Green Lantern 2011
After watching so many Marvel movies, I thought it was only fair to come back with a DC movie. I’ve been wanting to watch Green Lantern for a while now, I’ve heard there’s a lot of hate out there for it, but from what I’ve seen of the movie so far, I thought I would generally like it. And I was right, I did like it, but at the same time, I didn’t love it. I enjoyed the animated Green Lantern movie First Flight much better, which is a shame because Green Lantern as a character has a lot of potential and this movie took several steps in the right direction, it just didn’t get all the way there yet.
I know a lot of comic book fans decried the choice of using Hal Jordan as the focus of this movie. Honestly I don’t know a lot about all the different Green Lanterns of the past. I’m actually most familiar with Hal Jordan as both the Green Lantern I was first introduced to in an old paperback book comic and in the animated movie First Flight, which treads on similar ground as this movie. The only other one I’m vaguely familiar with is John Stewart from the Justice League cartoon series. I didn’t think Hal Jordan was a bad choice, and I also didn’t think that Ryan Reynolds was a bad choice even though this is his third comic book outing, also being in Blade: Trinity and Wolverine. He’s a hotshot pilot with some issues to work out, but I thought he was pretty enjoyable through the whole movie, both before and after his Green Lantern transformation. He surprisingly managed to keep his typical Ryan Reynolds smart alec quips to a minimum, and when they were used, they seemed to fit.
On the other hand, Hal Jordan’s love interest in this movie played by Blake Lively who’s name I don’t remember for the main fact that she wasn’t very memorable at all. She seemed like she was supposed to be a strong character, she was essentially Hal’s boss as well as his old flame. Heck, she even got the chance to save him once. But she still never really felt like a full character. She had a couple good lines, I really enjoyed how she called out the negligible Green Lantern mask as not really doing a good job at hiding his identity from someone who knew him their entire life. But she felt more like window dressing. She found herself in all these situations, but those situations never felt like they meshed into a full character.
There were two real villains in this movie, and I personally thought they stretched the realm of believability even for a comic book movie. There was a giant cloud of fear named Parralax that sucked the fear out of people to grow larger. Didn’t the studios learn anything when people complained about the fact that Galactus in the second Fantastic Four movie amounted to little more than a giant cloud? The slightly more down to Earth villain was Hammond who was also tied to Hal Jordan’s past as a seemingly old friend, although that relationship is really only made known by a couple lines of dialog that don’t amount to much. It seemed like they made a great effort to connect all these people in the movie to Hal Jordan in some meaningful way, and yet it only amounts to a superficial connection that serves no real purpose unless it’s just a nod to the comic books. Anyway, Hammond gets bitten by some leftover fear and grows a big head, complete with psychic and telekinetic abilities. It didn’t make sense to me that the thing that killed Abin Sur would grant some random guy a bunch of powers.
But enough about what I didn’t like about the movie, I suppose I should get into the things that I did like. I enjoyed the scenes on Oa, especially with Sinestro, Kilowog, and Tomar-Re. I thought Sinestro was a great character and it was set up nicely for him to become the villain in the sequel which may or may not ever happen now. I also thought the Lantern constructs looked great and were nice choices. I also liked the look of the CGI costumes, though they could have used just a little less flashiness to them. And the battle scenes were a lot of fun, at least the ones that actually used the constructs. The brief battles with the other Lanterns shooting the green energy balls weren’t that great, but they were also quite short. I pretty much enjoyed all of the dialog given on Oa, it made me wish that more of the movie took place in space rather than on Earth, because most of the characters on Earth were pretty boring. Unfortunately, it also ended with a pretty poor scene where Hal outsmarts the giant cloud but finishes him off with a giant green fist.
I can totally see why people didn’t like this film, but I thought there was at least enough good stuff in it that I enjoyed watching it. For me, the poor parts of the film weren’t awful, they were just either forgettable or bland. But the good stuff in the movie was really great, and I think they could easily pull off a fantastic sequel based on what was set up in this movie. Sinestro is a great villain especially when using his origin of being a Green Lantern first. Some of the best villains are the ones you don’t see coming. Or at least the ones the heroes don’t see coming. I think one of the other reasons why I didn’t like the science nerd villain is something I only just now realized. It’s a very similar character as the main character in Chronicle, without the abusive aspects to it, but Andrew in Chronicle is a hundred times more interesting than Hammond. Now I’m in the mood to watch a much better Green Lantern origin story so Thursday will be Green Lantern: First Flight. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.