Green Lantern (2011) [REVIEW]

 

Going into this movie, I had pretty low expectations. This summer, we already had Thor, which was good, and X-Men: First Class, which was a lot of fun, and I was highly doubtful about if this could be better than the previous comic book movies I had seen. Add to that the fact that I didn’t really think the movie would work quite that well, and the early negative reviews, I was nervous that everything would be completely fucked. The last DC movie that had come out had been The Dark Knight, which took Hollywood and the general public by storm, so how the fuck could this follow that up? Let’s just say that this version of the movie was better than the original concept that was being passed around a few years ago. Did you know that this movie was originally going to be a comedy starring Jack Black? I shit you not, that a few years ago, before the “gritty realism” of most other comic book movies, Green Lantern was going to be funny. Thank fucking Cthulhu that someone realized how dumb that was, and how much better Ryan Reynolds would look in a skin-tight suit.

 

Yes, Ryan, everyone is still pissed at you for marrying, and DIVORCING ScarJo.

Since the Green Lantern mythos is kind of confusing to explain to anybody, the beginning of the movie had to give you a crash-course in Green Lantern-ness. These really powerful aliens harnessed an energy force in the universe, that was green, and was powered by an individual’s sheer force of will. That green energy was transferred to rings, and the wearer of the ring could construct anything their mind was capable of, as long as they had the conviction of will. Once a ring had “chosen” the bearer, they would be assigned a sector. The one responsible for the sector that Earth was in, named Abin Sur, was well-renowned after having defeated an entity who is the antithesis of will, and who was powered by fear. This entity, known as Parallax, literally sucked the fear from individuals, draining them of their life force. Unfortunately for Abin Sur, Parallax escaped and hunted him down, and critically wounded him. All of this shit happens in probably the first five minutes, and is aided by a narration by Geoffrey Rush, so if you got confused, I wouldn’t be surprised.

 

If you use SPF 100, you can avoid the weird purple color next time you go to the beach.

The ring wearers are referred to as “Green Lanterns”, and after his escape from Parallax, Abin Sur landed on Earth. In Abin Sur’s last moments, his ring left his finger in search of the replacement Green Lantern, and found its way to Ryan Reynolds. Well, not Ryan Reynolds, the character is named Hal Jordan, but he’s played by Ryan Reynolds. Hal is a hotshot Air Force pilot who is cocky, brash, and irresponsible, but aren’t all good superheroes? Once realizing the power of his ring, Hal is transported to the home-base for all the members of the Green Lantern Corps, a planet called “Oa”. Once there, a powerful Green Lantern named Sinestro, played by Mark Strong, expresses his doubts and concerns, and through a brief boot-camp sequence, Hal claims to quit and heads back to Earth. Peter Sarsgaard plays Hector Hammond, the scientist who gives Abin Sur an autopsy, where he is inadvertently infected by what remains of Parallax in Abin Sur’s corpse, which causes Hector’s head to swell grotesquely as well as amplify his mental prowess, giving him the power to read minds and control objects. Because of his powers and his jealousy over Hal’s relationship with Carol Ferris, played by Blake Lively, Hal realizes he must defeat Hector. As if Hector being a dick wasn’t enough, the amount of Parallax inside him causes Parallax itself to head towards Earth in hopes of destroying what remains of Abin Sur’s legacy. Hal stops his pity party and takes on Hector, defeats him, then takes on Parallax, and destroys it. The rest of the Green Lantern Corps take notice, and Hal Jordan rejoins them, as a peace keeper in the universe.

 

I don’t really know who this Blake Lively bitch is, but based on Rampaige’s hatred for her, I feel like I am obligated to like her.

What the fuck was everyone complaining about? The movie wasn’t great, but it really wasn’t that bad. In fact, I enjoyed myself. Granted, there were moments where I felt like I was watching the Hulk movie from 2003, where there was way too much shit going on to figure out what the point was. They were, for the most part, able to set the stage for the role of Green Lanterns, while remaining relatively faithful to the comics. I thought Ryan Reynolds was fine as Hal, but possibly a little too self-conscious. Hal Jordan is known for his cockiness and how self-centered he is, but I understand that this was just one story where you need to introduce the character to millions of oblivious people. As far as acting goes, Reynolds couldn’t compete with the two supporting actors, Sarsgaard and Strong. Sarsgaard went from a vulnerable, intelligent character who you were sympathetic with, all the way to a grotesque, disgusting person that you couldn’t bring yourself to look at. Strong portrayed Sinestro as regal, powerful, and commanding, and despite Sinestro currently being regarded as a bad guy in the comics, he still has elegance to him that Strong conveyed wonderfully. Blake Lively? Well, yeah, she existed in this movie as well.

 

Ugh, that veiny forehead looks so sensitive that even I have a headache now.

What really set this movie apart from any other comic book movie that has been released was the visual look of this movie. First off, Parallax is the embodiment of fear, which even in comic books is difficult to portray, but typically has a fluidity to it. On the screen, we saw a being who fluctuated in size, shape, and density, that was constantly moving, smoking, melting, and burning. In my opinion, they really nailed it. I also enjoyed the portrayal of the Guardians, the beings who originally harnessed the energy, lived on isolated thrones on Oa that were hundreds of feet tall, and commanded respect and inspired awe in anyone who spoke with them. The robes they wore draped over the thrones and were almost as long as the thrones themselves. Any time the constructs were used, courtesy of the rings, they were believable and creative, making for quite entertaining action sequences. I really feel as though the creative design of this movie gave you the sense of scale of the vastness of the universe in which Green Lantern exists, which might have alienated some viewers, but entertained me tremendously. And I’ll admit, that Hal Jordan’s suit didn’t look all that cool, but it was the proof of concept. Every member of the Corps has a slightly different suit because the suit itself isn’t fabric, it is constructed from the power of the ring. It served its purpose, and won’t stop anyone from buying a Green Lantern costume this Halloween. Also, I commented on how shitty his mask was at disguising two inches of his face, and there was a scene where Blake Lively realizes it was Hal, and lets him know that hiding his cheekbones won’t fool her.

 

Why don’t more superheroes wear uniforms that emphasize every muscular fiber in their body?!

Maybe I’m being a little too lenient after having such low standards, but I am pretty sure that I really was as entertained as I claim. There were moments where I doubted the quality of the movie, but the final action sequences really turned me around and made me a fan. There were also a few references for comic fans to pick up on, like the inclusion of the notorious Green Lanterns Kilowog and Bzzd, and Carol’s call sign of Sapphire, referencing the fact that currently she is a member of the Star Sapphire Corps as well as using that Corps’ insignia on her helmet. Without spoiling it, shortly into the credits we see where Sinestro’s fate is headed, which goes in line with the comic book lineage as well as sets us up for a sequel. In the current state of comic book movies, where everyone is trying to compare things to reality, it was nice to see a movie that called for the attitude of “FUCK IT” and go all out with its ambitions. Despite your Iron Mans and your Dark Knights and your X-Mens trying to relate to things you know, Green Lantern really shot for the stars and showed you something a lot more majestic and astronomical, which I feel people probably haven’t seen since the original Superman. Granted, I am not saying this movie was as good as that movie, but it brought a refreshing tone to comic book movies. However, there’s no fucking way I could ever picture a team-up movie featuring Christian Bale as Batman trying to help Green Lantern fight fucking fear monsters.

 

Wolfman Moon Scale


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4 responses to “Green Lantern (2011) [REVIEW]

  1. I can’t really say that I liked or disliked GL, and at the end of the day I’m glad I saw it, but can probably go the rest of my sad lonely days without seeing it again. It suffered from the same draging developments that hamper most superhero movies, the change from everyday man to hero. It wasn’t good, but it was sort of fun.

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