Green Lantern (3D)

2011-06-23 12:42
 
What it's about:

Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds), a cocky test pilot, suddenly finds himself selected to be a member of the Green Lantern Corps, an elite group of "space cops" who, equipped with willpower-based power rings that can create anything they can imagine, are charged with protecting all of the known universe.

What we thought:

Comic book fans have had an embarrassment of riches lately with a string of really impressive films based on their favourite comics properties. Last year we had a pair of truly excellent cult gems in the forms of Kick-Ass and Scott Pilgrim vs The World, while Marvel have struck back this year with two of their best superhero blockbusters to date - Thor and X-Men: First Class. Unfortunately, with Warner/DC's Green Lantern, that bountiful train has come to, if not quite a crashing halt, then at least a definite bump in the road as we ramp up towards 2012.

Now, to most mainstream audiences not familiar with the comics or animated series/movies, Green Lantern is, I'm sure, a relatively unknown property.  As someone, though, who has been reading Green Lantern comics on and off for two decades now, I had a lot invested in a film adaptation that, until a few years ago, I was absolutely certain I would never ever get to see. Even then, Green Lantern is a film that is as likely to alienate non-fans, as it is to underwhelm the faithful.

As 20 years of Green Lantern comics have shown time and time again, here we have a franchise that constantly fluctuates back and forth between the more straightforward heroics of a guy fighting supervillains with a "magic" ring and a space opera whose increasingly complicated mythology hues closer to Star Wars (albeit Star Wars on acid) than to Superman or Spider-Man. One of the great advantages of monthly comics is that they have the time and space to fully explore both aspects to the Green Lantern mythos. The same certainly can't be said about a 105-minute film and this, more than any of the film's many flaws (weak creature CGI, slow pacing, underwritten characters), is what ultimately sinks it.

It certainly doesn't help that Green Lantern comes mere months after Kenneth Branagh's Thor, an action movie that was able to balance its earthly-based elements with the more fanciful mix of psychedelic sci-fi of its hero's home planet. It may have contained multiple, intersecting story elements but Thor never lost its focus on its titular hero and his journey from arrogant, young fool to selfless hero – a character arc that is almost identical, incidentally, to the one that Hal Jordan goes through in this film.       

Unlike Thor, Green Lantern pinballs between various plotlines, never fully exploring any of them, resulting in a film that is not only extremely disjointed but emotionally inert. The most telling example of this is the moment in both films when our hero finally accepts his destiny and the responsibilities of the power he is given, ultimately becoming the hero he is supposed to be. Thor had me jumping out of my seat, but in Green Lantern, a very similar moment, didn't even manage to elicit so much as an upturned eyebrow.  

I had a tough time caring about anything that played out on screen. Those with no prior knowledge of the character or comic will probably be left scratching their heads or eyeing the exit.

Take Mark Strong's Sinestro, for example. Strong is a fantastic actor and typical sterling work here and yet, though the character he plays is supposed to be a huge part of the Green Lantern story, the film itself doesn't really give any indication as to why it keeps focusing on him. And then the post-credits scene ruins his character arc. Similarly, one of the two main villains of the piece, Hector Hammond, played brilliantly by Peter Sarsgaard, is never as threatening as he should be as he plays second fiddle to Parallax, a terrible CGI creation that is meant be the embodiment of fear but just comes across as, well, a terrible CGI creation.

There are things about the film that do work – the acting is by and large very good (Reynolds is Reynolds: take from that what you will), the basic story is still a good one, Jordan's training scenes are really good fun and it is, and is mildly enjoyable despite the film's many missteps. But prepare yourself for one of the most leaden, unengaging and emotionally barren superhero adventures in recent memory..


Ryan Reynolds plays a space cop in one of the most leaden, unengaging and emotionally barren superhero adventures in recent memory.

RC 2011/06/23 2:34 PM
Your opinion...so I will judge it for myself. ;-)
Prime_Evil 2011/06/24 6:58 AM
I find that usually the reviewers on 24.com don't know WTF they are talking about! Will have to see it for myself.
J 2011/06/24 8:46 AM
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Having watched the 3D version of the Green Lantern last night, I must whole-heartedly disagree with the view in this article. The movie combines a good storyline and great action sequences to produce a well-balanced movie. True, the movie focuses primarily on Hal Jordan, but this is to be expected as he IS the main character. Would I go and watch this movie again? Definitely…
J 2011/06/24 8:52 AM
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Having watched the 3D version of the Green Lantern last night, I must whole-heartedly disagree with the view in this article. The movie combines a good storyline and great action sequences to produce a well-balanced movie. True, the movie focuses primarily on Hal Jordan, but this is to be expected as he IS the main character. Would I go and watch this movie again? Definitely…
Sean 2011/06/24 8:55 AM
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It stars Reynold Reynolds after all. So was never going to be any good...
SC1 2011/06/24 5:03 PM
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freakin crazy reveiw, loved the movie ! great space romp exactly what GL should be. Movie actualy based on Geoff Johns comics , Rebirth and Secret Origins storyline. yes some weak moments , acting etc but overall a very enjoyable movie ! go see it ..
Schalk 2011/06/27 8:18 AM
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NO WAY! Watched it with my son in 3D and thouroughly enjoyed it. Have to see it in 3D, I think 2D wont be as good.
Uzair Parker 2011/06/27 8:34 AM
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If you're comparing GL to spiderman (huh??), superman (seriously??) then you obviously have no idea about what constitutes a good comic book movie adaptation. Sure, it was flawed (Ryan Reynolds doesn't fit the Hal Jordan type) but it was spot on with the Green Lantern mythology. The fact that these movies needs to 'dumb-down' on the mythology so that it can appeal to the masses is ridiculous.
Film Watcher 2011/06/27 4:32 PM
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Guys, It is not a bad movie but it is not on par with the rest of the stuff out there. Simple as that. Also dont get me wrong but it is just such a good character and they could have done soooo much more with this movie. Maybe my expectations were too high but I left the cinema wishing it had been more...Imagine if Sinestro puts on the ring of fear and he and Hal duke it out in space between planets... now that would have been excellent to watch... not this giant blob with tentacles that one dimensionally kills everyone.
Film Watcher 2011/06/27 4:32 PM
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Guys, It is not a bad movie but it is not on par with the rest of the stuff out there. Simple as that. Also dont get me wrong but it is just such a good character and they could have done soooo much more with this movie. Maybe my expectations were too high but I left the cinema wishing it had been more...Imagine if Sinestro puts on the ring of fear and he and Hal duke it out in space between planets... now that would have been excellent to watch... not this giant blob with tentacles that one dimensionally kills everyone.
Agapemio 2011/06/28 7:58 AM
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Have to absolutely agree with this article. Compare GL to Thor (which I wathced 3 times because Kenneth Branagh did such an amazing job!) GL will lose. Even though the acting wasnt bad, I have to say that Ryan didnt do it for me as Hal. The plot was so boring, its been done before a million times. ALthough the film was enjoyable I wont want to sit through it again.
Roba 2011/06/28 9:47 AM
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It was boring as hell even fell asleep through the action scenes. A real disappointment , I expected more , even the cartoon movie was way more exciting.
Lunga 2011/06/28 1:23 PM
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Ja no hey, apart from the cool 3D glasses I got, watching this flick was a k*k was to deal with my hangover on Sunday. Cool costumes, though, and Blake Lively is moerse hot. Ryan's performance reminded of Ben Affleck on Daredevil.
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