The Green Lantern (2011) | Teen Ink

The Green Lantern (2011)

December 1, 2011
By 3Dzynez BRONZE, Toronto, Other
3Dzynez BRONZE, Toronto, Other
3 articles 1 photo 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
Never compromise. Not even in the face of Armageddon. (Rorschach - The Watchmen)

After the first Green Lantern trailer (not the teaser) came out, the movie instantly became one of my most anticipated ones. However, after being slammed by fans and critics I avoided watching the film in theaters until it came out on DVD so that I could watch it for myself and see what all the hullaballoo was about.

I’ll be honest, it wasn’t quite what I had expected from a Green Lantern comic book adaptation, after all it is a pretty big universe and the story has got some pretty deep roots almost like Batman. That being the reason I kind of knew that things would go wrong in this movie prior to it release. I mean with a $200 million budget, it would have been better off if they split the movie up like Nolan’s Batman trilogy. Thereby, exploring the origin of the Green Lantern along with Hal Jordan’s personal struggles with his acquaintances. Its saddening though, that the final product is the complete opposite!

Here’s my reaction to other, pickier critics: You are wasting your time slamming it for all the wrong reasons!

Green Lantern (2011) is just an undercooked adaptation. Its only flaw is not in its mere existence as people are saying. And those people are what I like to call wrong!
And I’m not saying this because I am a hardcore fan (seriously, I am not a hardcore fan) but because it’s true!

Don’t use Thor, Captain America and X-men First Class as an excuse for Lantern’s failure because these are totally different films.

So here I go with my review, or rather, my dissection process of The Green Lantern.
The movie starts off in a fairly typical manner. You are told about an evil being named Parallax, and an alliance of ‘Jedi-like’ creatures that protect the universe from alien threats. But then that’s it. After that you aren’t told s*** about them aside from brief 30 second scenes showing what they do (which doesn’t do justice to the Green Lantern Corps)

I have nothing bad to say about the story since it’s a fairly okay adaptation of the comics. I’ll leave that to silly fan-boys.

I can’t stress enough on the fact that the movie is marred by an awful layout. The scenes are either way too big, or way too small. There are literally scenes that are 10 seconds long. And they go nowhere -- no-shitting-where! They beg for your attention, but in turn, end up confusing you rather than make you wanting more. This is one movie where I actually had to use my brain to make connections and link the scenes together in order to understand what the hell was going on.

The word ‘exposition’ apparently means nothing to these filmmakers – nothing!

I ended up complaining about how some of the scenes did not make sense because I made the horrible mistake of my life blinking (and yes, I said a mouthful). Such as when Green Lantern arrives at the nick of time to save Robert Hammond from getting killed by his own son, Hector. Green Lantern’s ring glows as an indication that something’s wrong or someone needs help. I had to keep on rewinding the movie to look for this scene! And it was torture because the shot almost does not exist, making you think, “Where the hell did he come from?”

An example much worse is when Mr. Bad-Ass-Parallax is taking over the city and all with his fear-infused tentacles; the crowd seems to flee in the wrong direction! Straight at him!!! All this because you didn’t notice his tentacles reaching out from the other side since that detail is so damn minuscule. For a second I thought that I was watching a Green Lantern spoof rather than a dead serious superhero film.

Above all, you expect the final battle between Green Lantern and Parallax to be awesome right? Wrong! It’s only like 5 minutes long. He just goes in and defeats him.

The movie is VERY UNBALANCED in that you’re never told enough about the characters or not a lot happens to them. This makes the movie feel incomplete and lacking. They do try to tell you a little bit about Jordan’s past, and how his dad was killed in a test flight and all. It’s weird how the young Hal skips school to see his father fly a new jet and his father doesn’t give a damn. Instead, he gives him his jacket. Kudos to Gattlin Griffith though for his fine acting as young Hal Jordon.

Ah, now comes the bitter part, the acting. The cast is pretty solid. And by cast I mean Peter Sarsgaard’s as Hector Hammond, only. He’s the one guy that makes his character feel lively and worthy of sympathy, making Hector feel-able (if that makes sense). Aside from that, I just can’t stand Ryan Reynolds’ wittiness. It almost sounds like he’s whispering every line instead of talking – kind of like he ran out of breath or something. He’s a test pilot for god’s sake! Shouldn’t he be brave and bold? Ryan Reynolds is an amazing actor but he fails to deliver. As for Blake Lively, I’m going to bite the bullet and conclude that she doesn’t quite nail it as Carrol Ferris. I don’t blame her. Her character just seems to know too much, even more than Green Lantern himself. You know how there’s a pep-talk scene in every superhero movie where a person (usually a girl) inspires the hero into saving the world? Well, imagine that, but 10 times more awkward. Near the end, Carrol bombs the screen by saying, "The ring didn't see that you were fearless. It saw that you had the ability to overcome fear..." – What the F***?!?! How does she know that? It makes sense in meaning but…what? Another thing which I think is worth mentioning is the scene in which Hal Jordan’s mechanic, Thomas Kalmaku makes a Megamind allusion by saying, “You’re a superhero! *awkward pause* Don’t they always get the girl.” – HOLY S***! Did the screenwriter just run out of dialogue? Could he not think of anymore witty jokes for his characters? Was that the case?

Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 27% -- one of the reasons being that it was ‘noisy’. I’m tempted to think that by noisy, they were referring to the jet explosion that killed Martin Jordan. So I’m guessing they ‘overlooked’ that awkwardly loud train-crashes-into-car scene from Inception.

In addition, the movie is a light show with impressive visual effects, and creature design. Hats Off to the artists who never get enough credit for their work.

The Verdict:
Undoubtedly overproduced – with a ridiculously overwhelming budget they could’ve adapted the same layout as Nolan’s Dark Knight (after all they’re both by DC)
Awkward layout of scenes make for a mind-numbing experience with no evident exposition to help you understand
Characters seem to know too much – the movie doesn’t take itself as seriously as it should
Weird allusions that make you wonder where all the creativity in Hollywood went

The author's comments:
I've been a Green Lantern fan for a while, but this is just a 'drag'.

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