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

Great Scott Green Lantern!

I’m going to be blunt because, well, I’m in one of those moods.

green-lantern-ryan-reynolds-fan-poster-tracy

CGI suit? errrr.....

The new Green Lantern does not look promising.  In fact, it looks terrible.  Normally I would reserve judgment until a movie comes out but after seeing the trailer before Harry Potter, I’ve pretty much seen the whole movie.  Ryan Reynolds was not my first choice to play Deadpool in Wolverine Origins but, in the end, I thought he did ok.  When I found out he’d been cast as Green Lantern I was disappointed.  Pick a comic book character and stick with it, don’t be all jumping from franchise to franchise turning beloved characters into lame ass versions of yourself.  I know you think you’re riding some kind of pop culture wave and it’s so cool and macho to play superheroes and I’m sure all of your agents and managers are just thrilled to death at the prospect of sequels but COME ON.  Have a little self respect.  You’re married to Scarlett Johansen for Christ’s sake.

(Chris Evans, you take note of this as well)

Not only did the trailer suggest a complete rehashing of every comic book movie that has come out in the last 30 years (see Daniel O’Brien’s spot on article here: http://www.cracked.com/blog/why-new-green-lantern-movie-looks-so-familiar/) but someone got a little too excited about CGI.

There is a reason why spandex was invented.


Nathan Fillion as the Green Lantern? Yes please.

Too make our incredibly hot superheroes and supervillians look even hotter.  To give them freedom of movement while in battle.  To be a form of identity so that villains and victims alike know exactly who’s rescuing and/or pummeling them with just a glance at the color of their tights.

CGI is not to the point yet where it can replace spandex mmmmkay?

Despite the rehashing (which, honestly, I can deal with to a certain degree) the one thing that bothers me most about the Green Lantern is the CGI costume.  It is the fakest looking, most distracting part and sadly, it takes center stage during huge chunks of the movie.  And this is the origin movie.  When the quickly and poorly put together sequel inevitably comes out this ridiculous and garish costume will play an even larger role.

*le sigh*

I hope that when June 11th roles around I will be proved wrong and have to shove my foot in my mouth.  But, somehow, I doubt I’ll be tasting sock lint anytime soon.

On another note, I was so NOT excited about the new Green Hornet movie and after seeing a trailer for it I’m actually slightly enthusiastic.

Whudda thunk?