The Good, The Bad, and the Review: Green Lantern

Lady Geek Girl: So yeah, the Green Lantern movie was… okay.

MadameAce: It was terrible.

Lady Geek Girl: Oh, come on. It wasn’t that bad.

MadameAce: Not that bad? It sucked. Yeah. That pretty much sums up how I feel about this movie, and I think that accurately sums up how a lot of people feel about this movie. By no means is Green Lantern the worst thing I have ever seen. I mean, very few movies are ever going to dig a deeper hole than Eragon did.

Lady Geek Girl: Yes, this movie is yet another example of DC not trusting their source material, and yes, this movie is far from perfect, but I do think any bumps in this movie can be worked out as long as they stay closer to their source material and hire decent writers and directors for the sequel—

MadameAce: Wait. Wait, wait, wait. They’re going to make a sequel? In what way does this movie warrant a sequel? Sure, it was entertaining, but I doubt it made back all the money it took to make this damn film. I mean, I think Rotten Tomatoes only gave it two stars.

Lady Geek Girl: Rotten Tomatoes also put The Dark Knight as the number two movie in their top five comic book movies, and the Watchmen didn’t even make the list, so we clearly can’t trust them. But yeah, Green Lantern was already set with plans for a sequel only a week after the movie hit theaters and despite it not making the money that it was expected to. I think this goes back to DC trying to compete with Marvel and the upcoming Avengers movie. A lot seemed to be riding on Green Lantern, though it wouldn’t be obvious if you weren’t a comic book fan. The inclusion of Amanda Waller in the movie was a big clue to DC Comic fans. In the comics and in the Justice League TV show, Amanda Waller headed the government-operated Cadmus organization. Their job? Basically to study the superheroes and be able to fight them should they go rogue. Cadmus doesn’t like or trust the Justice League and it gets a lot of its funding from Lex Luthor, which automatically makes them bad. Though I was excited to see this subtle hint dropped in the movie, I have to wonder why so much seemed to be riding on Green Lantern. Especially since the Man of Steel movie should be coming out soon, and if the latest Superman movie fails, well, then there will be no chance for the Justice League anyway, and DC hasn’t exactly been having the best track record with movies so far.

MadameAce: They can’t expect to do a Justice League movie if they can’t even get an individual superhero movie right. I know nothing about the Green Lantern. I never read his comics. I stick to Marvel and only switch to DC for Batman and Red Hood. I’ve seen Hal Jordan in some of the animated films, and even then he didn’t have a particularly big role.

But I pumped myself up for this movie. Those trailers looked kickass. Well, one of the newer ones did. Speaking of the trailers, this movie experienced a huge backlash from the fanbase after the release of the teaser. The teaser paints our main protagonist, Hal Jordan, as someone irresponsible enough to rival Iron Man. It is my understanding that Hal Jordan is supposed to be some serious military man and not a forgetful jerk. After the backlash, I couldn’t help but notice that all the newer trailers conveniently left out all of Hal Jordan’s goofiness, as though DC was trying to hide how badly they screwed up.

Despite the backlash wrought by the teaser, the producers either didn’t care enough or have the time to change something so essential to the movie. And this movie was sloppy, especially compared to the recently released Marvel movies. Other than Batman, DC just doesn’t put nearly as much effort into its theatrical releases, and it shows.

Lady Geek Girl: But you have to give credit where credit is due. Ryan Reynolds’s acting was not as bad as people expected it to be. In fact, it wasn’t bad at all. Ryan Reynolds, who is notorious for playing goofy characters, plays the main character of this movie, Hal Jordan. He was perfect as Deadpool in the Wolverine movie for this reason. Ryan Reynolds acts like Deadpool in pretty much every movie he does, expect without all the murdering people. That is until they ruined the character, but that wasn’t his fault; that was poor writing, which is basically what happened here as well. Ryan Reynolds did not play Hal Jordan, but that wasn’t his fault. Hal Jordan is supposed to be a hot-shot pilot who knows that he is the best. He has no fear and is pretty much an arrogant ass in a lot of ways, but fearless, extremely responsible, and professional, which is why he is the perfect Green Lantern.

Not so much in this movie. Hal is goofier at the beginning and then learns to grow up and take on responsibility. Hal Jordan is in the Air Force! He is the poster child for responsibility! But he’s not shown like that in the movie. No, he’s irresponsible and scared, so then why does the ring choose him? I can only assume it’s because it sees something better in him. In all fairness, by the end of the movie he acts more like Hal Jordan. Though the writing for the character is poor, Ryan Reynolds does play it well. He did a good job with the script he was given.

MadameAce: Green Lantern had the potential to be a great movie, and that’s why it’s so very aggravating, because it feels as though they put a concept down on what they wanted to happen, but felt no need to connect any of the scenes to each other in any sort of logical order. Things just sort of happen, and the characters don’t even react to what’s happening in any relatable way.

Like seriously, I realize that it’s not every day an alien with a magical ring crash lands on Earth, but I don’t think it’s asking too much for the characters to, I don’t know, react to the situation. I mean, Hal Jordan ends up on an artificial planet, and I realize that they downloaded stuff into his “primitive” human brain, but doing something other than being excited at the prospect of flying would probably be a wise decision. Like, how about, “Holy shit! I’m surrounded by aliens who just mind-raped me, and I’m wearing a terrible CGI outfit! Ahhhhh!” I would even take, “Why do the female Lanterns’ clothes conveniently show off their midsections? In what way is that conducive to battle?” Well, the correct answer is that it’s not, but it doesn’t really matter, because none of his fellow Lanterns do anything other than holding their rings in the air, anyway.

Lady Geek Girl: It’s true that that there was literally no reaction to the fact that there were aliens, but I do think Hal’s costume looked good. Yeah, you could say it looked a little strange, but that was because it was supposed to. They’re aliens, so the material should look like some weird alien substance. If anything, whether the CGI was purposeful or accidental, it added some realism to the film. However, I admit that the costumes for the female Lanterns were terrible and that the other Lanterns did nothing. Even Sinestro, who is such a major character, is left out, and of course no female Lanterns are ever mentioned. Sexism must be as common on alien planets as well as our own because Carol Ferris’s character—or should we simply call her the superhero’s girlfriend?—is so poor I admit I was embarrassed for the movie.

MadameAce: I don’t remember anything about her character other than that she was the typical girlfriend superhero movies tend to feature. I didn’t even remember her name after watching the movie. She played her part well, though. She was the responsible coworker who bitched Hal Jordan out at every opportunity to show the sexual tension between the two, became the damsel in distress since she’s pretty enough for one of the bad guys to get the hots for her as well, and proceeded to do one kickass thing, namely firing a missile at Mr. Evil Puff Face, in order to appease all of us the feminists.

Lady Geek Girl: Mr. Evil Puff Face?

MadameAce: Yeah, that evil yellow cloud thing.

Lady Geek Girl: You mean Parallax?

MadameAce: No. I mean Mr. Evil Puff face.

Lady Geek Girl: …Okay, clearly Ace wasn’t that interested or invested in Parallax’s character, but they really don’t develop his character all that well in the movie anyway. Actually, they really don’t seem to develop any of the characters except for Hal and Hector Hammond, but despite this, Parallax did make for some pretty fun and entertaining fight scenes. It wasn’t great, but I certainly couldn’t say I was bored while watching the movie either.

MadameAce: Speak for yourself. Mr. Evil Puff Face—or whatever he’s called—did not strike me as an agent of fear. I found him comical, and I couldn’t stop comparing him to Crane’s fear toxin. Yes, the crazy man in a burlap sack strikes more terror in me. I don’t think the movie makers wanted me to be stifling laughs while a yellow cloud sucked out people’s souls. But our bad guy was just so… puffy, and huggable in an OMG-I’m-Going-To-Die kind of way. The other villain—

Lady Geek Girl: Dr. Hector Hammond.

MadameAce: —annoyed the hell out of me, too. His character existed to be the opposite of what Hal Jordan stood for. They both start off in the same situation, but end up going in two different directions. I don’t know if he appears in the comics, but he was the most predictable thing about this movie. And the one big fight between him and Hal in the government facility made no sense. How the hell did Hal Jordan know to come in to save the day? This is one of those scenes that just sort of happened because the movie makers wanted it to happen. There was no reason for Hal to be there. He couldn’t have logically known what was going on.

And that leads me to our third villain, Sinestro, who is not an antagonist this movie despite his name. Nope, he’s obviously being saved for that much-dreaded sequel. Yeah, Sinestro doesn’t do anything in this first movie other than act the role of the incredibly disappointed and angry mentor figure. Yeah, feelings of disappointment and rage make him one of the more relatable characters.

This movie is like one big cliché. The characters are forgettable, the story runs as though half of it is missing, and the foreshadowing is about as subtle as being hit by a truck. The moment they mentioned stars and gravitational forces in the first half of the movie I knew that was how Hal Jordan was going to save the day. It was just sloppy. There’s no other way to put that. Check it out if you must, but don’t get your hopes high.

Lady Geek Girl: I’ll admit, the movie is pretty clichéd, but I think that’s because DC is so scared of making another crappy movie that they figured cliché is the way to go. They were playing it safe and sacrificed the potential for a really good movie because of it, but I think Green Lantern will be fine. I have high hopes that the sequel will learn from the mistakes of its predecessor and I do like the implication that DC may possibly be actually attempting a Justice League movie. It’s not a bad movie, but not a great one either. It’s worth watching, but it’s not a major loss if you miss it.