An already large fan base: check. $9 million extra for some spiffy VFX: check. Ryan Reynolds, Mark Strong and Geoffrey Rush: check. Greg Berlanti and Michael Green, writers of the superhero genre: what the hell, guys?
Green Lantern, DC’s response to the Marvel Universe films in 2011, was indeed a flop. And with all these great actors, I believe the fault, among other things, was really with the script.
After waiting nearly half an hour for the inciting incident (the moment that everything changes for the main character) Hal finally finds the dying Abin Sur only to run home and go out on a ‘sort of’ date with Carol. To cover the first 30 minutes the audience are given the universe set up via narration, Hal’s dad’s death, Hal being an arse, Hal thinking of his dad’s death, Hal destroying a plane and then Hal attending a boy’s birthday party. The audience are forced to sit through the dad’s death twice within 20 minutes and are thrown every cliché in the book to proof Hal’s arsey-ness and inner turmoil.
Although an interesting re-creation of Hector Hammond’s overly large head, from one born of accessing sections of the brain unknown to mankind due to alien radiation (comics) to a possession from a big headed alien species (movie), I couldn’t care less about his daddy issues and unreturned love. Hal and Carol, having been friends with Hammond since childhood, were always nice to him. Hal, seemingly a sporty and outdoorsy kid, was genuinely interested in the latest book Hammond was reading while Carol put up with his overly creepy sniffing in her direction. Not to mention his poor receding hairline. The prosthetics were hugely distracting and was the piece of Hammond’s costume that made it all too much. Fine, Hollywood, give us the stereotypical nerd glasses, a weird voice, a hunch or crazy hair. It’s not all or nothing here. The audience isn’t dumb and doesn’t need every visual stimulus you know of.
Carol was… well, she was neither here nor there. As female leads go, she was intelligent, pretty, and could fly a plane. That’s pretty cool. And she was in the only scene that was actually good, realising Hal was the Green Lantern. Otherwise, the performance and script regarding her was really flat, filled with ridiculously try hard clever lines.
‘I used to sleep in. Then I turned 11.’
Honey, I’m 21 and could sleep in passed lunch.
The script really, really hurt the film’s chances. But not all the VFX choices were that great either. You’d think with an extra $9 million it would be killer.
Alas, the audience is left with distractingly poor face masks, nearly white eyes and a giant evil spider with a head that could come from presumably its neck or butt.
As a DC fan who only knows the Green Lantern from the television screen, I did delight in the idea of the Green Lantern uniform being made from the ring’s energy. Its skin like appearance along with the worldly origin of each Green Lantern created a great number of interesting designs. But a great opportunity was missed on Oa amongst the thousands of Green Lanterns. Although it was great to meet Sinestro, Tomar-Re and Kilowog on the silver screen, I wanted to know more about the many species that gathered there in the assembly.
As for the Butthead villain, Parallax, I couldn’t be less scared. The entity looked to be a weak attempt at a creepy, heavy smoke, burping yellow burps. According to Martin Campbell, the villain’s design was to replicate the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the mass of dust and debris clouds that fill New York’s streets. Although visually a terrifying stimulus, the Butthead spider did not replicate the fear.
But, at the end of the day, my opinion doesn’t matter. Heck, both Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively both won Teen Choice Awards for Sci-Fi/ Fantasy. The movie won awards too. From Golden Schmoes Green Lantern was awarded the Worst Movie of the Year and the Biggest Disappointment of the Year. And with an approximate $200 million in the budget, the movie earned an exciting 19.8 million in the box office worldwide, 2011, compared to the lousy $445 million Iron Man made in the box office in 2008. Yay.
I did, however, learn something monumental while watching this film. I could never be a Green Lantern. I just didn’t have the will to watch the movie in one sitting, Nor do I have the will ever to watch it again.
Review by Brittany Howarth