Green Lantern is a very messy film. It has two decent performances, shoddy CGI, virtually no connective story and a very weak ending. I’m not sure what Warner Brothers was thinking when they decided to ditch a practical suit in favor of a fully blown CGI suit. It’s very unappealing and it draws you away from the character. A character which could have used all the help it could get, considering the fact that movie bounces around back and forth from the Lantern’s world to Earth without ever really engaging the viewers. You witness Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) throughout the entire film never really making any sort of transition in life. He starts out the film as a hot shot pilot who only wants to win and he ends the film the same way, but this time with a flashy green suit. He never learns how to truly become fearless because he constantly puts himself down and the only time he ever believes in himself is when the love interest of the film pulls him aside and tells him that he’s got potential and is something special.
Hal Jordan is such a weak character in this film. I’ve never been a fan of the Green Lantern comics, so I can’t comment on how close to the source this film is, but judging strictly on the character in this film I think it’s safe to safe that he is quite a bitch. His dad was a pilot that died during an accident and Hal continues to live on in his name. He’s a cocky pilot and he’s fueled by competition and the thrill to win. He has moments of fear in the film that he must overcome. That really is his only weakness. He fears things and doesn’t think he has what it takes. You’d think that the film would spend time showing you how Hal overcomes this fear to become the fearless Green Lantern, but it doesn’t. Instead it allows Carol Ferris (Blake Lively) to tell Hal he is fearless. He never discovers himself or has any sort of character arc in the film, instead she sits him down and gives him a pep talk and suddenly everything is alright.
That’s about as far as the film goes when it comes to character depth. Carol doesn’t really do much in the film, she hates Hal one minute and then she loves him the next. The main alien Hal deals with that is part of the Lantern Corps. is Sinestro (Mark Strong). He is one of the strongest members of the Corps. and he questions Hal as the successor of Abin Sur (Temuera Morrison). Abin Sur was a Lantern who died in battle and crashed on Earth to pick the next man to wear his ring. Hal becomes the next man and becomes the first human being to be in the Lantern Corp. He trains with Sinestro and a few other Lanterns for all of five minutes and then he decides to quit like the little bitch that he is and race back to Earth. Once he returns to Earth he has several pep talks with Carol about his lack of bravery and so on.
While this is happening we have one of our villains brooding. Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard) is a scientist who does an autopsy on Abin Sur’s corpse. While doing so he is infected with another aliens blood/guts and he starts to transform. Peter Sarsgaard gives one of the better performances in this film. He’s a big nerd that doesn’t have much self-confidence until this new power is bestowed upon him. He spends most of the film transforming into this monster which essentially leads to nothing.
His first encounter with the Green Lantern is rather quick and pointless and doesn’t progress the story much and his second encounter is ended abruptly by the films other main villain, Parallax. Parallax is this giant “thing” that is a huge threat to the Lanterns. He is slowly consuming planets and galaxies on his way back to the Lanterns headquarters planet. He feeds off of fear and decides to take a pit stop and possibly eat all of the fear out of Hal Jordan and Earth. This results in an action heavy last act that is cool to watch, but rather dull considering the film spent most of its time building up to this moment.
The films major problem is the story. It never feels connected. You start out with Hal as the pilot, then you jump to him getting the ring and going off to the Lantern’s planet, but then when he returns to Earth you forget everything about the rest of the Lanterns because they never show you them. Hal drags his feet around on Earth while Hector becomes evil, but the two barely meet. Then in the background you have Parallax consuming everything and you almost forget about him too until he is forced into the last twenty minutes of the film. Nothing ever feels connected and that really makes for a boring film.
I will give the film a little credit when it comes to the use of CGI. The space scenes are awesome and most of the effects are kind of neat, but the suit just looks horrible. They should have stuck with a real suit and added the flashy effects in post. No need to go for a full CGI suit. It made Hal look really skinny and abnormal and the face mask came off way too bright and fake looking. I’m not really sure what Warner Brothers was thinking when they put an estimate of $300 million bucks into this film. That budget is insane considering the end result.
Overall, the Green Lantern is a wasted attempt at bringing a DC character to the mass audiences. The film is mostly boring due to the lack of character depth and a very weak story that comes and goes as it pleases. The suit looks horrible and the action is mostly saved for the last twenty minutes, which makes for a really slow start that wastes most of its time showing us what a little bitch Hal Jordan really is. You forget about the rest of the Lanterns and you forget if there is an actual villain in the film as the two it presents are rather weak.
I almost forgot to mention the 3D. It is a waste for the most part. Some of the space effects look cooler with the added depth, but the rest of it doesn’t benefit from the added surcharge. Stay for the credits as there is something waiting for you! Let me give you a hint, it’s a quick and lazy cash grab of a scene!
Green Lantern – 6/10