National Lampoon’s Green Wilder: My Review of Green Lantern

So, I finally saw Green Lantern last night. Yeah, I know most of y’all saw it last week, and have already weighed in on it. Some of your reviews I read, others I didn’t. Mainly, I didn’t want my experience to be tainted by outside thoughts. That said, I didn’t go in with an entirely open mind, as I didn’t have big hopes for the film. The casting seemed off, the budget had ballooned, and the footage looked like a bunch of CG-why? Still, it’s a comic movie, so I wanted it to do well so lazy journalists would can it with the “Is The Comic Movie Craze Over?” headlines. So, what did I think of the film? Well, in my best Jay Sherman voice, “It stinks!” I know a few of you are going to disagree with that sentiment, so I thought I’d let you in on my thoughts, bullet point style:

-No one is likable in the movie, least of all Hal. Ryan Reynolds, once again, shows up to work to play himself. Seriously, outside of Definitely, Maybe, Reynolds hasn’t shown much range since Two Guys, A Girl, and a Pizza Place. Hal Jordan is already a boring character (unless he’s losing his mind, or trying to avoid DC’s Chris Hansen), so casting Reynolds didn’t really do much to give the character a personality. It came off like “National Lampoon’s Green Wilder”. They even gave him another brown friend, just like in Van Wilder.

-I found myself pleasantly surprised by Blake Lively. While I didn’t buy her scenes as “tough as nails Sapphire”, she and Reynolds had good chemistry everywhere outside of the dogfight scene.

-I liked how Reynolds went all Greatest American Hero when transported to Oa, but hated how he automatically knew how to fly. Where’s my flight montage, dammit?!

-Others have said this, but Sinestro is the most heroic character in the movie. Also, I should point out that I don’t really have a problem with comic Sinestro. He’s not exactly “evil”. He just ruled his sector with an iron fist. He was a good cop, who later became corrupt as power went to his head. But you know what? It worked. He maintained order like a boss. Sinestro’s tale is played out in many small towns throughout the heartland. Over time, however, I feel DC writers have gone out of their way to really make him seem like a bastard, as they realize his raison d’etre really wasn’t that bad.

-I’m pretty sure Hal killed at least one of those guys who jumped him. Sure, it was self defense, but still…

-As most of us fanboys know, Warner Bros pumped an extra $9M in for additional effects, but most of that seemed to consist of enhancing the suit glow. While it would’ve been unique during a transformation sequence, it really got old seeing the energy pulsing through the piping at all times. The “perma-pulse” really took away anything that might have been special about the suits.

-Speaking of that effects budget, where the fuck did it go? Really, how did they spend that money? A lot of the stuff that was supposed to “wow” me was about 15 years old, from a technological perspective. I’m not saying I was expecting bullet time, but the Lantern flight sequences looked lower tech than the teleportation trails used in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie. Oa looked like animation from a mid ’90s video game – I’m not even talking console games; it looked like Shareware. Did you see Kilowog’s clunky movements when he was simply walking? It was like my system didn’t have enough resources to render all the pixels.

-Speaking of Kilowog, I was distracted by the fact that his movie design appeared to be based on the pre-gastric bypass appearance of LA DJ Big Boy (fans of Fastlane will recognize him).

-When did the Guardians get so fucking huge? I thought they were little guys. Here, they’re towering. Plus, the chick sounded like Janeway, which only made me hate her more.

-So…I’m guessing Tim Robbins needed to raise that child support money, huh? You were in Shawshank, man!

-in my mind, Amanda Waller should only be portrayed by Marsha Warfield. Or Shirley from Community (or a zombie Shirley from What’s Happening!!). Or the wife from House of Payne. Basically, a thick black woman with no ankles. That said, I actually liked Angela Bassett in the role, though I don’t remember when she started looking like Cicily Tyson. Apparently, they want her to be the Nick Fury of the DC movie universe. Good luck with that, seeing as how I’m sure she’ll be nowhere near The Dark Knight Rises or The Man of Steel.

-OK, in the top secret lab scene where Hammond goes from Folksy Xavier to Trailer Park Beetlejuice (right before Shawshank gets flamebroiled), how did Hal know where they were? He just comes busting through the wall. Don’t give me that “the ring pulsed and told him” garbage. If that’s true, the director failed to really show that in action, and that throwaway line about the ring warning of surrounding danger becomes a cheat.

-When the Guardians reject Hal’s request to help defend Earth, why does he ask their permission for him to go back? They hadn’t taken his powers, and it’s not like he had any deference to authority figures. I feel if he were truly fearless, he would’ve been like, “Fuck this, I’m going to save my planet!”

-He threw it into the Sun? Are you fucking kidding me? I get that this is a movie, and not everyone has read the comics. That said, Parallax is a big fucking deal. There’s no way Hal’s gonna beat him alone – especially not in his rookie state. This should’ve been an all-out space battle. THIS is where the money should’ve gone instead of making all the Lanterns look like they’ve got those old timey Christmas bubble lights in their suits. As a fanboy, it’s kind of insulting that they would deflate the enormity of Parallax simply because they needed a movie villain. I felt the same way when Smallville introduced Doomsday. He killed Superman! It had never been done before. And they want to just casually introduce him as the big bad of the season, played by an Abercrombie model? It’s as cheap as making Galactus a damn cloud!

So, there you have it. I feel I should point out that I didn’t *hate* the movie. Hate is a strong emotion, and I struggled to feel, well, anything from the movie. It just didn’t draw me in. I found myself bored and wanting it to end. I’m not the biggest GL fan, so it’s not like it insulted any fanboy knowledge I may have possessed. On the flipside, however, it didn’t make me want to learn more about the Green Lantern franchise. Over the past few years, the comics have really picked up steam, from emotional spectrum wars to zombie space fights. If I hadn’t known any of that, I’d look at that movie and wonder what all the hype was about. You see Iron Man, you know Tony Stark’s a cool cat, who has a badass suit. Spider-Man‘s a geek with a lot of power (and responsibility). X-Men are a bunch of minorities fighting for acceptance. According to this movie, Hal Jordan’s an asshole who gets a ring he didn’t deserve. I didn’t know this was a sports movie! At no point does he ever really prove himself worthy. Sure, he beats Parallax, but it seemed like luck. Even with that victory, he didn’t come off as “heroic”, and I feel that’s a problem. I didn’t want him to lose (’cause I’m smart enough to know he won’t), but I didn’t really want him to win either. The whole thing just left me kinda “meh”. If you enjoyed it, more power to ya. I’m not gonna say you’re wrong or dumb. I really wish I could’ve liked it, but it just wasn’t for me.