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Unsalvageable Wreck:

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Green Lantern
stars
Starring Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively and Mark Strong

lantern

GREEN-SCREEN TRAGEDY: The digi-effects of ‘Green Lantern,’ starring Ryan Reynolds, do not live up to modern technological standards in film; it all looks fake. Courtesy photo.

Pain. Sticky, sticky pain. There’s no other way to describe the messy, awkward and completely ridiculous experience that is “Green Lantern.” This is an ugly, damaged, unsalvageable wreck of a movie. The best of intentions horribly maligned—like a surprise birthday party that ends with the guest of honor suffering a massive heart attack. Their only goal may have been to give someone a thrill, but at the end of it all, the filmmakers are simply stuffing bodies into the morgue.

OK, maybe “Green Lantern” isn’t that tragic, but it’s pretty bad. A whole lot of talented people came together and spent $200 million to make an ugly, unrefined, poorly developed intergalactic adventure. Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is a headstrong, cocky test pilot who has the need for speed. His irreverent attitude and irresponsible nature is a crutch in his personal life and his career. Mainly because his employer, the lovely Carol Ferris (Blake Lively) is also his ex-girlfriend.

This wonderfully awkward and convenient situation is made even more difficult when Hal botches a mission and crashes a plane. Everything is looking pretty bleak for old Hal until he is snatched up by a blob of green light and transported to the wreck of an alien spaceship. There he meets Abin Sur (Temuera Morrison), a dying member of the Green Lantern Corps. The corps exists to protect the universe from evil. This is a good thing because there’s a giant turd, a brown-colored cloud of goo, that wants to wipe out life as they know it.

Hal leaves Earth and is transported to the planet Oa, home of the “Guardians of the Universe.” There he learns about the thousands of galaxies and alien races across the universe, each of them furnished with a sacred protector. Each come with a magical ring and lantern that harness the power of will. With this great power, they can create anything of which their imagination is capable. For Hal that means swords, guns, fast cars, bigger guns, fists and planes—because that’s pretty much all guys are capable of imagining.

We meet a few other Green Lanterns on Oa. Other than Sinestro (Mark Strong), they are little more than a collection of rubbery-faced, familiar-voiced digital puppets—all about as believable as a sock full of cock. The concepts and characters are interesting, but they are presented in such an idiotic, effortless way that I had a hard time taking any of it seriously.

The world of Oa looks so fake. In fact, most of the environments look like the worst kind of green-screen digital filmmaking. Even simple scenes like hanging out on a balcony look like they were shot on a soundstage. Even the emotions of Green Lantern himself are fake. Characters are given little if no motivation to do anything. The chemistry between Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively is not only not there, it is an all-consuming void that sucks the life from every scene it possesses.

Martin Campbell (“Casino Royale”) massacres the source material like a director who has never put together a big-budget Hollywood blockbuster. The most epic moments feel small; the most personal moments feel disingenuous. The job of character development is heaped upon the actors, and a couple of them do an admirable job of trying to salvage this shit storm.

Ryan Reynolds is a likable guy and does what he can, considering he’s saddled with some truly awful writing. Mark Strong is once again a strong, and consistent presence and creates the only other three-dimensional character in the film. Everyone else is just awful. Embarrassing, even.

The sole salvaging star of this review is given because of a handful of moments where we could almost see potential in the story. There are hints and glimmers, but they fade so quickly as the story moves from one predictable moment to the next. Eventually, the giant excrement cloud gets to Earth, and there’s a final confrontation between good and evil. By the end, I was rooting for the giant evil cloud. It would only be fitting that a movie this crappy would end with the world being consumed by a brown-and-yellow pile of filth.

The real battle here is the audience’s patience, and it’s a battle that will take every ounce of their willpower to not walk out of theater. Those who possess that much strength may not earn a ring, but they certainly will have earned my respect.


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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Sean

    June 28, 2011 at 2:06 am

    Your review is pathetic at best. You are clearly jumping on the GL hater band-wagon.
    I personally know at least a dozen ‘real’ people who have seen the movie & EVERY one of them used phrases as… “loved it”, “thought it was awesome”, “epic”, “can’t wait to see it again”. Most of them knew nothing about Green Lantern at all.
    Critics like yourself obviously have nothing else to do in life but nit-pick the hell out of movies. Maybe you’ve seen too many to even have a fair or balanced view of anything so maybe it’s not your fault, but if that’s the case you need to keep your reviews/opinions to yourself.
    I am not a hard-core fan of any comic book movie, but I know the histroy & story of Green Lantern & I was entertained from the beginning to the end of this movie. That’s all that matters to me & that’s what I pay $10 to see. Entertainment.
    If movies like this don’t entertain you, then maybe you need to get out of the house a little more often.

    • Braffy

      June 29, 2011 at 1:57 am

      You know the movie was plain awful, so instead of defending it, you insult the reviewer. Guess you’re just DOING YOUR JOB.

  2. Sean

    June 28, 2011 at 2:06 am

    Your review is pathetic at best. You are clearly jumping on the GL hater band-wagon.
    I personally know at least a dozen ‘real’ people who have seen the movie & EVERY one of them used phrases as… “loved it”, “thought it was awesome”, “epic”, “can’t wait to see it again”. Most of them knew nothing about Green Lantern at all.
    Critics like yourself obviously have nothing else to do in life but nit-pick the hell out of movies. Maybe you’ve seen too many to even have a fair or balanced view of anything so maybe it’s not your fault, but if that’s the case you need to keep your reviews/opinions to yourself.
    I am not a hard-core fan of any comic book movie, but I know the histroy & story of Green Lantern & I was entertained from the beginning to the end of this movie. That’s all that matters to me & that’s what I pay $10 to see. Entertainment.
    If movies like this don’t entertain you, then maybe you need to get out of the house a little more often.

    • Braffy

      June 29, 2011 at 1:57 am

      You know the movie was plain awful, so instead of defending it, you insult the reviewer. Guess you’re just DOING YOUR JOB.

  3. Braffy

    June 28, 2011 at 2:22 am

    Couldn’t agree more. Excellent review. Let’s hope Reynolds goes back to playing Deadpool.

  4. Braffy

    June 28, 2011 at 2:22 am

    Couldn’t agree more. Excellent review. Let’s hope Reynolds goes back to playing Deadpool.

  5. MRSV

    June 28, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    I do not see the big deal about Ryan Reynolds. Every review I’ve read about GL, whether trashing the movie itself or not, praises Reynolds. WHY?? He is Ryan Reynolds in every damn thing he appears in. I thought he was a poor choice for Hal–I couldn’t bring myself to care about where the character was coming from, nor where he was going. All I could see was Ryan Reynolds–because that’s all the “actor” was able to bring to his part.

    As for the film itself, it was bland, and underwritten. Every time Carol and Hal had a heartfelt moment, I found myself wondering what Lifetime movie I’d wandered into. Hector was ridiculous, and the fart-cloud of Parallax was a joke (and a waste of Clancy Brown’s thunderous roar). The only people who came out relatively unscathed were Geoffrey Rush, and Mark Strong as Sinestro. I sincerely hope there IS a sequel to this that follows the “stinger” at the end of the main credits, just so I get to see Strong’s character beat the holy hell out of Reynolds’.

  6. MRSV

    June 28, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    I do not see the big deal about Ryan Reynolds. Every review I’ve read about GL, whether trashing the movie itself or not, praises Reynolds. WHY?? He is Ryan Reynolds in every damn thing he appears in. I thought he was a poor choice for Hal–I couldn’t bring myself to care about where the character was coming from, nor where he was going. All I could see was Ryan Reynolds–because that’s all the “actor” was able to bring to his part.

    As for the film itself, it was bland, and underwritten. Every time Carol and Hal had a heartfelt moment, I found myself wondering what Lifetime movie I’d wandered into. Hector was ridiculous, and the fart-cloud of Parallax was a joke (and a waste of Clancy Brown’s thunderous roar). The only people who came out relatively unscathed were Geoffrey Rush, and Mark Strong as Sinestro. I sincerely hope there IS a sequel to this that follows the “stinger” at the end of the main credits, just so I get to see Strong’s character beat the holy hell out of Reynolds’.

  7. Kaydeeare

    June 28, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    I was ready to watch it again right after it was over! Quite frankly I think Ryan’s natural sense of humour was a great mix with the tough superhero attitude…and I’m not afraid to say he’s made one of the best superheros in a LONG time. Loved it, loved it, loved it!!

  8. Kaydeeare

    June 28, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    I was ready to watch it again right after it was over! Quite frankly I think Ryan’s natural sense of humour was a great mix with the tough superhero attitude…and I’m not afraid to say he’s made one of the best superheros in a LONG time. Loved it, loved it, loved it!!

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