Green Lantern (Film Review)

Rating:

Whenever the words effects refinement are banded around the media ahead of a blockbuster release you know things are not as rosy at the studio as they seem.

I’ll confess, after watching the trailer I walked into the screening ready to rip into it, surely this is going down Fantastic Four/Daredevil territory. For the next 105 minutes I sat with my arms crossed fighting it but in the end I just couldn’t hate it.

Ryan Reynolds is Hal Jordan, an irresponsible lad who happens to be a fighter pilot for a major corporation. A dying warrior crash lands on earth with a ring that chooses Hal as the replacement for the Green Lanterns, warriors chosen for their Will, Courage and resistance to fear.

Let’s start with the huge list of why Green Lantern is a complete comic book adaption failure.

Firstly effects, as feared they are absolutely shocking. DC/WB had to inject $9 million extra into the budget and hire an additional effects team to get it looking up to their standards, which quite clearly aren’t that high, begging the question – how bad did it look before!? Now I am no CGI expert but I can imagine that creating additional alien worlds and their inhabitance is a huge job. So how come Thor managed to pull it off? I’m guessing that a huge part to play in this fiasco is expectations of what a comic book film should be? Using Thor as an example the inhabitance of their Asgard are of human likeness in form. Green Lantern comprises of a whole Pic n Mix of strange looking creatures.  Looking at the Comic you see that they didn’t stray far from keeping the blinding Green Campness, saying that, there is no excuse for the action scenes, which I just found myself constantly cringing at. At one point Hal Jordan (Reynolds) uses his Green Lantern super ring to create a downward swirling race track to catch a helicopter. This really looks as silly as it sounds. Reynolds’s suit is distracting but for all the wrong reasons, primarily because it looks so horrifically fake.

Casting was the next downfall. It was wrong, so wrong. Blake Lively played her one dimensional love interest perfectly and Tim Robbins was blink and you’ll miss him pointless. All of the actors looked confused as to why they were there, everything was rushed. Jordan’s family members were jammed in at the beginning for a moment to play alongside the cliché’ and rather cheesy making my father proud angle. This is what also bothered me about Peter Saarsgard and Robbins interaction, granted that is part of the story but surely there is a better way to do it.  This is a shame as I like Peter Saarsgard and would have liked his character to have been developed more.

However the major villain of this film was… a cloud called Parallax, a big angry cloud that feeds of your fear, scary stuff. Once again the CGI ruined any chance of it being good. Mark Strong was fair as Sinestro, a proud Lantern fighting for the fate of the Universe.

I am a Ryan Reynolds fan, as far as comedies such as Waiting and Just Friends go. We know that he’s moved on to the likes of Amityville Horror and Buried without a major uprising. It was clear that he was going to bring his own style of comedy and wise cracks to the role, which he did, and which I didn’t hate. There were parts of the script at which the American Patriotism beamed through, such lines as Jordan’s nephew questioning his uncle to whether he is afraid, to which he replies ‘It’s my job not to be afraid’.  I was expecting a huge American flag to drop down from behind him at that moment.

The ending deserves a notable bashing. To go from I’m a screw- up that will always live in my father’s shadow, to having gained all morals and courage to fight an enemy that the Green Lanterns combined could not, was not fooling anyone.

Strange thing is I really didn’t hate this film. Some critics have gone as far to say that it is bar none the worst Comic Book adaption in existence, which I think is pretty strong. Yes for most fans it is a slap in the face, but I still can name a handful such as Cat Woman and Superman Returns that are far worse. It is essentially a fluffy and forgetful action film that you would be happy to sit there and watch on your telly.

DC, I can’t help but feel Marvel execs are in their offices laughing their arses off at you and your failed attempts. Take note of their recent offerings; Iron Man, Thor, X-Men First Class and not to mention the highly anticipated Captain America and The Avengers. These films succeed in every way possible, but more than anything makes you love their characters and hope to God that they make sequels (wipe Iron Man 2 and Wolverine from your memory).

If you are interested then it is worth a look, other than that steer clear and see something else. If a sequel is in the pipe line let us pray they have taken our thoughts on board.

Penelope Farmer

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