Saw it in 3-D, plenty bright.
I know very little about Green Lantern, and most of that from the Jon Stewart episodes of the animated version on Cartoon Network. BTW, a promo trailer ahead of the movie touted a new GL animated series coming on Cartoon Network, closing the circle.
Like I said, I am not a GL fanboy, I only know a real bare minimum of the comic. The real comic fans are apparently already up in arms over excessive shortcuts taken on characters and background and plots as they were adapted.
I was all right with it, I enjoyed the movie on its own terms, though as a rule I dislike Ryan Reynolds.
The plot was pretty rudimentary, with key points foreshadowed from miles away. When you have to do an origin story (three, actually in this movie) plus an action plot, you can't dally very long on any one element, you have to keep the story moving. The CGI was good, while compositionally it didn't quite convey and call out it's comic origins as well as, say, Thor did, it was suitably "cosmic" for the story.
So much of this movie is CGI that you tend to appreciate or notice the non-CGI scenes more, but those for me were the weakest and slowest parts of the thing. I also had a hard time buying Reynolds' attempt to play Hamlet with his will he/won't he - chicken or hero thing. I guess the thing I felt lacking was the sense that Hal really had a choice at all in anything. The movie seemed to have everything on a destiny-driven track that you never really felt could be derailed. That said, I found it to be a pleasant summer drive-in movie experience and one that will probably drive new readers to check out the comics.
Right when Ryan Reynolds gets his new fancy Green Lantern suit, he is told that he has also been implanted with a virtual knowledge base by the Lantern folk, and he immediately has a vast knowledge of all the sectors of the universe that the Lanterns defend. Cool! Then that scene is immediately followed by about 10 minutes of having things bluntly explained to him while he stands there slack-jawed. “DUHHHHH WHO ARE THE GUARDIANS, FISH MAN…?” “DURRRR THE RING DOES WHAAAAAAT NOW?” I guess the knowledge base only gives him enough knowledge to win an intergalactic trivia contest… Perhaps they could have included a few more instructions, to at the very least save this movie from its wide array of exposition.
During this tedious explanation, Hal is exposed to the thousands of other Green Lanterns who are also there to be awesome space cops. They only show it for a second, but one of the Lanterns was some sort of space wasp, about the size of a human shoe. I Immediately became utterly fascinated with the Wasp Lantern. I wanted an entire movie about the Wasp Lantern on his home Wasp planet doing cool Wasp things with his Green Wasp powers. Maybe that’s because I wasn’t that fascinated with the human Green Lantern all that much.
This movie might have been cool in 2001, when we haven’t already been exposed to numerous assembly line comic book origin stories. Because Green Lantern is about as by the books average from a story perspective as it gets. Now I don't read Green Lantern comics either like Mark, but it seemed like there was a lot of wasted potential here. I mean, even all the other Green Lanterns (including but not limited to Wasp Lantern) are introduced to us but then end up doing absolutely zero in this film. I would have liked this movie better if they didn’t even show the Green Lantern headquarters until the end, and it was just Hal Jordan getting the ring and messing around with it on Earth for 90 minutes. He could fight the giant dust cloud that was Paralax, win over Blake Lively, drive a CGI race car around the pyramids and call it a day. Then right before the credits Sinestro and Wasp Lantern show up and invite him to hang out at Green Lantern HQ because he proved himself awesome.
Because I mean, what was the story, really? Ryan Reynolds gets an awesome ring, he’s told he’s a space cop now, he goes back to Earth and fights a dust cloud with a skeleton face that screams a lot, and… I don’t even remember what else happened. Because I don’t really care. I think Green Lantern is going to be one of 2011′s biggest “Oh yeah, they made that movie, didn’t they?” kind of movies. I struggle to think anyone would watch it and think it’s anything special, and I imagine most people will forget they even saw it by the time Captain America comes out.
The 3D was actually really cool in the first 5 minutes during the back story explanation, a lot of cool trippy space travel stuff that seemed destined for 3D treatment. I bet some college kid with dreadlocks and a Grateful Dead t-shirt found it really groovy or whatever. But eventually the 3D also became very meh, and there were only mild flashes of cool 3D effects throughout the rest. The special effects were well done, but extremely overdone. The CGI Lantern headquarters were overflowing with bland virtual visuals. It seemed like they took Thor’s home planet, made it darker, greener, and with less imaginative production design.
Reynolds has been better, and been worse. I’m not a huge Reynold’s fan, so I felt rather indifferent about his performance. Blake Lively was… not that good… I don’t think I’ve ever seen her actually act in something before, so I wasn’t even sure who she was. I just wikipedia’d her to see if I’ve ever seen her in anything else, and I guess she was in The Town last year… Oh yeah, she was the white trash girl! That was a pretty good role. All her other credits, yeah, there are reasons why she’s not familiar to me. Didn’t catch Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants when it was in theaters, oops… I guess she’s on Gossip Girl, a show in which I know of, but have never even seen a commercial for. I guess that’s what she’s famous for. And for being an extremely attractive young actress. Wow, that was a random Blake Lively tangent. Long story short, I didn’t like her in Green Lantern. Her being a fighter pilot was like Denise Richards as a nuclear physicist in The World is Not Enough. Hollywood nonsense. I didn’t think Green Lantern was a good movie, and they needed a tough fighter pilot girl, so I don’t understand why they didn’t go after the go-to tough girl who seems to pop up in manly roles in like every bad movie ever released: Michele Rodriguez.
The story was plain, the forced romance was boring, the side characters were underused (especially the big-headed telepathic villain not mentioned yet, the most interesting character in the whole movie; pretty much wasted as well), and the film’s message was intensely dumbed down. The action scenes were not even that impressive (green race tracks and green catapults? ehhhhhh).
Now that they got a lot of this boring stuff out of the way in this movie, maybe some cool intergalactic problems could be better covered in a sequel. Maybe the other Lanterns could actually, like, DO something in the sequel! Just make Wasp Lantern Hal’s permanent sidekick, and I’ll immediately give the sequel higher marks. For now: Green Lantern movie = (obnoxious fart noise).
I DID like how they did Sinestro, which I gather is Lantern's main bad guy. He looked like the comic version and I think that they did a good job showing his motivation and his moving towards taking the yellow ring. (you have to sit thru all the credits to see this, and it sets up the obvious sequel). The first movie had to do a lot of work setting things up. The second one should have more room to spend on plot and character.
And it could have been worse...
Yeah, that probably would have been awful. But I WOULD, however, watch a 90 minute documentary of nothing but Triumph the Insult Comic Dog interviewing people at comic book conventions and Star Wars movie screenings.
The movie is Okay but as not good as I expected. Comics are much better than film.
Yeah I do wonder, when they were doing concept design and such, why THIS:
Turned into THIS:
Reading some "green lantern for dummies" type of catch-up blogs, the whole parallax plotline from the comics seems like a really bad idea, forcing a lot of "retconning" to the book and characters, way before any movies were thought of. This is one caSe where maybe the movie's simplification process got it right, over the book.
Yeah, I guess it's hard to visualize properly the universal embodiment of fear. But I would rather have seen the giant yellow space lizard over the skeleton faced dust cloud octopus. And that's a sentence I never thought I'd get a chance to say! At last! Now I can stop trying to sneak it into my book club discussions.
This guy has a pretty acid review of the movie:
Blake Lively's Dad: Well, Hal, despite you being a total prick, we got the military contract anyways. You are invited to this big fancy party that I'm throwing with the money I ended up saving after I fired all those people.
Hal Jordan: Awesome. (steals people's drinks even though there's an open bar)
Blake Lively: That's not heroic at all. How did you even get away?
Hal Jordan: I don't really know. I kind of put my ring on him and it pushed him across the room. And then the scene just ended.
Blake Lively: You didn't follow him or anything?
Hal Jordan: Nope. Actually, the very next scene was Hector waking up in his bed in his apartment, so he's not even hiding or anything. Apparently I couldn't care less what he does.
Hahaha, I laughed pretty hard at those two jokes.