‘Green Lantern’ Light Fails to Shine

I really wanted to like Green Lantern. I enjoy Ryan Reynolds in most roles he takes. There was so much riding on this film too. Right now the superhero sub-genre is ruled by Marvel and Batman. Superman is struggling to stay relevant and the rest of DC’s superheroes have yet to make it to the big screen. If Green Lantern had been good, DC could have finally shown off some of their other classic superheroes. Not to say that they still won’t but if the studio decides that they can all be modeled after Green Lantern we are in trouble.

To start with the positive, the movie looks fantastic. Every color, particularly green, stands out but not to a point where it becomes overwhelming. The Green Lantern Corps is full of incredible beings to look at. The detail on these creatures must have taken a lot of time and hard work. Also, the 3D is pretty impressive, far better then the 3D on Thor.

Another positive aspect of the movie is the climax. A lot of recent superhero films seem to struggle when they get to the climax. Remember the boring fights at the end of Iron Man and Thor? Green Lantern has an exciting climax, one where we actually see the hero truly tested by the villain he faces off against. It is definitely the highlight of the film.

Unfortunately the visual style and that one sequence are all that works about Green Lantern. The cast is pretty horrible as a whole. Ryan Reynolds is a boring superhero and fails to give Hal Jordan any realistic depth or reason to believe that he is in any way heroic. He has a few charming moments and you will certainly root for him, but overall it is a dull performance compared to many of the other superheroes that have made it to the screen. Blake Lively is such a disappointment here after her great performance in The Town. She and Reynolds have no chemistry whatsoever and their relationship never feels genuine. Tim Robbins shows up for a bit and does…well nothing I suppose. He plays the father of Peter Sarsgaard’s character Hector Hammond, the most laughable supervillain since Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Mr. Freeze. Sarsgaard is way too eccentric. Sometimes it seems as if Dwight from The Office became a supervillain. Also, the make-up on his character is pretty terrible in a film filled with great special effects. I will admit that most of the voice acting amongst the aliens is pretty good, particularly Geoffrey Rush.

While the acting is pretty bad for the most part, the actors really did not have much to work with. The script is atrocious. The plot structure and dialogue would only be acceptable if it was the 5th grade play at an elementary school. The most memorable line from the movie is the oath, which is lifted straight from the comics. The plot feels like a random string of events that keep propelling the movie forward to its eventual climax. At one point, Blake Lively’s character seems angry at Hal, and the next time w see her she is flirting with him in the bar. This movie is also missing the excitement of discovering the hero’s new powers. There is never a moment for Hal to enjoy his powers, the plot does not allow for those little moments that have proved to make other superhero origins so effective.

Green Lantern is such an unfortunate failure. I had high hopes, considering the success Marvel found with Thor and X-men: First Class, that this movie would follow the trend of solid superhero movies this summer. But in a month, Green Lantern will be forgotten as Captain America gets ready to hit theaters and hopefully wash the bad taste out of the mouths of superhero fans everywhere. (*1/2 our of 4)

photo credit: http://theflickcast.com/tag/green-lantern/

~ by mattsmoviethoughts on June 17, 2011.

One Response to “‘Green Lantern’ Light Fails to Shine”

  1. Saw the movie today and pretty much felt the same way after I walked out. The special effects were exciting and I did laugh at some parts, but other than that it wasn’t really that good. It’s kind of disappointing because I’ve always thought that the Green Lantern was such a cool superhero. I didn’t think Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively were necessarily bad, just that they didn’t really bring any more depth to their characters than provided in the script. I guess it just goes to show you that no matte who you hire to play the part, if the script is bad, the movie most likely will be too.

    PS, Ryan Reynolds has a scene where he’s in his underwear, but there was no such scene for Blake Lively….I call sexism!

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