Green Lantern – Movie Review

16 06 2011

Green Lantern is from director Martin Campbell, best known for directing the James Bond movies Goldeneye and Casino Royale. This is DC Entertainment’s desperate attempt to get some kind of DC superhero film franchise going, but things are not looking good for them. Other than Christopher Nolan’s Batman films, there’s really nothing for DC to brag about. So here comes Green Lantern, not to be confused with Green Hornet, another superhero movie that was released early this year. If you thought Green Hornet was a bad movie, Green Lantern is no better.

I admit that I don’t know much about the Green Lantern mythos, but I do know a little bit. One thing that always bugged me about this character was the lantern and the ring that he uses. The Green Lantern’s power comes from the planet Oa, which is the place where he charges his portable handheld lantern, which is the thing that he uses to charge the ring which he wears on his middle finger. The Green Lantern can then use his power ring to build “constructs” from his imagination, and the power of these constructs depends on his willpower.

Firstly, the concept of charging your magical power ring just feels lame to me. I don’t remember Iron Man’s suit ever running out of battery, so why do these super-advanced power rings need to be recharged. Second of all, the constructs that the Green Lantern builds with his mind are sketchy and the rules are not well defined. There’s no real measurement for how much power each construct has, so everything is very convoluted and there’s no sense of danger whatsoever since the Green Lantern is so powerful anyway.

The comedic Ryan Reynolds plays Hal Jordan, a reckless pilot who is “chosen” to be the Green Lantern of Earth. Reynolds’ acting chops are acceptable, but he does not strike me as blockbuster action star material. Blake Lively of Gossip Girl fame appears as Carol Ferris, the love interest for our superhero. She is very dull in this film, and her scenes with Reynolds are just awkward and embarrassing. Mark Strong plays Sinestro, and he’s probably the best performance of the film although his appearance is limited to plain talking scenes.

The only good aspect of Green Lantern are the outer space scenes which features huge environments filled with dazzling CGI effects. The planet of Oa looks very good, and there are tons of alien characters around. Comic book fans will be happy to see Kilowog and Tomar-Re, but unfortunately their screen time is close to nothing. Hal Jordan learns how to become a Green Lantern, but don’t expect any inspiring training sequences where he is working hard to master his powers and things like that. The origin story here is very forced and fails to make Green Lantern a compelling superhero.

James Newton Howard does the musical score of Green Lantern, which is superfluous and forgettable like most of the film. Action scenes are messy and badly edited to the point where I was squinting at the screen and trying to make out what on Earth is going on. The climax of this film tries to be as epic as possible and maybe inject some morals into the story, but I didn’t care for anything that was happening and was just waiting to go home.

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31 responses

16 06 2011
TBM

Thanks for the review. After seeing the preview for this weeks ago I had a hard time figuring out if this would be worth the money. It didn’t really grab my attention. From the sounds of your review I should see a different movie and not waste my time and money. I appreciate the honesty.

17 06 2011
Ipodman

Thanks for your support. My movie reviews are all completely honest and my own personal opinion. I won’t recommend watching this movie, go to X-Men First Class or Thor for your superhero fix.

17 06 2011
TBM

I’ve seen both. Guess I will patiently wait for the next one to come along. Have a great weekend.

17 06 2011
Ipodman

Right now I’m excited for Captain America (July 22), the trailer looks very good.

17 06 2011
Charlie

I am truly sad to hear this. I had high hopes. Good to know, though.

17 06 2011
Ipodman

I had high hopes too, but this was a huge disappointment.

17 06 2011
scarletsp1der

I had a feeling this was how gl would turn out. dc trying to copy marvel by making a movie about a not so popular superhero and hoping to strike it big. (iron man) I’m afraid their $300 million budget may have been overzealous.
nice review. I will b seeing it here shortly and expect my review to be along the same lines…sadly. Haha.

thanks for the heads up.

17 06 2011
Ipodman

I won’t outright call it copying Marvel, it’s more like meeting the fan demand for all these superheroes to get the big screen treatment. I didn’t realise GL cost so much money, it’s a pity the movie itself is not good.

17 06 2011
scarletsp1der

yeah. $300m for making and marketing of the film. quite high.

17 06 2011
Ipodman

It’s VERY high. But no matter how good your CGI is, it’s going to look outdated in five years anyway.

17 06 2011
Jaan

I havent seen it yet. Good that I read your review before going for it. but I thought this one would be good 😦

17 06 2011
Ipodman

I was hoping that it would be good… but it wasn’t 😦

17 06 2011
tinkerbelle86

ok so i hear its rubbish but at the same time ryan reynolds could be in sesame street and i would watch it religiously 🙂

17 06 2011
Ipodman

Hehe, you do get lots of Ryan Reynolds in this movie…

17 06 2011
Kim

Sounds pretty bad :S

18 06 2011
Ipodman

It’s pretty bad :S

18 06 2011
Kay aka Babygirl

Now you know you can’t compare IronMan to this comic … not a fair analogy lol. I was going to see this movie today but didn’t have time so I will be checking it out tomorrow. Great review you wrote as always.. I’m not sure if I will like it or not but we shall see.

18 06 2011
Ipodman

If I were to compare GL to another superhero movie, I think Iron Man comes the closest. Right from the GL trailer, you can tell that they are going for that sarcastic, off-beat humour which Robert Downey Jr did in Iron Man. Unfortunately, Ryan Reynolds is no RDJ.

19 06 2011
Bluej

I keep hearing bad reviews about this movie…it makes me sad cause it looks like it has such high potential…but now im also kind of worried cause i just rented the green hornet last night ( havent watched it yet) .although i did know the green hornet was corney before lol.

20 06 2011
Ipodman

Even though both Green movies are quite bad, I like Hornet slightly more than Lantern. At least I laughed a few times during Hornet, Lantern was trying to be funny but I didn’t find it funny.

19 06 2011
CMrok93

For the most part, I enjoyed myself but I do agree that this could have been done a lot better rather than all messy. Good Review!

20 06 2011
Ipodman

Thanks! I hope the sequel is better.

23 06 2011
cineramaetcetera

Glad to see that aside from Ben Barnes, we are on common ground about Blake Lively. In my opinion, if she was replaced by a better actress or her scenes were removed altogether, it would’ve made a better movie. Great review.

23 06 2011
Ipodman

Aaah yes she isn’t very good in this movie… but I think the real problem is that the romance story is not convincing in the first place.

25 06 2011
secretriddle

Good review. You’re right about some things in the Green Lantern mythos just being kind of lame for a film adaptation.

25 06 2011
Ipodman

Thanks. I still cannot accept the fact that he has to charge the ring with the lantern that he has to charge on the green planet.

2 07 2011
fogsmoviereviews

Agree to disagree on this one I guess…

I just wanted to chime in and say Iron Man’s battery was ALWAYS running out in the comics. Even in the Movie (The first one) there’s that scene where Gwyneth Paltrow has to reach into his chest… To replace his Battery? Now you remember, yeah you do. I know it. LOL.

3 07 2011
Ipodman

Oh THAT scene!

But still, the Green Lantern movie kept emphasising on your WILLPOWER, and you must have NO FEAR, and the power of the ring depends on your WILLPOWER etc etc… But in the end you still can’t use the ring if the battery is flat.

1 05 2012
Snow Addy

I just recently watched this movie. I would say its not the worst DC movie but it is okay. I found a few chuckles & moments where I asked the same questions about the ring & i couldnt believe “blake” in this movie (she didnt sell it to me)…

Ryan was hard to see in the role but i think this movie opened doors for more serious roles & i find it passable. I actually enjoyed this about the same as Ghost Rider. I guess on the scale of your rating the 1 star as it was suppose to be a blockbuster is cool.

For me, it would be a 3 of 5… but seriously, the ring & its power and it having to charge was not working for me… I’ve seen several Green Lantern movies (cartoon + Justice League Unlimited) and it never EVER mentions that.

2 05 2012
Ipodman

Yeah, “blake” was horrible and charging the ring is stupid… but I like Ghost Rider more than this.

21 07 2012
Movie Suggestions for Aliens Week | Smart Girls love SciFi

[…] seeing the movie this weekend have gone awry. So, I’ll wrap up Aliens Week by pointing you to my trusted reviewer, who might be said to think I’ve gotten lucky to be missing out on seeing The Green Lantern, […]

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