Take a moment, watch this trailer.
Oh man, Green Lantern. Everyone’s favorite Ryan Reynolds comic book movie! I mean, his suit is green, and animated! I remember when this movie was coming out and being so excited to see it. My dad and I had some concerns with the costume but ultimately decided that it was fine, they needed to make it fancier for the movies (and let’s be fair, they have kind of done the same thing with the aura glow in the comics) I remember reading an thing from Neil Adams about how he loved the new costume and at the time that was enough to sell me on it.
So this review I originally put up on my blog on June 21, 2011 after seeing the movie. There was a ton of hate, but I really enjoyed it. This was the last movie I saw with my dad in theaters (I think, I’m not 100% on that, it was awhile ago) so it holds a special spot for me (even if we did see a movie after this before he passed, this one sticks out). As always, new commentary will be in italics.
I find it interesting that when X-Men: First Class came out it was getting praised for bringing in $54 million on it’s opening weekend, comparing it to the $54 million the original X-Men brought in on it’s opening weekend back in 2000, and how Green Lantern is getting completely the opposite spin put on it with it’s $53 million opening weekend. Am I completely blind in something here? Is $53 million not very close to $54 million? Why is this getting such different reviews and response from the movie going audience?
(you can say budget, but First Class had a $160 million budget, Green Lantern $200 million. So it’s pretty close, though ending box office was a lot different with First Class crossing $300 million and Green Lantern only get $219 million)
Why? Because it has been a bad rap ever since the Jack Black incarnation hit the interwebs back in 2004. Apparently no one in the comic book movie world has ever thought this movie would do any good, let alone BE any good.
I went and saw it with my wife, my dad and all my kids on fathers day and you know what I thought at the end of the movie? I thought it was awesome. It wasn’t to long and drawn out, the special effects where awesome, it had a good amount of humor in it and Ryan Reynolds is still hot as the sun.
(I can’t wait for old man Ryan to be the sexy Burt Reynolds of our time)
(funny side story, my daughter Tegan was with us and in a stroller. The whole time we were worried she would wake up and start crying so we sat in the very back. Somehow we lucked out and she slept through almost he whole movie, and when she woke up she just sat on our laps and cuddled with us)
Did it move kind of fast at some points? Sure it did. Was this really a story of Green Lantern versus Paralax or a story introducing us to characters and building up the importance of the Green Lantern Corps? It was defiantly the latter. The villains where there in Hector Hammond and Paralax, but I think what most people are missing is that its not what this movie was about. I think they did an excellent job of showing you these other worldly characters in a fun and inviting way to pretty much introduce us into what could be seen by the mainstream audience as ‘to complicated’ for a movie to work.
(I still hate that they rushed to Paralax and didn’t let that character build up and be the downfall of Hal Jordan)
The one thing people really need to let go of in these comic book movies is to expect them to be exactly like the books. None of them are, and none of them ever will be. I approach every movie as a blank slate and treat it as one. Does it entertain me? Does it make me laugh? Can I follow the story? For Green Lantern the answer to all of these is yes. (True)
The thing I want to point out that a lot of people reviewing this movie are missing is that my wife, who has never read a Green Lantern comic or really even knew who he was prior to Ryan Reynolds casting and my fan boying over it, was able to follow the story line and the Corps idea without fail. Something anyone who has ever read a Green Lantern comic would tell you is not the easiest thing to do (in the comics that is). (There was a lot of chatter about how the story was convoluted and no one could follow it. It’s just not true)
I think they portrayed Sinestro very well. Mark Strong did amazing and showing him as the good guy but giving his doubts in the Corps and his inevitable turn to the Sinestro Corps. Ryan Reynolds was perfect for Hal Jordon, I really don’t care if you think differently. (Though I think Hal is the weakest of the Earth Green Lanters. Gimmie some Kyle Reyner please!) I love him as an actor and he always manages to surprise me. Blake Lively did great as
Star Saphie Carol Ferris. Tomar-Re and Kilowog where great. Geoffrey Rush and Michael Clark Duncon where amazing in their respective roles. Granted they where just voice overs, but I loved it. I love the voice Duncon (R.I.P.) is capable of and it fit Kilowog perfectly. Rush’s Tomar-Re reminded me a lot of Abe Sabien form Hellboy for some reason, though I still felt it fit.
People are holding the DC movies to such a high standard they can never meet the expectations people want. (They could do better, but DC movies seem to fail before they are released with very few exceptions) The public loves to hate DC. “Oh yeah? Well why did Batman do so well!” Why? Because it’s fucking Batman and nothing can stop him. Even Batman & Robin grossed $238 million. Remember The Dark Knight also had Heath Ledger as the Joker, and he had just died causing more people to go see it. Yes he did an amazing job, but if you like things to match up to the comics Christopher Nolan‘s Batman series is so far from the Batman mythology you can hardly connect the two beyond the names. I do love both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, but the point needed to be made.
So seriously people, do not listen to what any angry reviewer has to say, make your own judgments. Remember, Star Wars and the Donner Superman were rated one of the worst movies ever when it came out and it seemed to do OK. See it in theaters, it’s worth it.
(Ok, so this movie didn’t hold up and has been a point of mocking for years. It’s caused DC to not include Green Lantern in the Justice League movie. Move on people, let it go. It’s not that bad.)
Man, I was defending that movie HARD! I still don’t think it’s as bad as everyone says it is. It’s not perfect, it has issues, but it’s not terrible. Mark Strong was AMAZING as Sinestro and there is no reason why DC couldn’t have used this as a launching point for it’s universe, except for it’s not as dark as Snyder likes it.
Well, that’s all for now, until next time when I bring you another old review!