Continuing my summer of Super Hero movies I wanted to offer a few thoughts on DC’s effort to counter Marvel’s series of Avengers prequels, with Green Lantern.
I grew up a Marvel guy while dabbling a bit in the Batman books, but I never really got into Green Lantern until the Kyle Rayner era. I grew to really like Rayner, to the point that I despised the decision to bring Hal Jordan back as the main Green Lantern – so I have a had time with this character to begin with. That said, the writing going on in the Green Lantern books is amongst the best in comics right now, and I’m really enjoying the storyline.
Caution: Spoilers Ahead
I went into this movie with pretty low expectations. I think it was one of the few movies where each time I saw the previews I wanted to see it less. I’m not a big Ryan Reynolds fan, but I don’t dislike him – and I know my wife likes seeing him in movies. I was pretty leery of the CGI-suit, as well as how all of the aliens would be portrayed in the movie.
Walking out of the movie, it about lived up to my quasi-low expectations. I didn’t hate it, but on the heels of seeing X-men First Class – which had a pretty adult storyline – Green Lantern really came off cheesy. The dialog was pretty poor, there were a lot of mischaracterizations and characters who were pretty rich in the comics became very one-dimensional. This movie is almost like a meal where you have all of the right ingredients, but screw up the amounts so that you’re tasting the wrong things in your dish – that was Green Lantern.
I loved seeing Oa (the Green Lantern planet) and loved the training sequences, but felt like that whole movie was way to short. I wanted them to spend more time with the Corp, more time with some of the other strong and developed characters (namely Sinestro). The storyline was inconsistent how they painted the picture of the Green Lantern Corp, but when it came time to take on Parallax, all of the Lanterns were conspicuously missing.
The worst part was at the end (after the credits), when they had Sinestro putting on the yellow ring. Here was a character, while very well developed off-screen (and partially from my comic knowledge), had no real attachment with the audience and yet was somehow supposed to draw a surprise reaction by putting on this yellow ring. I felt like the director at that point was like “Crap, I don’t think we’re going to get a sequel on merit alone, we better put in some kind of tease.”
One thing that came to mind while reflecting on this movie: what if I’m not the target audience. More and more we saw Super Hero movies that have very adult themes: like The Dark Night and X-men First Class. However, what happens when you see this movie through the eyes of a young teenager or tween? All of the sudden the dialog doesn’t seem as cheesy. Given that aside from some freaky scientist mutations, there really wasn’t a lot of adult content, and the love interest between Hal Jordan and Blake Lively’s character didn’t really get too steamy or complicated. Maybe this movie, similar to Star Wars, was targeted towards a younger audience.
Right now this movie would probably fit at the bottom of the “2011 Super Hero Summer” list, below Thor and X-men First Class. I’m anxious for Captain America to come out later this month, at which point would be a good time to update the Top 10 Superhero Movie list I wrote in 2005.
What did you think of Green Lantern?