Yesterday’s dark stormy night was a perfect excuse to head out to see DC‘s attempt to kick start a third movie franchise with Green Lantern (but lets be honest I would have gone no matter the weather). Having just seen headlines of reviews, my expectations went from “nervously optimistic” to “low expectations.” Having heard of brutal reviews I was fully expecting this to be the “E.T. video game” of comic book movies, signaling the end of what’s become a summer movie tradition, the big comic book movie. I walked out of the theater with mixed thoughts, and pleasantly surprised.
Green Lantern is one of the top second tier DC comic book characters who’s basically a space cop who’s able to take his willpower and create objects and fly due to a ring left to him by a dying alien. When he’s not dressed in green, Green Lantern is fighter pilot Hal Jordan. In the comics he’s a cocky, straight laced character, who’s more arrogant and headstrong than anything. Knowing this I was a bit hesitant when hearing the news of Ryan Reynolds being cast as the character. He definitely has the look down, but his previous roles fall under the cocky/humor area. The movie rests on Reynolds’ shoulders just below the special fx.
The plot of the movie is probably the weakest part. Green Lantern must take on Hector Hammond and an evil entity called Parallax. The issue isn’t necessarily the plot itself, it’s pretty basic, it’s just the bad guys are too comical. Peter Sarsgaard does what he can with the character, and is actually pretty decent, but really, the character is a psychic with a giant tumor on his head. He’s kind of hard to not laugh at. Parallax is much better portrayed in the comic book, and in this movie gets a makeover akin to Galactus in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. It’s not an improvement. Why these two are the first baddies is only revealed in the highlight of the movie, an awesome post credit scene that left me giddy.
The movies is science fiction, more so than Batman or Superman and does it’s best to balance that with scenes on Earth and for some reason the humor that was added. This is a kids comic book movie, more so than DC’s other tent pole/pride, Batman. It’s a difficult thing to do and the movie almost pulls it off.
There’s a lot of things I’d have done different, the first being the tone and first bad guys, but for a summer popcorn flick, it’s not that bad. It’s a movie to see and the 3D added a little though not a whole lot. DC definitely aimed for a younger audience for this one, and it shows, but as an adult, there was still a lot I liked. Worth the cost of a ticket, but there’s definitely a lot of other movies I’d see first.