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As someone who's followed Green Lantern a little bit of a decent amount
(not big but fairly decent, for DC character), I liked some things
about the movie; but I definitely say that it could have been made
better, both for casual fans, non-GL fans or hard core ones.
Good points... 1. It stuck fairly consistently with the mythos of the origin and Planet OA; 2. Ryan Reynolds did decently as Hal Jordan (though he fits more with the Kyle Rayner/Guy Gardner type than Jordan) -- but I wish he was more serious; though non-GL fans couldn't care less about this; 3. Blake Lively was eye candy; super hot, but not much else; 4. Green Lanterns Tomar Re, Kilowog and Abin Sur were damn good but didn't have enough screen time to be significant; 5. Mark Strong's Sinestro was excellent! 6. Hector Hammond was well portrayed by Peter Saarsgard (though it lacked a proper finish) 7. Good supporting cast from Tim Robbins (Sen. Hammond) to Angela Bassett (Amanda Waller); 8. Green Lantern's costume was wicked; 9. Visual/CGI effects were pretty good
Bad Points... > It tried to fit too much into one movie, moving back and forth from Earth and outer space/OA, thus there was no proper flow... (like when there was a build up of momentum, things go slow or boring; or from serious to funny without proper pacing); too many stories were crammed into one movie > Humor was misplaced at times (good peg is Thor which had it in the flow rather than contrived/forced) > Parallax looked comical; scary at times but only a couple of times > Like Iron Man 2, I wish the fight scenes were so much more; they spent too much on the set-up that the fights were short and could have been so much more and elaborate. > Some scenes and even some characters were not necessary (Hal's best friend, even some scenes with Blake's Carol Ferris were not needed); they should have added more action instead
Summary, visual effects, actors, GL base story good. But the way the writers and director put things together were a mixture of various plots and subplots crazy glued into one movie for pure entertainment. Kids will enjoy it, but adults likely will not. This is a summer of superheroes, with 3 down and one more to go (well, technically 5 with Transformers if you're thinking comic book stories), so it's quite impossible not to compare them to each other.
The director is known to direct good flicks like Goldeneye and Casino Royale (two good movies), but I wish he did more; studied more, had split up more stories to be more single- minded and not work on a cluttered material.
For a comic book movie, Green Lantern had the potential to be great. If
the writers of the movie even watched the animated movie First Flight,
they would've been able to come up with a better script than what they
did. I think the cast did the best that they could with the corny lines
and terrible writing.
Ryan Reynolds was believable as Hal Jordan, Blake Lively was exceptional in her role (which primarily involved looking pretty which she is good at) and Mark Strong as Sinestro was flawless. Though I thoroughly disliked what the writers did to this movie, I do hope the GL series isn't written off. There is still enough in the story of Green Lantern for a sequel, but for the love of Oa the old script writers need to go and a brand new team needs to bring something to the table. Mark Strong is an acting powerhouse and as we have seen in the Dark Knight, it is the villain and not the hero that makes an exceptional comic book movie! Sinestro has to do for GL what the Joker did for Batman! Thats my 2 cents
I went to see Green Lantern because a friend of mine was boycotting DC
for such a long time because there has been no release of a Green
Lantern movie. Sure, there were plenty reincarnations of Batman and
Superman, but where's Green Lantern? Someone out there listened to his
plea, and the result is this.....
I will go on record to say that it's at least enjoyable. Even though the movie seems to be everywhere in its storytelling, with characters being underdeveloped and random things just happening. I would say that during this movie, I had a hard time finding a bathroom break. I was at least interested to see where the movie is going.
Let me try to explain this movie: There is this elite group of Green Lanterns led by Sinestro (well played by Mark Strong) who are having a hard time beating this giant alien in the Milky Way called The Parallax. So when their alien friend who's name I cannot remember falls to earth and dies, his ring is sent out to choose a new victim, and somehow it chooses Ryan Reynolds. Mr. Reynolds discovers that he has a new ability, and that he is the earth's only hope, but he can't handle that until the end of the movie. Not only that, but some doctor guy turns into an evil alien which, I guess, is controlled by Parallax, and Ryan has to stop him too.
I must say that I was intrigued by the doctor subplot where he is not accepted by his father (Tim Robbins) and slowly goes insane until he turns into John Travolta from Battlefield: Earth. I also liked seeing Ryan Reynolds in the movie because he brings energy to what could otherwise be a boring movie, and I was enjoying both stories that were coming along. The problem is that the whole movie felt disjointed, and not only did scenes felt random, but events turn random too.
Like the scene where Reynolds is chosen by the ring. It just happens out of nowhere. One minute he's talking to this kid (which never served much purpose to the film) and then all of a sudden he's walking and gets carried away in green light to that dying alien dude. This happened in more than one occasion. Also the CGI was all over the place, even on Reynold's outfit, and it's rather distracting. It's very vibrant and colorful (which is good), but it looked very cartoonish and took me out of the film. I also mentioned that the characters are underdeveloped, which goes a lot to Sinestro and that Parallax thing they are trying to fight. Heck, even the love interest felt underdeveloped. By the end of the film, I felt like I barely knew the characters, with just a likable performance by Ryan Reynolds.
However, Green Lantern isn't boring, just purely average. I think the reason why I sort of liked this film was that I went into it not expecting much. I already had groups of people telling me that this film is awful before its release, so I ended up getting a little more than I expected. Just a little. It was still entertaining, to say the least.
We are getting decent and compelling superhero movies these days, which
is a great thing that happened to the genre. Now "Green Lantern" is one
of those films that also needs to be powerful, but it ends up being a
generic cheesy cinema. "Green Lantern" is not perfectly horrible or the
worst superhero movie ever but it's just too much exposition and a
whole lot of green cheese.
"Green Lantern" has a great concept. Just like the other superhero films, the storytelling also needs to be compelling. Unfortunately, the film gets lazy to tell the story so they just threw a lot of narration and even the ones that are not quite necessary to narrate. The action is not very amazing. it's just showing us how eye-candy the effects are.
At least the movie is loyal to its corniness. Hal Jordan's wacky imagination and the aliens' zany looking faces. The CGI is pretty. The performances were entertaining enough. Ryan Reynolds is doing his same old thing. Mark Strong didn't appear so much (which is disappointing) but still he's awesome.
It's disappointing because they're making the interesting villains into uninteresting. Example, Parallax should be terrifying and menacing. Instead he's a scrambled egg who eats fear. Not really terrifying nor menacing. Peter Sarsgaard's mad scientist performance was pretty good but the only thing he did in this film is crying in agony and use his telekinesis powers in a lame way.
"Green Lantern" just wanted to show its beautiful visuals. It's not a very bad thing but the filmmakers doesn't take its storytelling so seriously. It can be entertaining for some reason but it can also be forgettable. It's good to see it in the big screen for the visuals but you don't want to see it again after that. This might be the weakest superhero movie of the year. Even "The Green Hornet" is better than this. "Thor" might be the best superhero film of 2011 so far in my opinion because even though the action isn't great, at least there is a compelling storytelling. The sad thing is, both the action and the storytelling are not compelling in "Green Lantern".
3D? Very dark!
Back in 1977 when George Lucas told a story in the frame of Joseph
Campbells Heroes Journey, it was unique. When Sam Raimi told a super
hero story with the same structure in 2002, there was still plenty it
added a new filter. And, when Jon Favreau did it again in 2008, he
added enough unique touches to the tale to reinvigorate what was
becoming a tired formula.
The writers of Green Lantern felt it was enough to skim cliffnotes of Campbell and write the film based on their notes of the reading and half remembered recollections of reading comic books when they were 12. There is nothing new in this film. A man is given a magic ring which takes him out of the world of the ordinary and makes him a hero. We don't grow to care about him because he doesn't grow or change... he simply goes through the motions because the script tells him to.
Ryan Reynolds tries his best with a weak and contrived script, but he still comes off too snarky to be the overconfident jet pilot he's supposed to be. It's not all his fault, as the script is much more content to tell us what the cast is feeling or thinking instead of letting the actors convey it through their actions, inflections or looks. It is as if the writers had no faith in their cast or direction, let alone their audience, and dumbed the entire affair down below even the cartoon portrayals of the character.
The visuals are nice, but never have weight, leading to the effect that Ryan Reynolds head if occasionally floating through a video game. It's sad to think it's been six years since Gollum, and this is the best Warner Brothers can offer us in a tent pole film. It's also a shame to think this is the best they could do with only 37 million dollars less than Avatar. Again, it just shows that the production staff was lazy, never pushing it to look better, and instead setting for the "they'll think it looks cool" effect.
We should demand better from comic book films. After having Dark Knight and Iron Man in a single year, we should not be subjected to subpar outings like this. Fun is one thing, mind numbingly dumb and lazy is another.
Skip this in the theater. Wait for it to come to NetFlix and then forget to put it in your cue. You'll thank me.
They say that if you've seen one superhero movie, you've seen them all. That's not entirely true, but if every superhero movie were like Green Lantern, then it would be true. Green Lantern is your typical superhero movie, so if you've seen quite a few superhero movies (like I have), you'll know what's ahead. This is the problem with Green Lantern, it's too predictable and does nothing new to make it stand out from the crowd. That's not necessarily a bad thing though, but it's not a good thing either. There are 3 good things in this movie. One, Peter Sarsgaard as Hector Hammond is delightfully hammy and fun to watch. Two, the SFX are cool and what they do with the Green Lantern ring is also cool, and Parallax's design suits its evilness. Third, the fight between Hal and Parallax is the best scene in the movie. Other than those things, it's average. If you've never seen a superhero movie and/or are a Green Lantern fan, this movie is worth seeing. Everyone else should see X-Men: First Class.
*** 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.
*** 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.
After using IMDb for about 10 years this is my first time writing a
review so here goes.
I am a big fan of DC Comics and Green Lantern is definitely one of my favorites as I even own quite a volume of comics of him. I wasn't really looking forward to this movie since every time I do I always got let down. My first thought after hearing Parallax being in the movie I was wondering if they would do it like in the comics. But that didn't make sense because this is only the first movie and the studio would make it as an origin movie not something else. The whole thing seemed a little tad slow and I think they tried to do character developments and get the story going but even for a fan I kind of found it hard to follow. It wasn't engaging enough I suppose. There were some action scenes but that also didn't really live up to expectations. I thought they had the right director and actors for this movie but something was missing from the comics.
If they ever make a sequel to this movie I do hope they hire someone from DC to write a script and have the sort of impact Iron Man did back in 2008. I do have a feeling this is going to be another Superman Returns though.
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 !!
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