Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Green Lantern's day ain't too bright!

If you're a DC Comics superhero these days and someone says they're going adapt you for TV or a movie, my advice is: unless you're Batman, you should decline politely. Superman's last big-screen outing was an unmitigated disaster and they've just shit-canned David E. Kelly's attempt at bringing Wonder Woman to TV. They're going to try Superman again, bless 'em, but before that they decided to unleash one of their lesser known secondary characters upon the masses for the first time.

His name is the Green Lantern and he has the power to create “constructs” which are fully working manifestations of his imagination [albeit bright green]. These can take the form of cars, swords, anti-aircraft weapons or giant fists [and DC threw in the power of space flight because allowing him to imagine a rocket ship would have made the character cooler than Superman]. I’ve read very few Green Lantern comic books and most of those were in the mid-‘80s but a few years ago Mark forced me to read some of his graphic novels. In comparison to my normal reading material, I found them uninspiring, bland and quickly forgotten – much like this movie will be in a few years I suspect.

Sadly, Green Lantern begins in the most clich├ęd, predictable and derivative way possible – Ace fighter pilot Hal Jordan [Ryan Reynolds] suffers engine failure during some aerial manoeuvres and is rapidly losing his battle with gravity. As he plunges, we are treated to some black and white footage of Hal’s father waving at his son before he takes off on his own fateful flight and for a moment I thought I was watching JAG again with bits of Iron Eagle or a movie of it's ilk. For me, the movie never recovered from this and I could find no way of reconciling Hal's actions with that of a normal human being with any form of common sense. For example, the dying Lantern Abin-Sur crashes on earth [our satellites don’t detect him and somehow no one sees his ship even though he crashes on the coast of the US, in a populated region, in daylight] and sends his ring to find someone worthy. It finds Hal and brings him to the crash site [which still hasn’t been found even though enough time has passed to make it dark now].

Yes look, I know I'm nitpicking; I can let a few things go in most of the shite I love, that's for certain, but sometimes things are just too blatantly obviously bad to enjoy it the way it was meant to be and it just stops being fun. I cannot separate fantasy from madness - and this movie was sheer madness on many scales.

It was obvious in places that several different special effects houses were used to finish the movie, even without it being highly publicised that there was a rush-job going on for the last few months. While the animators of Hal's first flight sequence are not even qualified to work with MS Paint, I will tip my hat to the people responsible for animating the villain Parallax who was truly frightening but sadly wasted on this movie.

Poor Ryan Reynolds, he’s had so many great opportunities since Van Wilder. He’s not only had Scarjo, one of the most desirable women in the world but he’s the first person to play both a Marvel and a DC Comics hero in movies. As lacklustre as Green Lantern is however it is nowhere near as bad as what Reynolds was reduced to in the celluloid mangling of Deadpool, Marvel’s wisecracking mercenary in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. No, nothing is that bad, but sadly Lantern is far from Reynolds' finest hour – and it should be!!! What in sweet Lucas is wrong with DC/Warners and their superhero movies? They’re a one-trick wonder with the current Dark Knight franchise which outclasses everything Marvel has done but that’s it! It’s like there’s no effort with anything else apart from their DVD/BD animated movies.

Final Verdict: Mildly entertaining, but ultimately unimpressive. I’ll be honest, I can’t recommend you see this in cinemas, or even buy the Blu but it may be worth your while to check out a HD-Digital download or something, if you just want to watch something new.

Colonel Creedon Rating: **1/2


Upon discovering a crashed Extra Terrestrial vessel with a live pilot:

1. Do not approach the vehicle
2. Do not enter the vehicle
3. Do not speak to the pilot
4. Do not touch the pilot
5. Do not remove artifacts from the vehicle
6. Call 1-800-555-WHOPPER and report your location immediately.


Constance said...

Yes, Ryan has had so many opportunities. You know what they say, when a door closes a window will open. While it is true that Scarjo slipped away from him, he now has a window of opportunity to try to win my heart. And I won't hold this movie against him...

Mark said...

I made an error starting you with Green Lantern Rebirth as that was tying up five years worth of plot before a relaunch, what I should have started you on was secret origin, the watered down version being the basis of this very bland movie.

To deal with your nits, the ring would have prevented detection of the craft and Abin Sur, hence the reason he was discovered post mortem after the ring was no longer his. Though in the movie it was just an energy projector and they never showed what else it could do.

And yes Hal Jordan and the rest of the Corp do fly around in space in construct vehicles but it drains ring energy, the fear of which is what killed Abin Sur in the comics as it is.

Yes Warner's have a massive problem getting their characters off the page. Superman failed as a movie but ran for 10 years as a TV show with Smallville. After seeing Sucker Punch I fear for the next Superman movie. The issue isn't with the characters, it's that many times they don't take the ideas far enough on screen.

In this Summer's comic event, Flashpoint, the lamest DC Superhero of them all Aquaman, murders hundreds of millions of people in his war against the Amazons. And his book is brilliant to read. It got me reading comics again.

They'd never put that on screen. Well, maybe in Entourage.


Civilian Overseer said...

Was there a point to all the that rambling?, this is the twitter generation after all. ;)

Pints said...

But he is soooooo pretty I'd forgive him anyyyyything! mmmmmmmmmmmmm..... ok get a grip! :-)