Movie Review: Green Lantern
June 22, 2011
WARNING… I am not a movie reviewer… I will ramble… and hopefully get back to the point…
Let me start by saying I did NOT hate this movie. In fact, I enjoyed the film… quite a bit actually. My problems is that Warner Brothers/DC Comics films just don’t know how to do certain things and Marvel, who apparently “gets it” 95% of the time is running rings around them.
I am and always have been a DC guy. I love Marvel, but Batman is and always have been my favorite Superhero and I’ve always leaned towards an allegiance with that Universe. I know all about Superman, I know all about Wonder Woman and as I mentioned before, I know all things Batman. The Holy Trinity of Comic Heroes is what it is. With Green Lantern, I’m literally green. I know very little. He is for all intents and purposes, the Iron Man of the DCU because Iron Man is a second tier hero in the Marvel Universe. The fact Iron Man has become the Marvel go to character in Film is astonishing. It’s awesome, but astonishing! Granted, the casting of Robert Downey Jr. was inspired and he IS Stark. In this, something for the most part, Marvel seems to get right… casting. Sure, Bale is great as Bruce Wayne/Batman. I know people have issues with his “gruff” voice when as Bats, but still… he’s the best to portray the character(s) in all of it’s incarnations. To this day, I enjoy reminding friends that after seeing the 2 plus minutes Nolan showed at Wizard World Chicago the year before “The Dark Knight” was released that I said “Heath Ledger will win an Oscar as the Joker” and this was 6 months before the man even died and without hearing a stitch of Dialogue. The footage alone spoke for itself. BUT… DC films suffer a MAJOR setback and that is the casting of female leads.
Katie Holmes, adorable, but not right in “Batman Begins”. Maggie Gyllenhaal, whom I personally like and think is sexy as hell, was NOT right for the role she replaced Holmes in. Marvel isn’t perfect either. For every Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johannson and Jennifer Lawrence, there’s a Kirstin Dunst. But at least Marvel HAS those bright spots. Green Lantern suffers from a weak Female lead in Blake Lively. Totally hot, sure, but she’s on a Teen Drama “Gossip Girl” for a reason. SHE LOOKS 19!!!! At no point did I take this girl seriously as a Test/Fighter Pilot or a Mogul of an Aviation company. I can name at least 5 other REAL brunettes I could have seen in that role before Lively… I won’t, but I’m sure you can too.
Let’s just say that Lively, while she didn’t completely ruin the film for me, she did make it a “like” and not a “love”. Angela Bassett was useless. Tim Robbin’s character was also pointless. They could have eliminated both roles and had Peter Sarsgaard’s character be the Scientist in-charge of the Alien autopsy from the beginning. There was NO need for that “filler”. They could have used that time to expand further on Hal’s time on Oa. I wanted more of that. I wanted more in what was going on in Hal’s world too. I like Ryan Reynolds. Been a Fan of his since “Two Guys, A Girl and a Pizza place”… YES, I liked that show. he has a great humor to him. I can’t wait to see him as Deadpool (the real Deadpool, not the Wolverine version”. I liked his Hal Jordan, cocky and funny, but I didn’t get to know him like I would have preferred.
DCU films are also suffering from the success of “The Dark Knight”. TDK was not just a great comic movie but a great movie alone. You take the superhero aspects out and you still have a great crime drama. The problem is, and I’m HOPING that Nolan remedies it with “The Dark Knight Rises” is he has removed the “supernatural/sci-fi” aspects to the DCU in his Bat-films. This removes any and all possibilities to connect this batman (be it Bale or another actor) to Superman, Green Lantern and whatever comes in the Future. To me, this is WB’s BIGGEST mistake. I LOVE the “Real World” take in the bat-films, but it also takes them out of possibilities. Perfect example. After the events in TDK, who better to hunt down Batman then Superman? Hell, a cameo by Big Blue in the Batcave warning Bruce of whats to come would be BRILLIANT. Bruce telling him “Don’t you and your little club have better things to do then come to my city and … blah blah blah” and him leaving. Instant connection. Marvel Studios… they know what they’re doing. I could easily see Matrvel eventually merging ALL of their films into a “Lord of the Rings” style trilogy of “The Secret Wars”. Avengers/X-Men/Spidey/Fantastic Four (The revamped one in the works)… the 3rd/4th tier characters I’m hearing willbe getting Shorts (ala PIXAR style shorts but Live Action) before new films, in ONE huge Comic film series. I do not put this past Marvel Studios to be thinking this far ahead. They’re throwing hints and clues and cameos in all of their films.
DCU films can’t even bring themselves to MENTION another city that is in their Universe. Shit, Have Wayne in passing cancel his trip to Metropolis and send his apologies to Luthor. SOMETHING! DC films are released by WB… they have control over this… it makes little to no sense that they couldn’t do this.
OK… I am totally rambling… In a nutshell:
Pros: Great effects, Ryan Reynolds was decent and I’d like to see more of him as Hal. Liked Strong’s Sinestro which BTW ((SPOILER)): Stick around into the credits. Duncan and Rush’s voice work and for what it’s worth, I liked Peter Sarsgaard too, but not ALL of his performance.
Cons: Blake Lively. The pace and script (not the story, it’s there, but the script was lacking). Blake Lively. Useless characters (Bassett/Robbins). Blake Lively.