By Carter Friend
Marvel and DC both caught lightning in a bottle in 2008 with Iron Man and The Dark Knight. Both movies received universal praise, made a lot of money, and are considered to be among the best, if not the best, from each studio. Since then, Marvel has continued on a hot streak with their movies, having released six movies since then and with many more in production. However, DC has not been quite as lucky. They have released two movies since then, Watchmen and Jonah Hex, neither of which did very well at the box office. Consequently, there were a lot of high hopes and expectations for their first big character movie since 2008, Green Lantern. People have wanted a Green Lantern movie for years, so there was a lot of pressure for them to get it right. Sadly, they got it wrong. They got it very wrong.
Green Lantern is an origin story centered around Hal Jordan and how he became the Green Lantern of Sector 2814. However, the movie spends so much time setting things up and focusing on his normal life that we barely get to scratch the surface of some of the other members of the corps and their relationship with Hal. Tomar-Re was in the movie for about 10 minutes, Kilowog was in the movie for about 3 minutes, and even Sinestro was only in the movie enough to give us a small taste of the brilliance Mark Strong could bring to the character. The parts of the movie that took place on Oa with the rest of the Green Lanterns were my favorite parts and even those weren’t always that great. It mainly consisted of Tomar-Re talking to Hal about will and fear…over and over again. On Earth, we were forced to sit through Hal and his relationship with Carol Ferris, which provided some of the cheesiest dialogue I can remember from a movie in a long time. In general, the script was the worst part of the movie. Some moments, such as the bar scene with Hal and Carol, were unbearably cheesy and others were just plain stupid.
On the acting front, Ryan Reynolds was…Ryan Reynolds. Nothing about his performance made him a believable Hal Jordan and just made me long for the missed opportunity of casting Nathan Fillion in the role instead. Blake Lively was a surprisingly decent actress, it’s just too bad she was given such terrible dialogue and nothing to do besides provide a love interest for Hal. Mark Strong is one of the best villain actors around, and his role as Sinestro was particularly interesting given how he was just on the verge of villainy without ever actually embracing it. Too bad he was barely in the movie considering he was one of the main characters. Mark Strong was the perfect choice for the role, and they completely wasted him in the movie. The same goes for Peter Sarsgaard, who I was unfamiliar with before the movie. He was a very quirky, yet convincing Hector Hammond who ended up serving no real purpose since Parallax was the real villain. Geoffrey Rush and especially Michael Clark Duncan had the perfect voices for Tomar-Re and Kilowog. Sadly, they were criminally underused.
The main thing this movie has going for it is the special effects. They certainly put their reported $200,000,000 budget to good use because despite any problems they may have run into during post-production, the visuals looked great. The 3D was nothing special, but the aliens, ring constructs, and especially Parallax all looked very polished and made the otherwise bad movie at least enjoyable for the eyes.
Overall, I wouldn’t say that Green Lantern is one of the absolute worst superhero movies ever made, but it is certainly one of the most disappointing. We have been waiting for this movie to be made for a long time now, and frankly, we deserved something better than this. Besides impressive special effects and some good yet underused performances, this movie was a mess and I will not be making a return trip to Oa anytime soon. If it were up to me, I’d go ahead and say ditch the sequel idea and go straight for the reboot. Change everything that made this movie a train wreck and give us the Green Lantern movie we’ve always wanted. Just make sure that Mark Strong gets to stay.
In Brightest Day…In Blackest Night…I Want This Movie To Escape My Sight…Let Those Who Thought This Was Done Right…Beware My Fury…Green Lantern Sucked!
The Verdict: 1.5 out of 5