Green Walrus


I think it was around 1990 when I remember reading news of a Green Lantern movie that was in production. Being that he has long been one of my favorite comic book characters, I was excited for such a project. Needless to say, that movie either had a long development time or that exact project failed to happen. It would be 21 years before I would see Green Lantern realized in big-screen live action form. Never would I have thought that a movie about Thor would eclipse a movie about Green Lantern, but it did. Although it was probably better than the film I would have gotten had they made a Green Lantern movie in 1990, this is not the film I have waited 21 years to see.

Story:
The basic origin story was fairly faithful to the comic book but did take some slight deviations. Also, with DC it's hard to know what is "faithful" to the comic anymore. Green Lantern has probably had three major tellings of his origins over the 50 or so years he's been around. This was probably pretty faithful to the most recent one. That aside, the story suffered from forcing the themes down the viewers throats rather than letting them see them displayed through the actions of the characters.

It also read as DC's attempt to make a Marvel movie. That's an understandable thing right now given that Marvel movies are rocking the super hero movie world right now. But DC and Marvel characters are different from each other. Marvel origins are very much about redemption and humanity. The characters in Marvel start at a low point and must take on their heroism to redeem themselves. This is not the template for a DC character. Most DC characters are naturally good people who are granted powers for who they are already rather than what they can become. I found it very hard to believe that the ring chose this guy out of the 7 billion people in the world.

I did find Sinestro to be an interesting character and wished there had been more interaction between him and Hal Jordan. This was a prominent part of one of the recent DC Universe animated movies and makes the eventual turn of Sinestro mean so much more. It would be akin to not giving Batman much time with Harvey Dent before his turn to Two-Face.

Presentation:
The biggest issue with this movie was casting. I don't mind Ryan Reynolds, but Hal Jordan he is not. I could see him as a wise-cracking Wally West or he was okay as Deadpool, but something about him seemed off as Hal Jordan. He was too aloof and really a big jerk. He's not the only casting problem. Blake Lively really doesn't live up to her name with her cardboard acting and lack of chemistry with the lead. I didn't buy her as an aspiring entrepreneur nor as a friend of Hal Jordan's.

The effects weren't bad, but I do question the need to change the classic costume from the comic book version. The Gil Kane-designed outfit is one of the greatest costumes in comics. It's a shame that we still have not seen it truly realized on screen.

STORY
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PRESENTATION
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REWATCHABLE
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9 comments:

Chrisloc1701 said...

Totally agree with you CT. I feel Nathan Fillion would have made a better Hal Jordan. I like Ryan Reynolds but he just wasn't a good Hal. He would have bee an excellent Kyle Raynor, but not Hal.

Also in the closing credits we see Sinestro put on the yellow ring... too soon!!! I was hoping the next film would Sinestro's fall into the dark side.

They just tried to do so much in one film and all they accomplished was a mess of a movie with potential.

Paxton said...

I mostly agree. Blake Lively was terrible. Peter Saarsgard's character was useless. I liked the idea of Parrallax, but he was used incorrectly.

I do, however, like the costume, and the entire idea of Oa and the Corps. Why they didn't focus on that is beyond me. It would have been a much better movie if after getting the ring Hal left Earth and didn't return until the next movie.

Fitz said...

I understand the criticalness in looking at this movie. For example, was that the Smoke Monster from Lost or was Parrallax the one behind Lost?

However, I enjoyed the movie for one reason . . . GREEN LANTERN was on the screen!!!!! You couldn't wipe the grin off of my face! It was amazing to see!! Yes there were issues, but I saw Hal Jordan and Sinestro.

Sometimes you have to let negativity wash over you and just let the 8 year-old boy in you pretend you were part of the Corps again (Yellow issues and all).

I know they probably won't, but I hope they make another one.

Paxton said...

My problem, Fitz, is that I was never a GL fan in the first place. This movie was supposed to change my mind. It didn't. For this movie to be effective it had to create new fans, not just pander to the current fans who remember they liked GL when they were 8.

It's not that I actively hate this movie and think it was terrible, I was just so horribly disappointed because I could see the immense unrealized potential this movie had.

CT said...

I guess we comic book nerds are a bit spoiled now. We've had several decent to great adaptations of characters on the screen so it's no longer enough to just be happy seeing them. We could settle for what we got when it came to Tim Burton's Batman because there were no other options, but that movie wouldn't fly these days. I want something true to the actual character and a great story that lives up to the decades of history the characters have.

All that said, I think I would like to see a sequel to this. I think it would be better although there are still hurdles to overcome such as casting.

Chrisloc1701 said...

I must say that this film was watched by my Wife, who is not a comic book fan, and she liked this film. As did my oldest daughter who also is not a comic book fan. I agree CT that we are spoiled and there was a lot of expectatons for this film, it just didn't deliver for this fan. But I am hopeful for the sequel, hopefully they will correct the mistakes of the first film.

Fitz said...

I gotcha Pax. I did have a grin the time I watched in the theatre, but you know what . . . I have rented it or watched it again. Probably won't either for all the reasons already stated. I have run into a lot of people who I think "hated" GL because they thought they were suppose to, but if you didn't know any better people actually enjoyed it. I just wanted to be a voice for actually liking the movie.

CT, in regards to choices . . . I still conflicted about this one. Rebooting Spider-man. Already talking about rebooting Batman. I don't know how I feel if movies become like comic books and every three movies you get a new director and reboot. What is the point? Let's reboot Harry Potter. I have been ready about how Kahn is in Star Trek 2 or is that 12; I have lost count. How can it be a reboot if it is actually a repeat. I mean they are "rebooting" the Girl with Dragon Tattoo because American's are too lazy to read subtitles. (okay this might not actually be a reboot, but you get my point).

But there are choices. I enjoyed Rami's Spider-man. Am I going to the theatre every 6 years or so to see a new Spider-man, Batman, or X-men movie? Probably not.

Rant over. ;)

CT said...

For the record Fitz, I really tried to go into Green Lantern with an open mind. I'm not one to let others tell me how to think or feel about something. (Just look at my stance on Michael Bay.) And I feel like I was fair to GL. Maybe it got a bad rap, but it just didn't have the magic I would have wanted from this movie.

We've got an episode of the podcast coming up all about sequels, but remakes and reboots is probably another couple of topics worth talking about down the road. I don't mind them in general, but the decreasing amount of time between them is a bit disconcerting. You're right…how long before the Harry Potter reboot?

I worry a bit though that the super hero genre is headed for something similar to what happened to Star Trek. There was so much Star Trek that there eventually was "franchise fatigue." With the dozens and dozens of super hero movies we've been getting, I have to wonder if we're in for a "genre fatigue" and an eventual crash. Probably would do some of these properties some good to get a rest. Batman did well to have the nearly ten year gap between Batman & Robin and Batman Begins. This has been predicted for some time now. We'll see if it happens. At least we'll get Avengers first.

Fitz said...

Totally understand CT. It is kind of funny because the "fatigue" you are talking about; I feel with the Marvel stuff. I get that they are making a shared movie universe and I think they are doing a great job. I just feel like everything between Iron Man and Avengers is just filler.

I will say I did think Captain America and Chris Evans were fantastic. I didn't think I would like it, but I did. Getting to what you said, I think CA had the "magic" and GL didn't.

One reboot I didn't mention which might cause debate . . . the Star Wars prequels. I know they are suppose to "prequels," but for all intents and purposes they were a reboot of Star Wars. Clone Wars just solidified the reboot nature. I think Lucas' idea that Star Wars is modern mythology lets him "reboot" or "rework" anything that was suppose to canon. I.E. the Mandos - canon use to say they were the deadliest warriors in the galaxy. Clone Wars says they are farmers and peaceful (except that small moon of outcasts). Even Star Wars isn't immune to rebooting. :( or is retconing?

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