Green Lantern (Blu-ray)
The biggest revelation about director Martin Campbell’s take on GREEN LANTERN is that it’s not nearly as bad as you think it is. That may sound trivial for a big summer action film, but given the cold reactions the film’s trailers and TV spots received, that’s actually quite a compliment. In many ways, it’s disappointing that the film’s marketing department was so inept that they couldn’t find a way to make this movie more appealing to general audiences. But thankfully, there’s always Blu-ray.
The mythology of Green Lantern is much more complicated than that of Batman, Spider-man or even Superman. In the film, Ryan Reynolds stars as Hal Jordan, a cocky test pilot that is chosen by a mysterious ring that we later learn is part of the Green Lantern society, which is an intergalactic society bound to protect the universe from various threats. At the same time, Professor Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard) is infected by a mysterious yellow dust that turns out to be an evil spirit determined to conquer the entire galaxy. Once recruited in the Green Lantern society, Jordan joins forces with others to bring down the “yellow fear”.
There are times when this entire mythology, and the way it is filmed, comes off a little cheesy, but lucky for the filmmakers, they chose Ryan Reynolds as their lead. For all of Reynods’s faults, the guy is extremely charming and can make an awkward situation funny and an uncomfortable situation more tolerable. He often times saved the movie from itself and gave the audience a hero they liked and could root for. Sarsgaard’s Hammond was forgettable and Blake Lively as Carol Ferris was average, and both of those underdeveloped, throwaway characters held the film back from ever really gripping the audience.
Anyone familiar with the comic books was probably apprehensive about a theatrical adaptation that was actively trying to remain true to the original comics. But in this day and age of CGI and outlandish special effects, anything is possible. At the film’s low point, Campbell spent far too much time away from earth and spent too much energy trying to set up the other worlds that encompass the Green Lantern mythology. It’s a double edged sword because we as fans want Campbell to be respectful of the original comics, but we also want the story to be relatable on the big screen. But much like this summer’s THOR, the film would have been more successful spending more time on earth and establishing Green Lantern as a superhero.
There was a time when GREEN LANTERN being “fun” would have been good enough. But now we’ve seen movies like THE DARK KNIGHT, IRON MAN, SPIDER-MAN 2 and others that have brought cherished comic book heroes to the big screen and done it with heart, charm, intensity and originality. With a worldwide box office haul of about $219 million, chances are good that you missed GREEN LANTERN when it was at your local Cineplex. But if you’re looking for a nice way to kill two hours and you want some entertainment over the weekend, I would highly recommend giving GREEN LANTERN a shot on Blu-ray.
Video: Nothing to complain about on the Blu-ray front. Lantern is a mostly digital film and it transfers to Blu-ray nicely.
Audio: The audio was impressive as all of the punches, explosions and sound effects rumbled through very nicely.
Maximum Movie Mode: Green Lantern’s Light: This is more like a picture in picture commentary from Geoff Johns who intercuts several behind the scenes featurettes and looks deeper into the making of the film. It’s a great way to watch featurettes and I enjoyed the timing of the interviews and features. Well worth a peek for those of you that enjoyed the film. The 46 minutes worth of featurettes are also available separately, called Focus Points.
Ryan Reynolds Becomes Green Lantern (9:02): Reynolds talks about what he went through to become Hal Jordan. It’s more of a fluff piece and I was hoping Reynolds would spill the beans on what he ate and his training regimen to get down to apparently 0% body fat.
Deleted Scenes (6:37): A handful of unfinished scenes are included. None of them stood out and if they had been finished and inserted into the film, I probably wouldn’t have noticed.