Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Green Lantern

"In brightest day, in blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight.
Let those who worship evil's might,
Beware my power... Green Lantern's light!"
Of all the DC Comic properties, The Green Lantern was always going to be a tough live action film to make. I remember those 70's and 80's Justice League cartoon. Using your will power to create objects is inherently cartoony. Making a live action version is going to be a hard sell for today's kids. They're used to things more grounded in reality. Like the recent Iron Man and Batman movies. Plus he uses a lantern and jewelry to create these objects. It sounds like a 7 year old doing a movie pitch.

But if you can get into the right frame of mind from the outset of the movie, you'll be in good shape. The movie starts in space. We learn about the GL Corps and their mission. We learn about the evil that is about to be the villain of the movie. The plot is pretty thin. Which is too bad since we're given a lot of characters involved in the plot. You've got the guide, the trainer, the boss, the bosses, the company men, the scientist, the Congressman, the secret government woman, the love interest. Seriously, Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) has a best friend. I have no idea what his name is or if they even mention it in the movie. The reason I know he's his best friend is because that's one of his 5 lines in the movie.

It may sound like I'm really ragging on the movie. I think I am more "disappointed" in the film than anything else. I was excited to have more "comic" comic book movies. I like fantasy. Superman is a great example. Nothing about Supes is grounded in reality. And I think this movie would have been received better if it had come out in 2001 (prior to Spider-Man in 2002). It's a fun movie.

But another issue with the film is budget / plot. I didn't have any problems with the special effects. I know some people were concerned about how his suit would look since it is all CGI. It actually looks pretty good. But you spend so much time on a far away planet for a lot of the film, I could picture a money counter scrolling in the right hand corner of the screen. Because of that, we don't get a ton of sweeping action. Mrs. Nugget said a lot of it was boring. A film really cannot afford to commit that sin. Especially when a woman says that. Usually for her, things are too loud or violent. To bore her is inexcusable. Of course, this movie isn't really aimed at her market (but should be if they want a huge box office). Well, I guess Ryan Reynolds is shirtless for some of it. So, there's that.

The biggest sin the plot commits is scope. For a cosmic space story it feels really small. It's almost like a tv series. You have three sets. The airport / office, the military bunker, Hal's apartment and space. That's kind of cheat, there are other set pieces. But those are the main ones.

Of course, like every movie today, this film is mostly trying to set up the sequels. Again, think back to the Justice League. Who was GL's enemy? Sinestro. In this movie, he's the leader of the Corp. So you know in this movie or the next, he's gonna be the big bad. I wish two things, I wish that they had made him the Big Bad in this film, or conversely I hope this movie makes enough money that I get to see that movie in a sequel.

Overall, I was really hoping this was the best movie the summer. My expectations may have been too big. Its a fun movie and worth checking out. But if you have to choose between this and X-Men, I would say go to X-Men (then you can always double feature). Also, it is in 3D. I didn't mind it. I wouldn't seek it out due to the surcharge for 3D, but I didn't hate it. It added some fun to the effects and space shots.

Did you enjoy it?

Would you see it in theaters again?

Would you buy it?

Would you rent it?

Would you watch it if you saw it was on TV?


Gabe said...

Also, I forgot to mention in my article that they do a fun thing where his girlfriend immediately recognizes him even with his mask on. The line is something like "I've known you my whole life, you think I don't recognize you because I can't see your cheekbones?"

Gabe said...

It was also just pointed out to me on Aint It Cool News that it was "Super Friends" not Justice League.

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