I saw The Green Lantern on the brightest screen, in the blackest theatre

After a weekend hiatus from writing movie reviews to visit Kirk’s birthplace (oh and go to my cousins wedding), I’m back on the horse with one of the summers most anticipated comic book movies The Green Lantern.

(Side note: if you were hoping I’d review Super 8 this past Monday, have no fear.  I’m planning to see it at some crazy new theatre with D-Box seats on Wednesday night so, if I do, I’ll put something together for Thursday or Friday.)

I was stoked to see DC bring Ryan Reynolds’ abs to their comic universe. Wait….. no, I’ll stick with abs 🙂

ryan-reynolds-shirtless

Wrong movie, you say? Ask me how much I care.

As you know, I spend a good amount of my time grading comic book movies on how successful they are with staying true to the content of their origins. The problem this time is that I don’t really know a whole lot about Green Lantern aside from the fact that I live in Sector 2814 (*cue me hanging my head in nerdy shame*).  So this review is going to get filled in with some good ol’ fashioned fun movie judging. Sit back, relax, and see why I thought The Green Lantern was kind of a middling movie.

SPOILERS AHEAD

I want to kick this off by saying that I love Ryan Reynolds’ abs… I mean acting. Damn. I’ll fix that I swear. He has boyish good looks, a wry smile and a charming charisma that even you boys can say you like without sounding too gay. IMHO he’s got a kind of Nathan Fillion-esque quality to him. Maybe it’s the water that they give those boys in Canada? Who knows. He pulls off the action sequences quite well, and even the more touching scenes between him and Blake Lively are pretty decent.

blake-lively-in-green-lantern

"See what they did with my hair in this scene? It means that while I'm sexy and girly, I can still fly a plane."

The main problem for me is that Ryan seems to lack a real dark side. Perhaps it’s just his innocence-exuding face but when he uttered the line “Because I’m afraid” I just didn’t buy it. No one else in the theater did either. That might just be him or the fact that I had no idea what he was afraid of. I might have missed it, but he’s a fighter pilot that has no problem launching his jet into the outer reaches of the atmosphere before tumbling back to earth but he’s afraid of… dying? That just seemed odd. And once he overcame his fear it felt very much like “Ok, well, that was nice, now I’m going to kick your ass.” It never had quite the gusto that Christian Bale had in Batman Begins. Uhh, sorry every comic book movie made after 2005, but you sort of have to live up to Christopher Nolan’s genius. Suck it, k? Cause you do.

Which, let’s be honest, is incredibly difficult to do with this content. These are characters that have a ton of back story that needs to be filled in, from the Lantern Corps, their home planet Oa, and the Guardians that created it, you’ve got a lot that you’re asking the average movie goer to swallow.  Trying to include a giant backstory in a very short period of time can be done very successfully if you dumb it down enough (see: Star Trek 2009) or less successfully if it is hurried through at the beginning (see: Serenity). This one took the later approach and honestly, nerd to nerd, I was just mildly lost. I don’t really know any major Green Lantern fans so there was no one around to help smooth out the rough edges for me. It seemed to just cruise through certain relationships without developing them when I really wish it had.

Moving on to the special effects…I was fairly impressed with them. Oa was awesome, the Green Lantern suit was amazing (despite what anyone might say). I even enjoyed Blake Lively. I guess what I’m saying is that I wish a bit more time had been spent mainstreaming this movie for audiences. Perhaps I’m wrong, but I felt like a lot of stuff went over people’s heads. Everyone I went with walked out kind of saying “meh.”  It did make me want to spend some time reading more of the Green Lantern comic books though, so it had that going for it.  I have my hopes pinned on the next movie, if they do one. At the very least, I look forward to Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool if that one comes together.

It’ll have abs in it…right?

Sci Five 2.5

Comments

  1. I’m a huge GL fan and as such I can back up your “meh” assessment. I enjoyed the flick, but it could have been better. It felt muddled and rushed at various points.

    If you want to jump into the comics you don’t have to go that far back. You can just start with Geoff Johns Green Lantern: Rebirth and work forward from there. Johns is the master at relaunching titles. Or you can always just wait until September for the fraking FU to the fans, I’m sorry, I meant the DC relaunch.

  2. bia says:

    His abs alone make me want to at least rent it.

  3. Leighton says:

    I think Bryan Reynolds is best suited for comedy. His part in X Men III, (I think) and his part in The Proposal (Sandra Bullocks) are my favorites. I haven’t seen this version of the Green Lantern yet cause Australia gets everything 6 months after you guys in the US. I love your movie reviews, please don’t stop doing them!

    1. Leighton says:

      Ryan, not Bryan! 🙂

  4. Ipodman says:

    Nice review! I actually felt like the movie was TOO mainstream… everything felt very “dumbed-down” and simple, like a toy commercial. I didn’t like Ryan Reynolds that much here… Blake Lively even less so

  5. Ander says:

    🙂 Really I think Green Lantern is one of those older heroes whose comic went on for a good while before they *really* got into the mythos/backstory. I wasn’t terribly familiar with him but picked up one of those giant black and white reprint things of his early issues (before I heard about the movie) from the library and he mostly just did goofy adventures for a good while. I’m not exactly sure when the whole GL corps really took off but boy the whole storyline is pretty seriously garbled right now–they had huge crossover stories based on power rings (The Sinestro Corp War–or something like that, and Blackest Day/Darkest Night) that honestly didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me and consisted of killing off and resurrecting characters. 🙂 Anyhow, what I’m saying is that it kinda isn’t all that easy to get caught up on Green Lantern so don’t feel bad about it.
    I’m hoping to see this one eventually but the local theater I go to doesn’t have it playing 🙁 So I either go to one without the deal or go a bit further to get into a theater for the cheaper price (six bucks for A.M. shows).

  6. Christina says:

    I agree with your assessment… for someone who’s not really into comic books and generally abhors summer blockbusters, it was mildly entertaining. Honestly, if it wasn’t Ryan Reynolds in the title role and 3D effects that kept me engaged, I probably would have dozed off (yes, I’ve fallen asleep to movies I’ve watched in the theatre). Two thumbs up for Ryan’s abs.