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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'm comic book fan who's read Green Lantern since the late 80's and was
privileged to see this movie early with a friend, who is a non-comic
book fan in general. So what you're getting in this review are 2 fan
The story was told very simple. Those familiar with the comic, it follows very closely to the Secret Origins (2008) arc written by Geoff Johns, more so than the original Hal Jordan story back in the Silver Age revival.
The film is 90% story setup and 10% action sprinkled throughout the film, most of them at the end with a short and uninspired final battle (a gripe similar to Fantastic Four film in 2005). This film could've used a LOT more action; most of it already revealed from the trailers, believe it or not.
The pacing felt unbalanced. My friend thought the movie tried to fit in a lot of plots and stories like Spider-Man 3 did with the transition from earth to space, back to earth, back to space, back to earth... a little foreboding when the better space scenes were few and far between. There's a post credit scene too.
This film is very heavy in that department. It's a hit or miss. It works, but some may think it's a little silly.
A gripe we had was that the CGI on some of the movements of the characters were so outdated like almost 10 years aka Spider-Man (2002). You would think after all these years we could see better CGI animation especially when it transitions from live action Hal Jordan to CGI Hal Jordan.
Also, Hal Jordan's constructs in this movie were a little too "cartoony". He basically created everything from a flamethrower, gatling gun, artillery gun, a SWAT shield, catapult, jetplanes, and even a cadillac dragster complete with it's own green speedway to drive on to! For a live action movie, just felt a little over the top silly. Not even the Justice League TV animated series, John Stewart, ever made these kinds of constructs.
Also, my buddy made a point in that the power of the ring was too godlike for non-comic book fans to grasp - the "McGyver of rings". Once Hal Jordan completed his short training (yes, short), you knew he was just going to be unstoppable. No problem with comic fans, but it might be a little bit of a turn-off to the casual viewer since it made the villain look pale in comparison, especially in the anti-climactic final battle, which the trailers actually gave a hint to on how it would end. I mean, how else would you kill off space tentacles?
Mark Strong definitely was the best cast of the film. He played the cool and calculated Sinestro better than I'd imagine. Although they were not really "buddies" in the comics, a missed opportunity I thought was that it would've been better if they had played more on the relationship between Hal Jordan and Sinestro as something a bit more than just mentor to student, in order to build up a stronger emotional bond when the "inevitable" heel turn happens to strengthen a sequel, i.e. think of Peter Parker and Norman Osborne. Yes, every 9 year old kid can point that out Senestro will be evil just based on the name.
Peter Sarsgaard who plays Hector Hammond was average; nothing really memorable in terms of acting. Another missed opportunity I believe was the fact they could've played more of the "Norman Osborne / Spider-Man as Peter Parker identity" relationship on this one too; will not spoil the film so I'll leave it at that.
Blake Lively played the typical bossy childhood girl (friend) who plays hard to get, but changes her heart once the hero saves the day. One of my least favorite characters in the film actually, with some of the most corniest lines. The romance almost felt like it was just there to give the film a romance plot that really could've been done without. Don't expect anything too deep like Peter Parker & Mary Jane chemistry-wise, or even that of Thor & Jane Foster.
Ryan Reynolds was a mixed bag. My buddy thought he was "okay" as Hal Jordan (not knowing anything about the comics), while I thought some of the inner monologue jokes from him were more appropriate coming from Guy Gardner (another Green Lantern) or even Wally West the Flash. Actually, most of it was simply Ryan Reynolds just being Ryan Reynolds (see Van Wilder) and made me wonder how much ad-lib he had in the script? Overall I wasn't impressed, but not disappointed either. But unlike what Christopher Reeve brought to the big screen as Clark Kent/Superman, or what Hugh Jackman brought as Wolverine, Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark, and even Chris Hemsworth as Thor... Ryan Reynolds didn't quite bring it as real comic book fans would know Hal Jordan.
All in all this movie was a decent summer movie. The pacing was off, and you don't really have any emotional pull for the characters. The final battle ends before you knew it even started. It's not as good as this year's other comic book predecessors in X-Men 1st Class, and Thor. Don't come expecting deep character developments or you may be disappointed, as the movie doesn't take itself way too seriously as it should. For a 105 minute movie, the best parts were near the end in the last 15 mins of the film.
The real winners in the audience are definitely the kids, because it is a good kid's movie. Green Lantern may not be the best summer movie of this year, but this movie may brighten your day.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This film is "inoffensive" in a way. Nothing hateful or terribly gross
or upsetting about it. But it does have at least two major problems
that had I known fully what they were beforehand, I would have saved
myself a bit of money and my time, and done something else.
One, this is yet another in the tiresome line of uninspired movies based on a comic book. You'd think the collective hearts and minds of what we call "Hollywood" could come up with an original idea. Spending $150 million on a gimicky re-working of some other person's idea (that is, ripping off the comic book writers) really seems stupid. There are many talented artists out there whose work not only deserves to be funded, but whose work would be a lot more interesting. Maybe even exciting! And maybe, in at least a few cases, uplifting or inspiring in some way that actually contributes something to all of us--- which is the true purpose of art anyway, right?
And two, this wasn't very carefully thought out or written. You've heard criticisms of previous special FX movies where the reviewer bemoans all the slam-bam frenetic FX shots, one after another. I promise that if you are unfortunate enough to sit through this movie your jaw will drop at the sheer amount of literally non-stop whiz-bang FX- not even one after another so much as one continuous blast of the CGI cartoonist's most hectic product.
The plot points were not self-evident, at least not to me. Jet races were followed by jump cuts to kitchen scenes and then inter-galactic scenes, then space, then what appeared to be Hell, then "mysterioso" councils of wizened old cartoon "yoda" types, etc. A virtually indestructible space warrior (we find out later he was the strongest, bravest, most clever, the final hope of the Universe, etc.--- yet he somehow got shot in the shoulder and is in the process of flying his broken spaceship around earth, looking for a place to crash and die. Oh wait- he doesn't die until he tells his green ring to "choose well," and then somehow Ryan Reynolds shows up ready to be amazed and enlisted.
One question--- if the magic green ring is clever enough to find Ryan Reynolds amidst all of earth, and not just ID him but go get him, place him in a protective green bubble then whisk him 100 miles to the dying space warrior in instant--- why couldn't such a nifty ring fix a wounded shoulder?
Scenes reminiscent of the covers of 1950s sci-fi paperback books showed vague and ill-defined landscapes of rocks and cliffs and rubble. That kind of thing is OK, and might fit into some stories--- but nothing was explained, nothing was set-up, nothing was logical. Not even "artistically" logical.
I like Ryan Reynolds. Tim Robbins has always been a sturdy enough character actor, and a few of the other secondary characters here were played by good actors as well. But dang- I had no idea what they were doing. What's with that creepy doctor guy? What is the evident long-term relationship between him and Ryan Reynolds? What was he doing in the movie anyway, except to turn physically hideous and provide a bit of senseless peril to the Pretty Girl? I don't know- none of that was established.
Bottom line- this was just plain stupid. And not because it was "fantastical" or weird or sci-fi. Rather, because it was simply not good work.
I have the Green Lantern Comics (Numbers 49-51 circa 1993) where Hal
Jordan goes crazy and smashes the main power battery on OA, and gives
up his GL status to a new Green Lantern. But Hal Jordan has always been
Green Lantern to me, even with other people putting the ring on over
This film accounts the story of how Hal Jordan was chosen by the ring, as the dying Abin Sur sends out the ring to find a successor. Not to get into too much of a spoiler here, so I won't say how that happens in the film, which is slightly different than the original "Origin or Green Lantern" stories I have read when I was a kid, suffice it to say, the people who made this film had 5 decades of Green Lantern stories to get into a 2 hour film. And they did it good.
I saw this in 3D and it was adequate 3D, the look of Green Lantern was sort of a blend of all the different changes in costume he had over the years. Ryan Reynolds was a very good Hal Jordan, and Blake Lively a very very good Carol Ferris. A lot of the characters from the comics are in this, there is a "Pieface" but he is not Asian, there is an appearance by Sinestro who in this film is the head of the Green Lantern Corps, which includes veteran Green Lantern Tomar-Re voiced by Geoffery Rush, and Micheal Clark Duncan voicing Kilowog, all much loved GL characters, and the appearance of the Green Lantern Corps was a very good idea.
The Guardians of OA looked much like they looked in the comics, they named none of the Guardian Actors save Warren Burton and Salome Jens (who was the main Shape-Shifter in Star Trek: Deep Space 9), the rest of them are, well they are just Guardians. the evil entity Parallax was voiced by one of my favourite actors, Clancy Brown.
As far as Production, some great names popped out during the credits: James Newton Howard did a very good score, on par with his King Kong score, and the whole production was designed by another who worked on King Kong: Oscar winner Grant Major who had that same job in Lord of the Rings trilogy - And the costumes were done by another Lord of the Rings veteran, Ngila Dickson, another Oscar winner.
As far as the director, I had never heard of Martin Campbell except for Casino Royale and Vertical Limit, but one name did pop out: Stuart Baird, a veteran Editor, who has edited some great films all the way back to the Donner version of Superman II, Gorillas in the Mist, and of course he directed Star Trek: Nemesis which I rather liked.
Green Lantern being one of my favourite comic books when I was a kid, I was very gratified to see this film- They really did not take very many liberties with the stories which they cultivated to make this film, so I give it a 10 - Mostly because I can care less what anyone's lame gripes about this film are, I thoroughly enjoyed it, it was done very well.
I'm of a forgiving nature, especially when it comes to sci-fi, special
effects driven, blockbuster movies. I enjoyed the Star Wars prequels, i
even enjoyed the last Indy movie, i gave G.I Joe a decent review....G.I
Joe, yeah, that G.I Joe.
I cant go easy on this film, because Warner Bros deserve this, they are currently at the bottom of a deep pit when it comes to what is arguably the most popular current genre at the summer box office, super hero movies.
Marvel are wiping the floor with them, Superman had muted return, yes the Batman films are superb, yes Warners/DC turn out fantastic animated movies. But this Green Latern movie was going to show they can do more than just Batman well, it was going to be, hopefully a step towards a Justice League movie, one day, a less well known DC superhero, introduced to the non geek public, to open the floodgates to the larger DC universe than just Superman and Batman.
Well with all that riding on it, if this is the best they can do, then don't bother. This was one whopping mess of a film, Batman and Robin made more sense and yes i really have considered that statement, its nearly two weeks since i saw the movie, so this is a considered opinion, not a knee jerk one in the heat of the moment.
The characters were characterless, they were'nt funny, engaging, sympathetic, there was no emotional resonance in their situations. eg When Hal returns to Earth, after his initial visit to Oa, the scenes just drag where we are urged to feel his sense of dissonance with himself at not excepting the challenge he has been presented with.
I felt nothing, no sympathy, no empathy, nothing, it was all intercut at this stage with the origin of the Hector Hammond character. The scenes of Hal moping, are set against the scenes with us finding out that Hammond, already a creepy, sullen character before his head swells, doesn't get on with Dad, who himself is grease ball politician.
Remember Spider-Man 2 where Alfred Molina's Doc Ock had a pathos to his story which created a sense of sympathy for him and how that made for such a layered and involving villain, none of that here thank you very much.
The entire "i hate you dad" routine is old, old hat, but something fresh or dramatic could have been made of it, but instead the "i'm sensitive and dad's overbearing" tentpole is hammered into the ground, aided by awful dialogue and choppy scene structure.
The editing (amazing considering it was Stuart Baird) in these middle scenes was staccato in tone and numbing, it earned no sympathy for either character and therefore sabotaged any hope of an emotional pay off at the end of the film.
Superman's first appearance on Earth in the Donner version had you cheering, as Superman saves our feisty, likable damsel in distress Lois Lane, from a nasty helicopter crash, in front of a diverse social cross section of the good people of Metropolis.
Green Lantern's first appearance on Earth leaves you cold, as he saves an already established grease ball politician, from a nasty helicopter crash, in front of a gathering of over-achievers and posh-knobs who frankly you couldn't give a tinkers cuss about.
My abiding memory of the entire Hammond sub-plot is Peter Sarsgaard holding his head in his hands and moaning, which is ironic as i joined him in this action at numerous points.
Most unforgivable of all even the action scenes were flat and lifeless and when considering what Hal's character can do with his ring, thats just not acceptable.
On the up side, Oa was very impressive, there are some good effects and Ryan Reynolds and Mark Strong do their best to carry it off, but they are let down by other badly handled elements.
Mum always said: "If you've got nothing good to say, say nothing at all!", and mum's usually right, but in this case it cost me £15, so sorry Mum, i'm speaking my Brains !!
This film was terrible. I could not believe they've picked Ryan
Reynolds to play Green Lantern, he belongs in rom-coms. And that is
what he almost turned this into, the comedy played far too big a part
in this. What little faith I had in Reynolds as playing this role was
shattered very quickly, he simply is not made for serious movies.
Though this film isn't exactly serious, it isn't exactly a comedy
Mainly though, the story line was completely flawed. The whole thing just seemed like bits of 'filler' taken from other films and clumped together. Nothing was properly explained, like, why didn't the evil guy have a body? Why was he telekinetic if he didn't have a stupid ring? Why is fear yellow? Whenever they mentioned the yellow power of fear I felt like I was watching kids play with action figures making up a stupid story off the top of their heads. And the fact that all Green Lantern needed to do was say the 'vow' then become super powerful and cunning to kill this thing? Being a superhero movie I was hoping for more Earthly heroics. It was just ridiculous.
The whole immortal thing was stupid as well. Seemed again like they just couldn't come up with an idea, so they just thought 'ah whatever, a load of unoriginal aliens sat in really high seats at the top of a really high building who have infinite knowledge but then get proved wrong. That sound okay?'. There was just not enough detail to any aspect of this film.
There was genuinely nothing I enjoyed about this film, being a teenager lets me sort of enjoy a film if there's good fighting or action in it, even if I know the film is awful. Like 300. But this, simply offered me nothing. Absolutely awful. Save your money.
Don't listen to the negative remarks. This is a great movie. I've been a long time Green Lantern fan and the story line is a great adaptation from the comics. Yeah there are little things about the acting and writing, but they are overshadowed by the excellent story. This movie is well worth your time and money. The origins and background are spot on. I was glad the movie was built around the Green Lantern Corp. It is important to know that there is more than one Green Lantern. They did a really good job of showing Hal's personality. My wife even liked this movie. There is not dull moment. The momentum of the story keeps you from being bored.
All I can say is that I was extremely impressed with this film. Based on the trailers, I was expecting this film to be mediocre, I was wrong. In my opinion, for a superhero film to work, it all narrows down to special effects and the acting. For this movie, both are great. This movie may not have been as good as X-men: First Class or The Dark Knight, but it is an above average superhero movie. Ryan Reynolds is good as always and Mark Strong delivered a strong performance as well. This movie is heavy on special effects and they are SPECTACULAR. The dialogue is nothing new but don't expect it to be excellent given the fact that its a superhero movie. Overall, this movie was very well done and I liked it a whole lot more than I thought it would. Hopefully this may be the first of many Green Lantern movies because this has the potential to become a great movie franchise.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I know a lot of people didn't like Green Lantern but I don't know why. It was a fun movie with a good solid lead in Ryan Reynolds. It was not as dark as The Dark Knight or V For Vendetta but that is not the nature of Green Lantern. The special effects were good and the casting was fine. Tim Robbins was well cast as Hammond as was Peter Sarsgaard as Hector Hammond. Kudos to Mark Strong as Sinestro. I do hope they do a sequel with him as Sinestro was one of my favourite villains. All up it was a solid film and one I enjoyed immensely. Pity some people were disappointed but to be honest, I don't know what they were expecting as the film stayed reasonably true to the character and the tone of the comic books.
I saw Green Lantern with my son because it looked safe enough and I used to collect the comic books when I was a kid. I felt like I was the only guy over 20 at the theater, which I guess isn't surprising anymore. Did think there would be more adults, however, because the Green Lantern was something we read in my generation. Not sure if it's even around anymore. Being a fan of the comic book I had to go see it, and I was intrigued with the movie. After I got home I jumped on the computer and read the reviews. I was very disappointed with the professional reviews that cast stones at it, while at the same time, regular folk like myself thought it was a pretty good stab at the DC comic book version. I guess I look for something different when I go to the movies. I go to unwind and enjoy myself for a couple of hours, and Green Lantern worked for me.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Another in a long line of comic book films released this year, Green
Lantern unfortunately doesn't compare to Thor, X-Men: First Class or
Captain America. Had I seen Green Lantern *before* seeing those other
three films, perhaps I wouldn't be as critical of it. But those
previous movies set a high standard that this latest comic book movie
doesn't quite reach. I feel a large part of why GL isn't as successful
as the films before it is the pace and editing. A film about aliens,
space police and a ring that can transform thought into reality should
all come together to make one hell of an interesting film, but somehow
the movie suffers from a seemingly sluggish pace in the beginning
(thanks to a rather snore-worthy voice-over, explaining things that we
need to know) before anything really interesting happens. Starting
movies with prologues/exposition *can* be interesting, but this one
manages to make everything that *should* be interesting somehow dull.
It's actually very disappointing, given that director Martin Campbell
was behind two of the best Bond movies ever (Goldeneye and Casino
Royale). Those films never had a dull moment in them, whereas GL seems
to have too many.
I'm one who hadn't known the first thing about Green Lantern - having never read the comics - before seeing this movie. Having heard the name a while back, I figured it was just some dude who liked the colour green and walked around with an old-timey lantern. Luckily, it's a bit more interesting than that. It actually involves a ring and a human, Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds), who the ring chooses to join an intergalactic military/police force known as the Green Lantern Corps. Turns out I wasn't entirely wrong, as there is indeed a lantern involved, but thankfully it's not old-timey and he doesn't just carry it around with him wherever he goes. Though he does swear an oath to it - one of the lighter moments in the film.
Reynolds wasn't apparently many people's ideal actor to play Hal, but I think he serves the role of the jet-fighter-test-pilot-turned-universe-protector well. Yes, he does play a bit of a jerk and he does have some funny lines, but he's also believable in the more serious moments. When he recites the oath for the second time, you know he's grown as a character. Reynolds is convincing in his portrayal of Hal's flaws as a person, and by the end you're on his side.
The lovely and very aptly named Blake Lively is a breath of fresh air, livening things up and injecting some much-needed energy into the otherwise kinda dull proceedings. As Carol Ferris, she's not only a fellow pilot with Hal, but also someone with whom Hal has a history. Not just another ordinary/boring love interest, she's able to stand up to Hal, not take his crap and can handle herself admirably. Best of all, though? She's no idiot. Most awesomely, Hal's lame Superman-in-glasses-like attempt to cover up his identity with nothing more than a small green mask doesn't work on Carol. As she says, she's known him her whole life and not being able to see his cheek bones isn't going to fool her. She immediately recognises it's him. Other superheroes' love interests would do well to learn from Carol (take note, Lois Lane!). The scene where he tries out his best Batman voice on her (after having earlier rescued her in public from a crashing helicopter by creating a race track for it to land on) is one of the best in the entire film. Carol's reactions to seeing through Hal's mask are really quite good/amusing. It's one of the more unique things about the film - where most tend to have the 'love interest' remain in the dark or look stupid for not having figured out things early on.
I liked how Carol wasn't just giving Hal crap nonstop, but also encouraged him/saved him. Lively and Reynolds have decent chemistry and share some good moments together. Though the rest/supporting characters, both human & alien, are all rather average. This lack of character development lets the film down.
It also doesn't help that the villain/s of the film are among some of the most non-scary & laugh-worthy villains ever to appear in comic book films (up there with Green Goblin). Parallax is nothing more than a big angry dust cloud that zaps people with yellow. You know you're in trouble when this is the 'Big Bad' of the movie. The film's 'Little Bad' is hair-sniffer, Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard), who becomes infected by Parallax and gains telepathic/telekinetic abilities as a result...but also (literally) gets a big head - doesn't really seem like a fair trade-off. Our fat-headed villain is gross to look at, but other than that, he's not particularly effective. He's just another poor sod with daddy issues and bad luck. He shares minimal dialogue with Hal and Carol, and yet we're supposed to buy them as people who know each other well. The only real tense moment I felt involving them was was when Hector's threatening to make Carol like him - something no SANE person would want to see happen.
What I felt really let the film down was the pacing. Things seem to be shown to us in a strange order a lot of the time, and it just feels 'off'. I will say that the movie did allow for some interesting uses of CGI - the constructs Hal forms with his mind/the ring are pretty exciting & creative. The flying was also good. And it makes sense his costume looks the way it does, since it's created out of energy.
This isn't a bad film as such, it just isn't all that it could have been. Still, here's hoping that a sequel improves on it. Despite all the flaws, I do wish to see Hal Jordan and Carrol Ferris again. Until then, go green!
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