Green Lantern

30 Jun

Never having read a Green Lantern comic book, I had no idea what to expect from the film. The trailers I saw on the big screen looked promising but Ryan Reynolds as the lead character had me fearing for the seriousness of it all. Negative reviews plastered all over the internet made me choose Super 8 (review) over this last week but then curiosity got the better of me and here I am voicing my opinion about a movie that had so much potential but got wasted somewhere between the CGI and the shoddy story.

The Green Lantern Corps are a group of warriors chosen by the Guardians to protect the galaxies using the green-coloured ‘power of will’ to crush evil. A ring is bestowed upon each worthy Green Lantern (inhabitants of the planet), accompanied by a lantern, used to recharge it. The ring grants powers to recreate anything their mind can imagine (sounds awesome, doesn’t it?!)

Hal Jordan imagining a Machine gun

Abin Sur (Temuera Morrison) is the best warrior of them all, the one who imprisoned Parallax, a fallen Guardian (voiced by Clancy Brown) the first time over in the Lost Planet. With Parallax’s ability to feed on the yellow-coloured fear, he escapes his imprisonment thanks to the coincidental spaceship crash. He then turns into smokey-faced monster and mortally injures (quite easily) Abin Sur who crash lands onto earth to choose his worthy successor, who conveniently happens to be just a few miles away. Our soon-to-be superhero Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is a cocky test pilot, and he is scarred by the death of his father in a jet crash, that he witnessed up-close as a kid. The screen time Abin Sur and Hal Jordan share with each other is rather short and emotionally detached for such an earth-shattering event (pun intended).

Abin Sur

A quick escape from government helicopters, a dance with corporate love interest Carol Ferris (Blake Lively) and a bar brawl later, Hal Jordan ends up flying across the universe to the planet Oa where he learns what it is to be a Green Lantern via his bird-beaked mentor Tomar-Re (voiced by Geoffrey Rush). Tomar-Re hands him over to heavy weight Kilowog (voiced by Michael Clarke Duncan) for training when the ever-pessimistic Sinestro (Mark Strong) takes over, and makes our hero fly back home with his tail between his legs (figuratively speaking, of course). But Tomar-Re insists that ‘the ring never makes a mistake’, (or so it seems).

Kilowog & Tomar-Re

Abin Sur’s corpse has been transferred to a top secret facility by the government who hire (a one man scientific team) Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard) to probe and prod the first ever extra terrestrial species discovered by the human race (applause!) as exclaimed by Doctor Waller (Angela Bassett). Infected by the leftovers of Parallax lodged inside Abin Sur’s lifeless corpse, Hector becomes a telekinetic humungous head that makes bad things happen (duh!) especially to his *cough cliché cough* disappointed Dad, Senator Hammond (Tim Robbins) who seems to notice everyone else’s abilities to be the future, but his own son’s. Following the Senator’s speech praising the Jordan and Carol, Hector causes his dad’s chopper to crash land as the Senator leaves the party. The helicopter on a race track created by the Hal to save the Senator was cool in a hot wheels kind of way, though saving the corporate damsel in distress (Carol) was predictable.

Senator Hammond & Doctor Waller with unconcious mutating Hector Hammond

Parallax, after sucking the life out of a team of green lanterns led by Sinestro, heads to Oa and then gets diverted to Earth (for a petty thing like revenge) to destroy the ring that Hal fashions, who begs the Guardians to protect planet Earth but is shunned by them, setting up the climax perfectly. Sinestro convinces the Guardians to fight fear with fear forging a yellow ring but doesn’t use it (that’s for part 2 I suppose) as Hal says he will overcome his fear and destroy Parallax with his ‘will’. Somewhere in there he mentions something about being just human…oh the drama!

A Guradian over looking Hal Jordan & Sinestro

Hector kidnaps Carol to trick Hal into saving her, planning to kill him (of course) and then tells Hal about his love for Carol (a love triangle…how sweet). Next, Parallax kills Hector for failing to finish off Hal and then attacks the city. Hal with his newly found will manages to fend off Parallax, drags him way from earth, flies through a belt of asteroids and throws him into the sun with a green punch. It took me longer to type the climax then it did for Hal to dispatch the ‘oh so powerful’ Parallax. Oh and then just for kicks, Sinestro and the gang turn up to save unconscious Hal from getting sucked into the sun and is hailed a hero.

Hal Jordan saving damsel Carol Ferris

Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan was a maybe. Wish his character was more serious and less err…well Ryan Renolds himself. There was no chemistry between him and Blake Lively which really makes you wonder why Blake Lively was in the film apart from looking pretty. She should have either been given less screen time or more character development. Peter Sarsgaard even with all the makeup couldn’t make an impact apart from cringing at the poorly conceived character. Mark Strong was good but didn’t have much to do while Tomar-Re and Kilowog characters were tolerable due to impressive voiceovers. Temuera Morrison was dispatched a little easily as Abin Sur and the Guardians were given no back story apart from being immortals. Parallax who feeds on fear wasn’t scary due to the unimpressive character concept and graphical rendition.

Cartoonish Parallax sucking the life out of Hector Hammond

This film is all CGI. The green energy contraptions created by the Green Lanterns were impressive but the suits made from energy looked graphical a few times though the concept itself was wicked compared to spandex galore. The world of Oa almost looked like a video game while the characters were well done apart from Parallax that looked almost cartoonish.

Hal Jordan & Hector Hammond sharing a quick chat

Action scenes were minimal while the writers clogged up screen time with unnecessary subplots trying to stay true to the comic (from what I’ve heard/read). What’s the point of a superhero if there isn’t anything in the way of action? I can’t even remember what the soundtrack was like due to the lack of an anthem related to the character.

If you’ve read all of the above, you already know what I think of the film. If not then put in simple words, misses the bullseye in every possible way. I don’t know what Director Martin Campbell was thinking.

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One Response to “Green Lantern”

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  1. The Amazing Spider-Man « I review - July 8, 2012

    […] leads us to the culprits, i.e. Sony Pictures Imageworks who were behind the eye-sore ‘The Green Lantern’. Some of the plots (spider suit for example) seemed rushed and unexplained while some of them […]

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