Since 8/22/2010
Filed Under "Green Lantern" 6/18/2011
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MrPagBrewster - 6/18/2011, 6:56 AM
5.5 out of ten?? well I have to agree. and yes they did use a "1990's soundtrack" xD, I thought I was the only person who thought that.
NeoBaggins - 6/18/2011, 1:48 PM
supersayianfan1 I was originally going to force a 6.5 out of it, but had to practice what I preach and not lie to myself and stay off denial river. lol And you noticed the music? When he talks with Carol, they used music that sounded like it was on CD titled "Royalty free 90's love music". There's no way it was composed, new, for the movie.

Intruder I usually tell people to see a film for themselves even when I think it missed the mark. I figure their perception may be different from mine. Then there are movies like Green Lantern which may disappoint on a level where many see it the same way collectively. So, I wouldn't even blame you if you didn't go see it. But I do think there's a spark of hope if the film does well enough for a sequel. It would have to have the same cast but an entirely new writer, director and production team. They did a terrible job here and [frick]ed up stuff that deed not be [frick]ed.

^What the hell was I saying on that last part? lol
MrPagBrewster - 6/18/2011, 7:16 PM
well atleast I dodged a bullet, the same goes with transformers 2 and ironman 2. I actually got out of line for both those movies because I had a bad feeling and I geuss I was right. I always felt GL would flop critically, since they announced reynolds as hal jordan. gotta trust that gut feeling.
MrPagBrewster - 6/18/2011, 7:18 PM
oh yeah and on that music used in the film reminded of the scorpion king, both movies using obviously dated recordings.
NeoBaggins - 6/18/2011, 9:28 PM
Damn, you get out of line at the movies? That's hardcore. I don't learn my lesson until the final credits are rolling.
MrPagBrewster - 6/19/2011, 4:16 PM
transformers and Ironman 2 made me feel like I shot in the gut, I think it was a sign from God, lol xD. kept 26$ dollars in my pocket, phew
NeoBaggins - 6/19/2011, 5:40 PM
First movie I ever walked out on was this movie called "Screamers". It had the dude from the original Robocop in it and it was just,just terrible.
LP4 - 7/23/2011, 7:30 PM
Horrid [frick]ing film. One of the weakest of 2011.

Captain America seriously beat everything for me. You should feel proud NeoBaggins. You're a fan of a hero who got one of the best CBMS ever made. I put that movie above the two Iron Man films too.
NeoBaggins - 6/2/2013, 4:53 AM
[email protected] deleting their comments. Hey, we know what you said.

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