Deadpool looks amazing and the critic reviews are sounding extremely positive, so I thought why not visit a not so beloved Ryan Reynolds comic book movie performance. Sadly, for Reynolds I had my pick of three films, but I did not venture back to Blade 3: Trinity or X-Men Origins: Wolverine. I saw Green Lantern, which has a 26% on Rotten Tomatoes, on opening weekend back in 2011. I revisited it on DVD (yes, I do own it, so what!) to see exactly where my feeling fall for this reviled comic book film.
Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is a test pilot with a reckless attitude whose life seems to be falling apart. An alien bestows a power ring upon him and Hal is forced with a call to action. The classic comic book adaptation uses the source material accurately in some ways and alters elements dramatically in others. The love of the character wasn’t enough to salvage the films approval rating unfortunately, leaving a bad taste in the mouths of many DC fans.
Mark Strong was promising as the character Sinestro. Depending on the continuity of the books, the character is Hal’s friend/ally/trainer that turns against the corps in the comics and forms the Yellow Lantern Corps. This character could have been a saving point for the film if he had not been under used. However, Strong’s on screen time is some of the best aspects of the film for sure.
Ryan Reynolds charm still manages to make me like the character, even if it doesn’t quite resemble the Hal Jordan I’m a fan of in the comic books. The scenes where he isn’t lit up in CGI spandex are the only great ones in the film with his normal witty dialogue managing to bring a smile to my face.
Of all the DC properties, the Green Lantern world is probably too large and complex to be introduced in a single film. This movie feels like it could have been two or three different scripts. Given the premise of the lanterns is they are a universal police squad, the film would have made more sense to take place in outer space. Hal’s recruited and taken from earth. A similar, but less rushed training montage ensues, and he fights an alien along side Sinestro. I would love to take credit for this idea, but its essentially the plot of the animated film Green Lantern First Flight. That’s a solid movie that could have easily been expanded and adapted to the live action version.
The CGI is rather terrible at times. It’s clear why the film needs to be CGI as there are tons of aliens in scenes, but a few practical costumes would have made the film that is already asking for you to believe a whole lot more grounded. Again, if you’re in the mood for an animated Green Lantern movie a few exist. If you’re going to make a live action film, lets get some practical effects in there.
While the loves story of Carol Ferris (Blake Lively) and Hal Jordan in the comics is essential to Hal’s character, it felt forced in this film. Again, there was just too much going on to need a love story rushed into the plot. A quick reference to their relationship would have been sufficient for this film and a promise for further development at the end would have been better than what ended up on screen.
Green Lantern isn’t great by any means, but it’s still better than some of the other comic movies that have landed. I’ve seen all of the Fantastic Four movies…ALL OF THEM, and I’d much rather sit through this than any of those (although Chris Evans was solid as the Human Torch). I give Green Lantern a 5 out of 10 power rings.