Green LanternI’ll have to interrupt my unbelievably gripping tales of travel to bring you this movie review. I know…you’re saddened, I feel it too. Now, enough eye-rolling and snorting!
I saw the new Green Lantern movie with my family this past week. And I have to admit, I’m not entirely sure where this review will take us.
On one hand, Ryan Reynolds is a hunk of a man and just being able to look at him on the big screen is well worth the money (that mah mamma paid…>.>) But how was he as the Green Lantern, ol’ Hal Jordan?
Honestly, I couldn’t tell you. Mainly because the Green Lantern was not one of my favorite super heroes as a child. I lived with Batman (which I just tried to type as Bathman, wouldn’t that be a sight!) Superman, Spider-man (just the cartoons and really only because of my brothers), and most importantly, the X-Men.
Hell, just the X-Men alone filled me with as much diversity as I could want in my super heroes – just didn’t leave much room for Green Lantern. So, did Reynolds do the original character justice?
You tell me! No, seriously…tell me. I’m curious.
As for the movie, it was entertaining. Was it worth the $10 (that mah mamma paid… <.<) to see it in the theatre? Hmm, I wanted to see it because I thought the trailers looked awesome, so I’d have spent my own money on it if my mother hadn’t invited me.
But was it worth it? In hindsight, I can say it might’ve been worth an $8 ticket at a smaller theatre. It was entertaining, but the film still had its flaws.
Do I know anything about the Green Lantern universe? Again, pay attention – I do not. I played DC Universe Online – so I knew what his powers were and how they worked. I knew about Fear VS Will and I knew about Sinestro and that he would ultimately end up –
Oh, who am I kidding? This movie is based off a comic book that’s been around forever. If you don’t know what happens to Sinestro then let me give you a hint – his name is reaaaallly close to the word… S.I.N.I.S.T.E.R, and for those of you that don’t know…my poor little poppets…that word means evil, wicked: I.E. – a bad guy.
So, yeah, I knew that Sinestro would ultimately end up putting on the yellow ring and gain the POWER OF FEAR! And in DC Universe Online, he was a bad ass (or at least, seemed that way – can’t say I played long enough to find out if I’d get to battle him directly.)
But getting to see Sinestro – pre-evil yellow days was kind of cool. The storyline was actually pretty good. Guy is chosen by the ring of the fallen Lantern before him and goes off to find out what becoming a Lantern is really all about. He’s met by a friendly, experienced Lantern and given a brief tour of sorts of the planet the Lanterns call home.
You find out that the power taps into the knowledge base contained within the Lantern Ring – which is perfect in the comic world, as they can fill in the reader with additional information or details by using those nifty little asides in the different colored text boxes. This doesn’t work so well on film – as the viewer is first told “the ring gives you all the knowledge the lanterns before you had about our world and culture, etc.,” and then Hal Jordan immediately starts asking questions about said knowledge, insinuating that either the ring is broken, he’s an idiot, or he’s just not listening. In fact, it’s the best way the film makers could inform the viewers about a world they may not know and still not have to spend the next forty minutes in a hero-montage as Hal learns how to be a Lantern.
Instead, we get a shorter monta–training session. Hal scuffles with a giant beast of an alien, Sinestro decides he’s being too weak on him, and butts in to show Hal what’s what. And then we’re back on Earth.
I run it down as if it’s all very ridiculous and overly fast-paced but it plays well enough on film. Hal tries his best in the short span of time he’s given but the viewer realizes he can’t learn how to be a full-capable Lantern that quick. So Hal himself announces that he’s “only human” and gives up.
Now, I won’t detail the entire movie – but I wanted to bring you up to scope on that bit because it seems important to me. Hal returns home feeling like a failure and deciding that he’ll just quit being a Lantern. He didn’t want it anyway. Sinestro told Hal that there was too much Fear in him to be a strong Lantern, that his Will was too weak in the face of all that Fear.
This is the film’s message: that Fear can cripple a person and that only those with the strongest Will Power can overcome that Fear. Hal realizes as the film progresses that the only way to overcome that Fear is to embrace it. “I’m only human” might as well be his motto. You can’t stop yourself from being afraid, but you can rise up and find the courage to act in the face of that Fear.
While I felt the conflict with the scientist was handled…weakly, not poorly – because that implies it was crap, and I liked it – I still felt it was weak. They have one fight where the scientist obviously comes off as having the advantage until the very last moment, but then in their next encounter – Hal defeats him. It’s over that fast. And then we snap to the giant Fear beast-cloud thing.
Hal has been a Lantern for such a short time and when he faces the big Fear thing, he manages to succeed so quickly; so quickly, in fact, that it almost seems too easy.
This movie had moments where it simply shined, usually because of the well-written dialogue and its resonating message. I think that we all live with Fear from time to time and that we can all easily relate to how difficult it is to overcome the Fear we have within ourselves, let alone Fear that’s attacking us from without. There were also some wonderful moments of comedy and some creative special effects…
But all-in-all, the conflict was so very weak in my eyes–it didn’t have that sense of urgency or overwhelming threat that I thought it could have had. It’s a thoroughly entertaining super hero movie – and I would recommend you see it. But I won’t tell you that you have to rush out and pay $10 to see it at the movies. It’d be just as good on that 46 inch flat screen in your living room. (Though you’d be missing out on some excellent hunk-gawking.)
It’s more of a 3 out of 5.