Green Lantern: Just say no20/06/2011
Heartbroken as I am to admit this, but the Green Lantern movie was a resounding failure. I’m heartbroken because I have long since held that Ryan Reynolds is my (devastatingly attractive) homeboy.
In fairness to my boy Ryan, he was fighting a losing battle. The writers clearly struggled to duplicate his trademark witty banter, the abortive attempts at which inflict continuous damage on an already grinding script.
Mark Strong playing Sinestro definitely lifted the film perhaps more than it deserved, for he was his usual classy self. The combination of makeup and CG that made up his alien features was fantastically impressive, but is not necessarily representative of the remainder of the CG, which is a mixed bag. While the detail is absolutely dedicated, the directors test the limits of credibility by setting so much of the action on spectacularly alien landscapes. In particular, the scenes that show Ryan Reynolds against a crowd of colourful aliens do not hold up to close scrutiny.
I’d like make a special shout out to Blake Lively. She was typically cardboard, being cast implausibly as Carol Ferris; hotshot pilot cum superstar business woman. Lively is 24, and looks it, so the film yet again begs that you suspend your disbelief not least because her childhood sweetheart Hal Jordan is conspicuously older. I fear the lead member of the cast of Gossip Girl was not a well advised addition to the cast, and perhaps suggests a cheap attempt to make the story more accessible to women.
mild spoilers ahoy
I’m not going to make comment on whether they corrupted the sanctity of the original storyline, because I’m not sufficiently well read of Green Lantern comics to say so. I will, however, make a completely uninformed guess of “yes they totally did” based on the overall quality of the film.
The plot and message of this movie is markedly schizophrenic from start to finish. Let me articulate my confusion with the following statements, all uttered by different characters (barring some artistic license) during the film:
- Green Lantern energy is powered by will.
- The job of a Green Lantern is to not be afraid.
- Actually, fear is good, just be courageous with it.
- Although, if you’re afraid, the giant fear sucking monster will destroy you. So probably don’t do that.
- Also, the way to beat the giant fear sucking monster is to have really strong will, otherwise your shiny green energy creations will be all flimsy.
- The most important thing is that you’re not afraid. As long as you’re really willful, that is.
- While we’re at it, you should know that humans are a young species, so this obviously makes them inherently less wilful/more afraid/something about the ever enduring spirit of humanity which inevitably turns out to save the day.
There are so many threads of sub-par logic that run throughout this film, it’s difficult to keep track of the point they’re stretching to make. The majority of Sinestro’s motivations in particular seem to be driven by a trepidation towards humanity that is never quite explained. When these indefinable qualities are eventually shown to save the day for Earth and the Green Lanterns, I was left wondering exactly what all the fuss was about in the first place.
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