Green Lantern (2011)

Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is a bit of a bell-end. Hiding behind a batch of daddy issues (along with everyone in this movie), Jordan recklessly flies planes into the ground to the disdain of ex-girlfriend, and newly appointed vice president of Ferris Aircraft, Carol Ferris (Blake Lively). When chosen by a dying purple alien’s enchanted ring, however, Jordan must grow up if he is to fulfil his destiny as a member of the Green Lantern Corps and prevent evil space cloud Parallax from sucking the yellow power of fear out of planet earth. Unsurprisingly, he succeeds.

Having recently written a post for HeyUGuys posing what exactly might constitute the greatest comic book movie ever made, I am well aware of the time I took pioneering movies that didn’t shy away from the more fantastical elements of the relevant source comic book. While many will attack the rampant stupidity on display in Green Lantern, I honestly do not believe a bat-nipples are respnsible for the resultant mess of a movie.

Similarly, while I firmly believe that DC is generally home to a lesser quality of superhero – simply incomparable to the well-drawn (no pun intended. Well, maybe a little) characters boasted by arch-rival Marvel – I will not let this colour my judgement. I enjoyed Batman Returns and Superman Returns, two examples I’d like to pose as evidence of my impartiality. While I may automatically scoff at every mention of the “emerald energy of willpower” and the “yellow power of fear”, I can hardly be accused of superhero snobbery – Hellboy II, my own pick for greatest superhero ever made, is hardly devoutly serious.

No, the problem with Green Lantern – aside from the effects-overload and the preposterousness of the characters and mythology – is how thoroughly joyless it is. Ryan Reynolds may occasionally wake from his masked stupor to deliver a half-decent witticism, and despite the welcome (if unexpected) dose of of realism – finally, a savvy love-interest who can see through a thin disguise – Green Lantern is precisely no fun at all.

In such situations – in which the resident mad scientist wears a ridiculous prosthetic and the primary antagonist resembles a nebulous space-fart – it is necessary to find a balance between gravitas and self-parody to make it all hang together. Considering how many similarities the final act holds to that of the second Fantastic Four film, Rise of the Silver Surfer, it is telling just how inferior Green Lantern feels in comparison. Throw in a few emerald thought constructs (or whatever they’re called) and you’ll be looking for your very own silver bullet before the credits even roll.

Furthermore, while no superhero movie is exactly oozing with believable jeopardy – nobody really expected Spider-man to loose to the Green Goblin an hour into his crimefighting career – Green Lantern is particularly lacking when it comes to peril. The Green Lantern Corp can create ANYTHING that they can imagine, which reduces any chance of victory for the insidious Parallax to utter contrivance. Despite meeting Hal Jordan’s creation of a sword “construct” in battle with the scorn of “how human”, it appears that this near omnipotent group of immortal’s best plan of action when besting their foe is to cover him in a giant green net. I’m sorry, but that’s not even preposterous, it’s illogical.

While Green Lantern may be guilty of every criticism you might care to throw at it, I really hope it isn’t used to bolster the tiresome “darker is better” mantra which seems to be pervading Hollywood. Green Lantern didn’t fail because it was ridiculous, but because it adapted an already inferior superhero story with little time for such storytelling devices as measured threat and internal logic. Above all else, however, the film is guilty of being unenjoyable, uninteresting and about as fun as watching green paint dry.

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About popcornaddiction
I am a psychology graduate, a News Writer for HeyUGuys/BestforFilm and, most importantly, a hopeless popcorn addict.

5 Responses to Green Lantern (2011)

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