Green Lantern (2011)

(PG-13) 114 mins

Director: Martin Campbell

Writers: Greg Berlanti (screenplay & screen story), Michael Green (screenplay & screen story), Marc Guggenheim (screenplay & screen story), & Michael Goldenberg (screenplay)

Stars: Ryan ReynoldsBlake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong, & Tim Robbins

Best Boy Grip: Gerald Autin

CraigMakk:(Don’t Bother) Goddamn you, Hollywood. Seriously? You get access to the entire Green Lantern Corps, you bring the excellent and intimidating Mark Strong on as Sinestro, and you even get Ryan Reynolds, a self-professed comic (he already played the equally awesome yet ultimately reviled portrayal of the Deadpool character) and Green Lantern fanboy, to play Hal Jordan…and you still are able to screw it up? What the hell is going on up there in Hollywoodland? Honestly, I want to know. Next time, just ask me to write the script for you. Or at the very least take a shit on the script before handing it to the poor actors. Either of which would have been infinitely better than the crap you dumped out on the world.

Okay, at the very least I can say that Ryan Reynolds is pretty charming as the normally cool under pressure Hal Jordan. While he sometimes has a hard time being less “Ryan-Reynoldsy”  in his movies, this character called for much of the one-liners he is famous for. His ability to showcase the strength of humanity in the face of overwhelming doubt from a galaxy full of aliens (Note: if you thought the Star Wars Cantina had too many aliens, wait until you see the first shot of the Green Lantern Corps homeworld, Oa) who believe us to be “too immature” is incredibly believable. Mark Strong, however, steals the show as the “greatest lantern of them all”, Sinestro. He is both aloof and terrifying, and his begrudging respect for Hal would have made his  (SPOILER ALERT…Not really) eventual turn to become his  greatest enemy in the sequel even more emotional.

Instead, however, they decided to make this movie. Which is pretty bad. I mean, other than a few special effects sequences, including an entirely CGI costume for Hal himself, this movie makes no sense. Hector Hammond is thrown in as a villain for approximately eight minutes. And apparently Hal and he have been friends since they were children, but the movie makes no attempt to demonstrate that fact other than with a quick, “Hey remember how  we’ve been friends since we were children?”-kind of statement. In addition, they clearly took notes from “Fantastic Four‘s” horrendous portrayal of Galactus  when designing Parallax, as he is designed as a corny-looking cloud with a face in it. Wow. At least Kilowog looked cool.

In the end, this movie suffers from “bad comic movie”-itis, which encompasses: a) not quite understanding the source material, b) changing the key characters (origins, powers, look, etc) purely for the sake of change, and c) failing to understand the traits and characteristics of the heroes themselves that make the stories fun and relatable. A guy with a power ring who can create anything his mind can imagine as long as he feels no fear is cool, but the true theme is that overcoming fear is more important than not feeling it at all. A movie shouldn’t reduce the theme to one line like a movie review does. But boy, does this one ever. If you are at all interested in Green Lantern, I recommend you simply read Green Lantern: Rebirth and The Sinestro Corps Wars instead. And pray to God that Ryan Reynolds doesn’t get screwed in the (potentially) upcoming Deadpool movie.

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