There has been a lot of talk about the Green Lantern movie - maybe, maybe too much talk. Early trailers looked unimpressive. Casting decisions were questioned. In short, there were grave concerns that rather than be a spectacular reemergence of the "tent pole" DC movie, Green Lantern would only prove that the company would always come second to Marvel in terms of theatrical success.
Yes, this is a rebel column, because quite frankly, in my opinion, Green Lantern is one of the strongest super hero movies I have seen in a long time....and I think it serves as the first building block for DC to establish a stronger presence in the movie world.
Now, this is not a perfect film - it's not the Citizen Kane of superhero movies. Other comic/fan sites have given this movie mixed reviews, or have even panned it because of "too little Oa, too much down-to-earth". However, since you read Comic Related (and therefore have greater intelligence and higher personal charm than your average comics fan), you have discriminating tastes, and I think it's safe to say ... overall, this is a good film. You should definitely see it.
And there's a word for those fan reviewers who are complaining about the movie: Poozers, as the mighty Kilowog would say.
Part of why the film works is that the visual special effects have a kind of depth and texture that are rarely seen in most movies. Although available in 3-D, I saw the 2-D version, and quite frankly, I'm glad - Martin Campbell (who directed the picture) and his crew give the movie a really sharp visual polish, and the Oa scenes in particular have a really great sense of scale and worth. In short, seeing this movie in two dimensions has the advantage of allowing you to sink into the film (although there are the obligatory things-popping-out-at-you 3-D scenes). Some of the ring "constructs" done in the movie share a similar how-did-they-do-that quality with the Oa scenes. If visuals and special effects were the sole determinant of a film's success, Green Lantern has it in truckloads.
(By the way, when the action moves to Oa, see if you can guess how many Green Lantern Corps members besides Hal Jordan you can identify. At least, how many you can while your jaw is hitting the floor while taking in the huge scope of the movie).
Another key strength of Green Lantern is the way the script handles multiple settings and storylines , moving from 80s-era action to space opera to rookie-gets-trained to family/interpersonal drama. Yet, while it moves through a variety of storylines, there is a consistency of tone and measure to this. I'm sure that others wanted simply space opera for the entire movie; the fact that the movie embraces multiple themes - not just of will vs. fear (the script steals liberally from Geoff Johns' work), but also around responsibility, and family (especially father roles). And yes, there is a post-credits scene that Green Lantern comics fans will love. No, I won't spoil it.
And now, the acting....I have to say that Ryan Reynolds did win me over as Green Lantern, because he seems to be both playing within and against type. His Hal Jordan may not be the cocky, arrogant test pilot of the comics, but there's an added dimension - a man who is always afraid yet pretending not to be. Although I had qualms when I heard the news of his casting, I had to say, Reynolds makes this work. In fact, most of the acting ispretty top notch, with the only weak link being Blake Lively as Carol Ferris - she tends to play the role less as feisty and down-to-earth, and more as an ingenue, making some of her more dramatic scenes with Reynolds lose some of their dramatic impact. In fact, most of the acting is pretty strong - and Michael Duncan Clarke is Kilowog. He is so effective (even though he's just a voice with CGI) that I want the sequel to be Green Lantern 2: Kilowog Will Mess You Up.
As a rule for the column, I try not to engage in hype or sounding like a press release - if I see something, I give my honest review. And for Green Lantern, I give a very definite positive review - this is one you need to see in a theater - get some friends together on a Saturday night, or call into work sick and go see it. Either way, you will enjoy this film, regardless of whether you're a Green Lantern fan.
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Until next time, keep watching!
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