Review – The Green Lantern

Comic book movies have hit their stride in the past 10 years with Christopher Nolan’s Batman franchise and the Marvel studios films – including ‘Iron Man’, ‘Thor’ and ‘Captain America’ – as well as off-beat indy hits like ‘Kick Ass’.

They’re a far cry from the ‘Judge Dredd’ debacle and the Schumacher plague that infested the Batman films in the 90s. Sure there have been some duds along the way, such as ‘The Fantastic Four’ flicks, but overall it’s been a bumper few years for superhero movies. We live in very cool, geek-friendly times.

Unfortunately, the bubble has burst with the arrival of ‘The Green Lantern’ – the latest superhero from the DC comics stable (which includes Superman & Batman) to get the big screen treatment.

Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is a cocky test pilot who lives on the edge. After discovering a crashed alien spacecraft, he is recruited by an intergalactic police force known as the Green Lanterns.

From there, it’s a non-stop parade of bad superhero movie clichés: Daddy issues; unrequited love; and discovering your new powers after conveniently being attacked by thugs in a dark alley on your way home – take a clipboard along and tick them off one by one.

The plot is as thin as the cover of Action Comics #1 and is a convoluted mess, with the scriptwriters resorting to making sure the audience is spoon fed every single story point. Nothing is left to the imagination and the dialogue is drivel.

Director Martin Campbell tries to mask everything that’s terrible about ‘Green Lantern’ by ramping up the special effects. In some parts they look great, but in others they look unfinished and scrappy. It’s a videogame on steroids, but someone has stolen the controller, and you’re stuck watching big brother Campbell call the shots and make lots of bad decisions.

The worst casting of the year has to be Reynolds as Jordan, who plays the character as a complete goofball as opposed to a fearless hero. Peter Sarsgaard is on bad guy duties, but is completely wasted and Blake Lively, well, the only way to sum up her performance is … boobs. The only performance that stands out is Mark Strong who plays the menacing Green Lantern mentor Sinestro.

Disappointing for Green Lantern fans is the way the film laughs in the face of anyone that’s ever picked up a comic book. Everything is dumbed down and it’s a far cry from the sci-fi space epic that plays out in the comic books. There are so many great storylines and villains that could have been pursued, but instead they went for the safe option of another giant cloud as the overall bad guy. What is Hollywood’s obsession with giant threating clouds? It’s hard to feel scared when its biggest threat is a sudden gust of wind.

Welcome to the shit list ‘Green Lantern’ – an estimated 300 million was wasted and Warner Brothers is scarred. A sequel has been announced but I pray for a swift reboot instead.


Warner Brothers

The Popcorn Junkie