When my fellow EBFS associate and I were young, we would often play superheroes. Batman, Superman, Spiderman and even Lion-O would be the opinion formers of our young fertile imaginations. Do you know who we never pretended to be? Green Lantern. Not once. Mainly because we had never heard of in the UK. Now, over the years, I’ve picked up a few bits and pieces about Green Lantern and, if I can be honest, it never really tightened my trousers.
Green Lantern, a superhero who is one of 7,200 other members of the Green Lantern Corps who, in turn, share exactly the same powers. He’s hardly special in the wider spectrum. The anthropomorphic Howard the Duck has more individuality compared to Hal Jordan. Now, please don’t get me wrong. I’m aware Green Lantern has a dedicated fan-base. I mean, who doesn’t admire someone whose biggest weakness is Yellow. ‘Argh, look out! It’s Big Bird. I’m fucked!’ DC and Warner Brothers know this as well, which is why they’ve been pushing Green Lantern movie as being the next best thing to Christopher Reeve rising from the dead and doing another Superman movie.
Now, I’ve been a bit late to the game because Lantern’s release was held back in Australia. Not sure why, but the fact they didn’t even release it during the Winter holidays in July suggests to me they didn’t think even kids would want to see it.
The film tells the story of Hal Jordan, a fighter pilot and asshole, who is given a ring and becomes a superhero and asshole. That’s pretty much it. I really don’t know have anything else to say about the plot. The Green Lantern is by far one of the worse superhero movies since Catwoman. Wait, scratch that. Leonard Part 6. It’s that bad. Before I enjoy myself, let’s get its good points out of the way. They are:
- The brevity of it – Under two hours is a bonus
- The special effects – For all it’s detractors, I actually thought the special were pretty good
- Geoffrey Rush – Who doesn’t fucking love him?!
- Being a DC film, it’s one of the few comic book movies that doesn’t have frigging Samuel L. Jackson
What’s wrong with the film? Well, how many ways are there to leave your lover. Let’s break it down into bite-size chunks.
Ryan Reynolds/Hal Jordan
The cinema’s answer to a poor man’s impression of Bradley Cooper. ‘Buried’ showed that Reynolds can be more than a sitcom actor severely punching above his weight. As Hal Jordan, Reynolds takes the novel approach of playing our hero as the biggest douche in the universe. During a battle simulation against a couple of plane drones, Hal sacrifices his wing-man in order to beat the drones, thus preventing them from being sold and, finally, meaning that a lot of people are made unemployed. Reynolds winks, giggles and flies off. Presumably we’re meant to think ‘wow, he’s so anti-authority, I wish I were him’. Didn’t work for me. I immediately thought he was a bucked toothed, tall glass of piss tasting milk. They also try to give Hal backstory, but all this boils down to is ‘dead daddy issues’. Yawn.
Peter Sarsgaard/Dr Hector Hammond
Hector is not a bad guy name. The Joker, Venom, Green Goblin… These are bad guy names. Hector Hammond is not a bad guy name. I don’t care he was in the comic book, he sounds like an accountancy firm. And he’s so whiny… God, he’s whiny. Least there’s no kitchen fucking.
Most comic books try to establish a connection between the goody and the baddy. ‘The Green Lantern’ has no time for this. DC have decided that the chances are that if you’re in the cinema then you’re a Lantern fan and, therefore, don’t need to be told any backstory. This explains why they don’t extend on Hector and Hal’s relationship until the last half hour… Try and imagine having a conversation with a feriend in a pub. Halfway through the conversdation, your friend breaks off to have a conversation with some that’s walking past. You hear every word, but don’t understand what’s going on. You’d ask, but feel rude doing so. That’s what this film does. It makes you feel bad for wanting to know what the fuck is going on. Even the surprise ending following the credits makes no sense unless you’ve read the comics.
‘Guys, I’ve been watching the final edit and I like what I see. That whole first hour where it’s ‘Hal Jordan: An asshole in portrait’ is great. Then when you follow it up with two hours of shooting shit up… Blew my mind!’
‘Glad you liked it.’
‘The thing is.. The folks upstairs want a film that comes in under two hours. They were thinking that maybe Reynolds should step into the suit within the 20 minute mark.’
‘Gee, the asshole part is pretty intricate to the whole thing…’
‘Yeah, I know. Look it’s either that or the two hours where Green Lantern shoot shits up… I know you guys will make the right decision.’
Aaaand that is exactly why (probably) the finale is so rushed.
All in all, Green Lantern is pretty poor as comic book films go. If this works out to be a trilogy, they really need to buck their ideas up… Or just not do it. Yeah, that would be better.
*Five minutes later*
Noonan: Well, that’s that review done. Oh, look there’s that yellow ring that makes you evil. May as well put it on with no real motivation for doing so.
Noonan: Yep. Looks like I’m evil!
Nick Fury: Wanna join the Avengers?
Noonan: Yay! To the inevitable sequel!