Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Green Lantern [ Movie Review ] ★★1/2

The Pitch

After Marvel showed everyone how Comic book movies could be successful with their second tier characters (Iron Man) and the potential superheroes team up movie that they could do with them, DC comics finally have the balls to make a big budget movie of their other characters beside Batman and Superman.

That's right! beside Batman and Superman, there are other famous superheroes (Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman & Green Lantern) in the DC Comics that are waiting for their big screen adaption. Together, they form the Justice League of America, a superhero team that is similar to Marvel's Avengers which will be coming mid next year. this review belongs to filmsblitz at blogspot

To test if the audience these days are ready to embrace other DC Comics superheros (beside the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel), they are going with Green Lantern, a superhero who possess a power ring that allows the user to control enormous power with their willpower.

The Green Lantern power would create the opportunity to razzle dazzle the viewers with special effects. A potential incentive to draw in viewers who are new to the Green Lantern universe. Character wise, they chose Hal Jordan, the most popular Green Lantern in DC Comics history to carry the story forward and they hired Ryan Reynolds (X-Men Origins: Wolverine's Deadpool) as Hal Jordan, with Martin Campbell (Casino Royale) directing. this review belongs to filmsblitz at blogspot

The first trailer was goofy and caused a split in reaction to this movie. Some like it while others just didn't think it was a faithful representation of Hal Jordan. The subsequent trailers tone down Ryan Reynolds clowning around and focus on the action and special effects. Personally it was an improvement but while small adjustments can be done for trailers, would it be possible to remove the unlikeable content for the whole movie without affecting the story telling?

The Plot

In a universe as vast as it is mysterious, a small but powerful force has existed for centuries. Protectors of peace and justice, they are called the Green Lantern Corps. A brotherhood of warriors sworn to keep intergalactic order, each Green Lantern wears a ring that grants him superpowers.

But when a new enemy called Parallax threatens to destroy the balance of power in the Universe, their fate and the fate of Earth lie in the hands of their newest recruit, the first human ever selected: Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds).

Hal is a gifted and cocky test pilot, but the Green Lanterns have little respect for humans, who have never harnessed the infinite powers of the ring before. But Hal is clearly the missing piece to the puzzle, and along with his determination and willpower, he has one thing no member of the Corps has ever had: humanity.

With the encouragement of fellow pilot and childhood sweetheart Carol Ferris (Blake Lively), if Hal can quickly master his new powers and find the courage to overcome his fears, he may prove to be not only the key to defeating Parallax...he will become the greatest Green Lantern of all.

(Plot taken from Green Lantern Facebook Page)

The Perspective

After going through three comic book movies (X-Men First Class and Thor) this summer blockbuster period, Green Lantern is the weakest inclusion. It suffered the same problem that plagued the other two comics superhero movies and that's trying to cover too much ground for an origin movie. It felt like a crash course on Green Lantern and it sort of alienate the newbies. The problem in this area was due to movie trying to pander to the non fans while catering to what the fans would want to see. I suspect that the end result here would not please both sides at all. this review belongs to filmsblitz at blogspot

Ryan Reynolds rendition of Hal Jordan felt like a weak attempt to replicate Robert Downey Jr's success with Tony Stark / Iron Man. There something about how Ryan Reynolds approached comic characters that don't really sit well with me. He has that limited range when he is taking on comic book character that I find it hard to distinguish his Hal Jordan from his Deadpool (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) and Hannibal King (Blade: Trinity). It required more to be able to relate to a character that constantly switching between a charming playboy and a insecure superhero and personally, I felt that he didn't managed to pull it off.

It's also crucial to build the villain up when one attempts to build the hero up. We get two in this movie and both of them felt so disposable. Parallax, one of the greatest super villain in Green Lantern mythology gets a proper setup when it showcase how the combine might of several Green Lanterns couldn't even get a scratch on it. Guess which rookie Green Lantern came around at the end to go one on one with Parallax? I won't spoil the ending here but let's just say it's one ending that hard to swallow. this review belongs to filmsblitz at blogspot

The other villain, Dr Hector Hammond was setup to show a parallel villainous journey as compared to the green hero of the day. The characterization felt paper thin and rushed to keep up with the pace and numerous elements of the movie. At the end of the movie, it makes one wonder what the point of setting up this character when he hardly amount to anything at all. Was it even necessary to have another villain at hand when there's already one as super as the Parallax?

It's not the worst comic book movie but it certainly won't make me go out and grab a Green Lantern comic to read. It tried to cover too much ground and the star actor lacks the x factor to carry this whole bulk of the movie on his shoulder. I really wished that the next comic book movie would just keep it simple and remove all the unnecessary bits while focusing what the main thing that make the hero tick.

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