It Isn't The Brightest Day or Blackest Night For Green Lantern
It pains me to say this because I genuinely wanted Green Lantern to be the hottest movie of the summer, but as the credits rolled I found myself feeling under-whelmed from a movie that should have blown me away.
What could've been a home run for Warner Bros. Studios and DC Entertainment ends up being nothing more than a base hit.
Green Lantern has been one of my favorite superheroes since I was old enough to throw on a pair of the ring-slingers Underoos and enjoy an episode of Superfriends on Saturday mornings. So I became worried when I’d read a couple of early reviews panning the film altogether.
In the various attempts Hollywood has made to cash in on the comic book craze there have been plenty of terrible movies. (Catwoman anyone?) However, while it may not be the hit that Dark Knight was, Green Lantern isn’t among the ranks of the worst superhero movies either.
The film starts off well enough with Ryan Reynolds slipping comfortably into the role of Hal Jordan, a troubled test pilot destined to become the great Emerald Warrior of sector 2814. While some fans cried foul after he was initially cast in the role, Reynolds brings just enough wit and charm—that body doesn’t hurt either—to make the character his own without going overboard. The role of action hero suits him well and he proves that he was an excellent choice to play Green Lantern. However, while Reynolds soars as a superhero, the movie never picks up enough momentum to be the out-of-this-world space opera it needs to be.
Blake Lively as Carol Ferris is one of the weaker members of the cast, but her performance is nowhere near as bad as Katie Holmes in Batman Begins. Her best moments are when she’s allowed to play the love interest of Hal Jordan without the additional baggage of making us believe she’s a capable test pilot.
The rest of the cast handles their roles well. Peter Sarsgaard is decent as Hector Hammond and Mark Strong is excellent as Sinestro. As a matter of fact there are a number of great actors in the film including Angela Bassett (Amana Waller), Tim Robins (Senator Hammond), and Geoffrey Rush voicing the CGI rendered Tomar-Re, but none of them are given much to do and their roles become missed opportunities rather than standout characters.
The home world of the Green Lantern Corps, Oa, was beautifully designed and Hal’s time spent training on the planet is one of the highlights of the film. As a fan, it was important to see some of the details and character cameos that were woven into the movie in order for the film to feel authentic—and in that respect Green Lantern doesn’t disappoint. In fact, the film takes several cues straight from the source material. However, these moments are brief and aren’t given the opportunity to make Green Lantern the great summer movie it could’ve been.
The biggest issue with Green Lantern isn’t that it’s a bad film; it just spends way too much time setting things up with very little payoff. Even the movie’s climax is unsatisfying and feels rushed. In fact, a short clip shown at the end of the credits set off geek Geiger counters throughout the theatre more than any moment in the actual film—making it seem as if the set up for a sequel was more important than making Green Lantern a fine superhero flick on its own. Hopefully the film will do well enough to warrant a second chance for Green Lantern to regain his glory, but with Warner Bros. Studios spending more than $300 million to make and market this film, the Emerald Knight may not get another shot.