No Evil Shall Escape My Sight; Especially This Movie
When it comes to members of the Justice League that I’m knowledgeable about, Green Lantern is somewhere between Elongated Man and the guy who works in the canteen. Green Lanterns whether it’s Hal Jordan, Kyle Rayner, Alan Scott or Guy Gardner really never caught my attention. Save for his appearance in animated shows and features I’ve never really gone out of my way to engage with the character or the world of the Lanterns for that matter.
Then way back in 2009 when it was made public that Ryan Reynolds was attached for a Green Lantern live-action movie, I suddenly found an interest.
What’s It About?
Reynolds plays the Hal Jordan incarnation of the character. A test pilot when Jordan isn’t pulling dangerous stunts he’s shooting his mouth off. When an alien vessel crashes on Earth, it’s sole occupant, Abin Sur, uses his remaining power to summon a worthy successor to his side, Jordan is chosen.
From here there is an encounter with the Green Lantern Corps. As the first human ever chosen Jordan faces prejudice from the other alien races. His brash nature coupled with the treacherous training regime and brutal instructors pushes him over the edge and he quits. Meanwhile the creature that attacked and kill Sur begins it’s journey to Earth. On our world, scientist Hector Hammond is examining the corpse of Sur only to gain some psionic powers from traces of Parallax. Hammond uses these new powers to try and kill his Dad.
Eventually Jordan recognises the threat to Earth, confronts Hammond only for the severely mutated scientist to be consumed by Parallax. Renewed with life force, the alien villain launches a massive attack but is beaten by Green Lantern. Jordan returns to the Corps, they celebrate his victory and he’s inducted as Earth’s Green Lantern.
Who Is In It?
As mentioned above, Ryan Reynolds tackles the role of Hal Jordan/Green Lantern. Watching it back now it’s hard not to see similarities between his performances of Lantern and Deadpool. Reynolds plays the charming smart ass really well. If the Green Lantern movie followed that tone it would have been fine but it doesn’t. So Reynolds as Lantern never feels at home in the role.
Peter Saarsgard takes on the role of Hector Hammond. He is terrifying but for all the wrong reasons. His mutation and the effects used to create the look just end making a joke and hard to take serious.
Blake Lively plays an extremely forgettable Carol Ferris/love interest. Disappointingly Angela Bassett’s version of Amanda Waller is in the same category bringing none of the imposing force Waller is known for. To see how Waller is really played out, she could have taken some notes from C. C. H Pounder and her time voicing Waller in animated features.
Is It Really That Bad?
It’s not even a mixed bag of emotions! It’s woeful! When the Green Lanterns make mention of ‘Black Night’ in their oath, they’re actually referring to this movie! Reynolds is fun but it isn’t enough to save this mess. The film never really finds it’s feet and Reynolds’ Jordan never really lands as a result. In the same way Parallax devoured Hammond’s life force, the movie does the same to it’s audience, except it doesn’t spare us the suffering and let’s us live; miserable but alive.
The film flops between being too serious to too silly and you never really know what to feel. Couple that with an over reliance on CGI special effects and the film ends up being one of those really bad experiences. Green Lantern was had been in development since 1997. The studio had 14 years to churn out a good movie so there’s no excuse really for why it delivered such a mess in the end. The movie was so bad that all plans for sequels were squashed and it was decided to reboot the character instead of dragging his CGI corpse into the DC Movie Universe.
What Should I Watch Instead?
A little obvious but give the Deadpool movie a rewatch. If you’re looking for a funny kitschy super hero movie then you should check out The Specials. If you need a fix of good Green Lantern, then the Justice League animated series is a good place to start.
Editor-in-Chief, part-time super villain and hoarder of cats. If you can’t find me writing, I’m probably in the kitchen!