AICN reviewer says Green Lantern is a "terrible movie".

AICN reviewer says Green Lantern is a "terrible movie".

Unfortunately, the intergalactic stuff is bungled, too.

Follow theWorld:
By theWorld - 6/15/2011
"GREEN LANTERN is such a terrible movie for a good chunk of its running time that when it rallies late to become the GREEN LANTERN movie it should've been from the beginning, the fan who is well versed in the character's mythology may be inclined to give it a pass and delay judgment until the next installment. It could've been worse. This is far from ideal, but it is standard operating procedure for the "Issue #1s" of superhero movies anymore: waste the audience's time with uninspired origin wheel-spinning, then leave 'em amenable to a sequel. THOR pulled this trick last May, and few seemed to care. As long as the contours of the narrative are recognizable (i.e. nothing has been drastically altered from whatever constitutes canon), everything is everything.

This is the state of the modern superhero film: expectations have plummeted to the point where studios figure they don't need to knock themselves out "getting it right" in the scripting phase. Most of the energy seems to be expended on figuring out which take on the character will play best for a general audience; from there, it's Hero's Journey 101, which for some reason typically requires the input of multiple screenwriters. On GREEN LANTERN, it's the vision of renowned comic book writer Geoff Johns being homogenized by Greg Berlanti, Michael Green, Marc Guggenheim and Michael Goldenberg (who is the only of the four to not receive a "story by" credit). Together, they've done their damndest to make the character and his evil-smashing "constructs" accessible to people who only vaguely remember him from the Hanna-Barbera SUPER FRIENDS cartoon*.

That's one of the major problems in developing a big-screen GREEN LANTERN: while the expansive universe of the Green Lantern corps is rich with storytelling possibilities, the studio must first establish an earthbound iteration - which means making a human superhero whose power is derived from an antiquated source of illumination look cool. And so the committee of filmmakers have written test pilot Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) as TOP GUN's Maverick; he's a brash, bratty rule-breaker who gets away with it all because he's handsomer and flat-out better than the rest. Though his quips are run-of-the-mill TV (unsurprising since the screenwriters, save for Goldenberg, have made a career churning out attitude-over-wit pap for the small screen), Reynolds, who's carried creakier material in the past, holds the screen like a movie star should. His Hal is cocksure, not smarmy; at heart, he's a noble guy who's just waiting for the proper call to adventure, at which point he'll become the hero he was always meant to be.

But Reynolds's charm isn't enough to offset a number of baffling storytelling flaws in the early going. Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard) is set up as a tragic bad guy, a brilliant, discovery-obsessed scientist who's nursed a longtime crush on Blake Lively's Carol Ferris (a perfectly fine Blake Lively). Sarsgaard gets across the unloved sadness of the character (he's also never earned the approval of his powerful Senator father, played by the distractingly-too-close-in-age Tim Robbins), but he's already on the road to huge-headed villainy before the writers clue us in to his past with Ferris and Jordan - which renders ineffective the subsequent cross-cutting of Hal and Hector contending with their puzzling (and painful) new powers. This is especially frustrating because the film's first really good scene is the big showdown between the two transformed men; that it works at all is a testament to Reynolds and Sarsgaard committed performances.

Unfortunately, the intergalactic stuff is bungled, too. As was the case with THOR's Asgard, Oa looks like a video game environment; while Grant Major's production design is spot-on, the actors never feel like they're inhabiting a far-off world (also, Reynolds's CG mask never feels like it's a part of his face). Hal's interactions with Tomar-Re and Kilowog are believable enough, but their combat-training bond sessions are rushed; when the characters turn up at a crucial moment later in the movie, there's nothing being paid off (actually, their obligatory, late-to-the-party assistance makes it appear as if they sat back like a bunch of lazy assholes and let Hal take on Parallax by himself). And while Mark Strong conveys the conflicted nature of Sinestro, his turn during the end credits is curiously unmotivated (and, therefore, the worst kind of fan service). There's an actual event that would've easily explained this, but it was cut from the film (most likely because it fouled up the pacing).

GREEN LANTERN's screenplay was already shaky enough, but WB did itself no favors when it hired practical-action specialist Martin Campbell to direct. Campbell is one of the most capable big-movie hired hands out there, but he's never done a green-screen heavy fantasy like this. As a result, GREEN LANTERN feels soundstage-bound; save for the climactic brawl with Parallax, it's cramped and artificial when it needs to soar. It's not that Campbell can't do giddy, gallivanting adventure (his THE MASK OF ZORRO is a terrific modern-day serial); it's just obvious that he'd rather be on location. (In a perfect world, he would've inherited the Aubrey-Maturin series from Peter Weir.)

Bad as the film gets (and it threatens to collapse in an unintentionally hilarious heap during the "Science Building" scene), it springs to life when Parallax descends on Earth. The moment a seemingly defeated Hal digs deep to deliver the Green Lantern oath is more triumphant and inspiring than anything in THOR - which isn't saying much, but, then again, these movies aren't exactly trying that hard. It would be nice to see WB let Johns write the first draft of GREEN LANTERN 2 before bringing in the hacks; they'd also do well to hire a filmmaker with a lighter, more fanciful touch. As with THOR, the elements are in place for a satisfying superhero movie. More love, less calculation. That ought to do it.

Faithfully submitted,

Mr. Beaks"
Source: AICN
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29 Comments
superotherside - 6/15/2011, 1:48 PM
lol he didn't really like thor his opinion therefor is worthless...
ElBicho - 6/15/2011, 1:55 PM
Copied and pasted the exact article, not even a statement from yourself?

Nice job on saying the review spoils the credits scene, ya knob.
captainbeta - 6/15/2011, 1:58 PM
I agree. I don't care to much for Mr. Beaks opinion on movies. 9 out of 10 times his reviews of movies is opposite of my opinions on those movies. Thor is one of them. Absolutely loved Thor. Yes it is flawed (could have been longer, with a few more action sequences like the Frost Giant Battle.), but otherwise a great CBM. I will wait to see for myself when I take my family on Friday to Green Lantern.
marvel72 - 6/15/2011, 2:07 PM
when he said bring in john's to write the first draft for green lantern.

it could work,but take a look at "the spirit" written & directed by comic book icon frank miller.

how shit was that film.
TheRandomGeek - 6/15/2011, 2:13 PM
This is what IGN had to say:

"Indeed, X-Men: The Last Stand and Wolverine are better than Green Lantern. This was DC and Warner Bros.' best bet yet at establishing a deeper bullpen of big screen superheroes beyond Batman and Superman, but the film is bad enough to possibly kill any hope for ever seeing The Flash or Justice League."

Damn, I really wanted this movie to succeed, still going on opening night to judge it myself :/
marvel72 - 6/15/2011, 2:21 PM
@ jumpmancbm

i can't see green lantern being worse x-men origins wolverine that was a pile of shit.

green lantern better gross some dollar,i want to see the flash.
KaneVonDoom - 6/15/2011, 2:22 PM
I never have been able to get into DC comics (except for the rare few runs)no matter how hard I try.... But I really really wanted this movie to be good and do well even if I hated it. It would be good for the industry as a whole and promote more development for CBMs.

At the end of the day, no matter how shitty the reviews may be, It could still do great at the Box Office. Just look at Transformers 2.
KALel3412 - 6/15/2011, 2:27 PM
@kane im the same way with marvel man.
i hope this still does good at the box office, so we get a sequel. i dont really trust these "professional credicts" half the time anyway, so hopefully its atleast good enough to get another one
jazzman - 6/15/2011, 2:30 PM
@KaneVonDoom

but Transformers 2 had a successful first movie so it was bound to do better then the first movie. even Iron Man 2 did well but it was a weaker movie compare to the first movie that was great. if Green Lantern first movie fail big time it will be along time for a sequel or WB/DC might just reboot.

@marvel72

yeah comic book writters cant do movie scripts even tho they made the character does not mean they can make a good script lol.

if the Green Lantern fails we going to only have more and more Superman and Batman movies.
KaneVonDoom - 6/15/2011, 2:31 PM
When it comes down to it, I hope it pays off monetarily for the studios when they "take a chance" and make a CBM that's pretty close to the source material so we don't get more Bastardized renditions of our beloved characters.

marvel72 - 6/15/2011, 2:42 PM
@ jazzman

its shame really,i know i'm mainly a marvel fan but i would loved to see the flash & green lantern 2 with sinestro as the bad guy.

f*ck batman,i'm not a fan nolan's batman's they're good but not great.

whomever they decide too replace nolan could be the next schumacher.

its not looking good at dc.
CraptainAmerica - 6/15/2011, 2:48 PM
Hey, I'm a huge GL fan. Ok so the majority is riding this movie pretty hard. But I do find some reviews pretentious shit. Some jumped on Thor and I loved that movie! The people who gave it positive reviews are people who take it for what it is. A CGI based, comic book caper with a slice of action pie! It's not 'No Country For Old Men'. It's not meant to have acres of hidden depths. Sure, character exploration and a decent plot but it's not a [frick]in onion.

I reserve judgement for my viewing Saturday!
darksuper - 6/15/2011, 2:49 PM
the first transformers was negatives too in 40 percent mark
cashsteele - 6/15/2011, 2:49 PM
Basically its been the same review the beginning is too complicated for people to really grasp, its an origin story, its too much like a comic book and the action is good especially the third act...
TheRandomGeek - 6/15/2011, 2:50 PM
@marvel72

True... Even though I enjoyed Wolverine for what it was (whatever it was), it's still a very mediocre comicbook movie...

Shit, I really hope Green Lantern succeeds at least in the Box Office :/
vermillion - 6/15/2011, 2:58 PM
Thor was a great movie in my books. The fact that the reviewer kept bagging on it made me quit reading it.

I'm there for the midnight opening. I hope it's not just me and my friends.
Frogman - 6/15/2011, 3:01 PM
Part of the problem is I don't think people in countries other than America really know anything about Green Lantern. I can see it being difficult to understand without knowing the basic jist of the story first. I didn't even know who Green Lantern was a few years back but now I've read some of his comics I think he's awesome. I think fans of GL will enjoy the film but its not REALLY getting that much attention here in the UK IMO and its quite a hard sell because of it. I just hope it does well despite these reviews. This one is saying its just another origin story which is getting tired as the formula is always similar. I kinda agree with his Thor comments. It was good but not great, it could have been so much more but like most Marvel Studios films it falls short (final battles between Iron Man and Iron Monger/Whiplash)
jazzman - 6/15/2011, 3:04 PM
@Frogman

actually its getting attention over here in the UK. they had interviews with Ryan Reynolds and Green Lantern tv spot been played none stop. the problem is Green Lantern looks too cartoon for the general public.

@marvel72

i love Nolan Batman movie. the truth is Green Lantern is a hard sell to the general public a character who can make everything green from a ring plus the casting of Ryan Reynolds. alot of people i know dont want him to be GL they feel he is kind of cursed, every comic book movie he is in fails.

but then again its also WB/DC fault casting Martin Campbell a action director who like doing his action real not cgi. they basically forced him to do all his action green screen and why WB/DC hire Sony Imageworks you would think ILM or Weta Digital
Frogman - 6/15/2011, 3:19 PM
@jazzman I don't understand why the trailer system is so behind. The TEASER trailers for TF3 and GL were attached to the front of X-Men: First Class. We're so behind :P Tbh with Green Lantern being the way it is it kinda needed to rely on a lot of CGI. Thor was the same and that did well. But this in a lot of reviewers' eyes is yet ANOTHER origin that follows the formula... which is to be expected IMO
jazzman - 6/15/2011, 3:24 PM
@Frogman

well im going to see the GL on saturday to make a real judgement. even Clash of The Titans sucked but it made money and now they making a sequel lol.
Frogman - 6/15/2011, 3:30 PM
@jazzman: I have every intention of seeing it too. I don't judge films before I've watched them. And seems like you don't either. Good man.
naterator - 6/15/2011, 3:46 PM
people that cannot handle a good origin story should not review thses kinds of movies....or any movies for that matter.
jazzman - 6/15/2011, 3:56 PM
@Frogman

well i been waiting to see a Green Lantern movie for alongtime it does not make sense for me not to watch this film :P
greenlanter13 - 6/15/2011, 4:43 PM
so this dude is bashing GL and thor in the same review. screw this dude
kevberg - 6/15/2011, 7:19 PM
Loved Thor. Asgard came off much "bigger" and majestic than the promos, previews and pics suggested, and worked well.

If this tool is saying GL is as good as Thor, then it'll be fine by me.

I'm seeing Thor at least 2 more times.
dannylantern - 6/15/2011, 8:28 PM
Dude all these guys who are bashing green lantern, bashed Thor like it's a superhero movie you have to go with an open mind, and break away from a normal film,Thor was bad ass and green lantern look's sick, so [frick] what the reviewers have to say and i'll be the judge of it
CapFan79 - 6/15/2011, 8:38 PM
Okay, I know I've been piling on a bit but some of these fanboy type critics are looking to rag on it I think. I'm gonna wait till DVD but it can't be that bad. I'll listen to a real critic but AICN is really just a bunch of fat hacks.
GLfan - 6/16/2011, 3:40 AM
Ralph you leetel beetch, writing in your Spidey underoos, just shut it, troll.

I've just read 2 dz reviews and the problem GL is having with critics is that they're all whining cause they have to go see another comic book movie when they just want to see Wuthering Heights, please. They do not get the concepts, they closed their mind to the story before they walked in and they think it's just all too stupid and low brow for their elevated sensibilities.

Very little that's been written has anything to do with pacing, story, acting, effects, etc., except to say, well yes that's all OK, but golly we just can't get past the fact that there are all these weird aliens, who do look real enough but they make me uncomfortable, and 1st he's on Earth and then he's in space and then he's back on Earth and it's all just too much trouble for me to try to keep up with and why don't they put more Raisinets in the box I hate it when I run out?

GL might become a cult film, but hopefully the average moviegoer (i.e. kid) won't read this whiny crap, will just go & will love it. Even those who still wear Spidey underoos.
PrinceOfPower87 - 6/16/2011, 12:26 PM
''This is far from ideal, but it is standard operating procedure for the "Issue #1s" of superhero movies anymore: waste the audience's time with uninspired origin wheel-spinning, then leave 'em amenable to a sequel. THOR pulled this trick last May, and few seemed to care.''

I stopped reading there.

Sorry AICN! But you're clueless in my books.

NEXT!

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