At least once every year a movie has a bad (or in this case awful) reputation before it’s released, this year the movie happened to be GREEN LANTERN. More than likely you have watched the trailer for the film and cringed, or heard about the amount of money they spent on marketing and making the movie ( GREEN LANTERN reportedly cost around $300 million) and sighed that that much cash is thrown around for a film about a guy in a pair of green spandex with a class ring that lights up. I too judged GREEN LANTERN before I saw it and I’m here to tell you that the films not fantastic, but it’s not as big of a stinker as you would think.
Based on the DC Comic character, GREEN LANTERN follows Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds), a test pilot who is chosen by a mystical ring that gives him powers. He becomes a part of the Green Lantern Corp., an intergalactic squadron that is tasked with keeping the peace within the universe. Although Hal believes he can’t live up to the expectations of the Corp., he finds inner courage and strength to defeat a big bad that has sort of taken up shop in Dr. Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard) and is determined to destroy Earth.
Even though GREEN LANTERN definitely had its flaws, it was actually a fun little popcorn flick that this writer thought was better than another summer superhero film, THOR (though that may not be saying much). One of low points in the film was probably the dialogue. It’s easy to take a comic book film and just go a little overboard by putting lame one-liners and puns throughout the film. This is something that has been overlooked in the past, but with the release of this year’s X-MEN: FIRST CLASS and other recent comic book films, it feels like the bar has been raised. The superhero genre has been taken to a new level and now audiences are going to want a little more sophistication in their dialogues and plot. Which is another concern here, on the way to the theater I had a discussion with someone about the upcoming story arc and without even seeing the film we were able to pin the nose on the donkey with not surprising accuracy. It’s typical for movies like this to be formulaic, but a little more creativity would be welcome.
With the flaws aside, I have to heap praise on Ryan Reynolds for making Hal Jordan/Green Lantern pretty darn likeable. It’s hard to say whether or not this film would have been as successful if a less charming actor like Reynolds would have been in the lead. Mr. Reynolds has been making some good films as of late, and I think any criticism about GREEN LANTERN can’t fall on his shoulders alone as he did the best he could with what he had to work with.
I have to admit that I went into GREEN LANTERN with really low expectations. In fact, I considered skipping it altogether because I was convinced it was going to be a laugh-fest. Well, jokes on me because it was fairly enjoyable and although it’s ripe for mockery, I’ll have to recommend this as a alright summer film, especially considering the source material they had to work with.