“ Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy - Fantasy / Suitable for 12 years and over / Director: Martin Campbell / Actors: Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard ... / DVD released 2011-10-17 at Warner Home Video / Features of the DVD: PAL „
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2011 was a big year for Marvel Studios, with Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger and X-Men: First Class all wowing audiences worldwide. Not to be outdone, DC Comics stepped up to the plate with the cinematic debut of Hal Jordan, aka: Green Lantern. But did it pay off?
Green Lantern follows slacker-yet-somehow-military-test-pilot Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds), chosen by a mysterious dying alien to become his successor in the Green Lantern Corps, an interplanetary police force of exceptional individuals from across the galaxy, receiving a power ring that allows him to harness the emerald energy of willpower. Meanwhile, an ancient evil entity, Parallax, is released from his ancient prison and threatens to destroy everything. Can Hal Jordan master his new powers and earn the respect of his new comrades before Parallax annihilates the human race?
If this summary of the film seems confused and short on actual explanation, that's because the film itself is confused and short on explanation. This movie is simply a series of badly connected chance encounters that don't really fit together. While exposition abounds, it rarely actually explains anything, with many 'plot-points' resting on little more justification than "because the plot says so". As such, it's hard to relate to Hal or any of the other characters here, because we simply haven't been given any reason to care about them. There's also a bizarre side plot involving the current leader of the Green Lantern Corps, Sinestro (Mark Strong), which has no payoff other than a short post-credits teaser for a sequel that will almost certainly never come. This movie tries so hard to get your attention but it doesn't seem to understand that simply bombarding people with ACTION!!! and SPECIAL EFFECTS!!! is just not enough, especially when you're CGI is this terrible. There's also a really strange green/yellow lighting motif that persists throughout the movie which is incredibly distracting and serves no purpose. There are one or two scenes and set-pieces which are legitimately impressive, but for every one of those there are at least a dozen moments of simply jaw-dropping awfulness that make this movie a disappointing, incoherent mess from beginning to end.
In summary, Green Lantern goes all out and falls flat on its face. Hard. If you want to watch a terrible movie, go ahead, but this is so bad as to be almost insultingly bad, especially considering how much money went into making it. Definitely one to miss.
I have recently become a fan of green lantern comics (ok, i have 8 or so, i'm a new fan bite me), and i must say i am absoultely hooked to the story. When i found out there was a green lantern film, i had to see it. I have to say they have not remained totally faithful to the story of the original green lantern (im not a know it all, i just know some key details). For example, in the film Hal jordan is afraid, but fights his fear. In the comics he actually has no fear at all (well to begin with at least, he becomes afraid after he loses the ones he loves, and becomes afraid of losing).
Furthermore, the story behind paralax isn't completely true... he is supposed to be trapped in the battery supply of the core, and escapes by using Hal as a host, turning hal into a villian. Eventually hal sacrifices himself to stop him and reignite the sun.
Anyway, apart from these few details, i gotta say i enjoyed the film, i liked the CGI, i thought it was pretty good, but i couldn't help think that this film could have been a lot better if they stuck to the actual plot of green lantern instead of going off on a tangent slightly.
I also thought that they left out some of the coolest characters from the green lantern corps, and i was surprised that sinestro was a good guy, in the books he is a renegade lantern who using a yellow ring and becomes evil, but i must admit i don't know the whole story behind him yet, i am still new into the comics.
Overall then, this film is kinda a letdown. With recent hero films like spiderman, batman, avengers and so on, they could have done so much more with this you kinda can't help but feel that they fell short of the mark, mostly because rather than follow one of what i personally see as the best plots in the history of superheros, they decided to try to make their own, and it has failed as ultimately the writers of the film seemed to not fully grasp the story behind green lantern. Ok yes these seem like minor changes to people who do not know the story of the green lanterns, but believe me you can see that the writers of this film were sweating trying to get all the pieces to match, with variable results. For example, it should be the ring that speaks when giving information, the lantern doesn't just know is telepathically.
But anyway, i enjoyed watching it, but then i have an unhealthy fascination with the idea of their being an intergalatic police force, i can easily see how people would not enjoy this film, and the inaccuracies leads me to give this film 3/5.
I'm a fan of comics and their film counterparts, but I wasn't particularly fussed by the Green Lantern trailer. The boyfriend and I still went to see it at the cinema and we felt the same about it; it was okay, so-so, but seemed to appeal more to a younger audience.
The plot is fairly straightforward. We're introduced to test pilot Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds). Despite his life looking rosy, with his dashing good looks and equally shiny girlfriend, Carol Ferris (Blake Lively), a turn of events throws everything out of equilibrium. He is chosen by the 'Ring', a source of power within a literal ring. This is found amongst what appears to be a spaceship and a dying alien.
This ring is the source of the centuries old Green Lantern Intergalactic Corps' power. These warriors, for lack of a better word, are the good guys, defending justice and peace within the intergalactic realm. But the dying alien isn't a good sign; too many Lanterns are dying and their army-like strength is thus weakened. Why? Because of Parallax, an uber powerful and ugly guy who prays on fear and is intent on killing all Lanterns, unleashing chaos all over.
Enter Hal. With the ring comes responsibilities and he puts his scepticism aside to accept his mission. When he puts on the ring he becomes a powerful green lantern, in full lycra style body suit. He goes to the Corps in this intergalactic realm and none of the other Lanterns seem too impressed by this human. But it seems like he's their only hope: can Hal 'man up' and defeat Parallax before it's too late?
Okay, so rating this film really does depend on your liking of such a genre. Putting that aside, there are good and not so good aspects to this film. Let's start with the good; the cast includes Reynolds, which in itself may make it more appealing to some and he does a reasonably good job at being the charming, good looking guy turned superhero. He also portrays his scepticism and worry fairly well after finding the ring and learning about the Corps, which makes it a tad more realistic (afterall, if that happened to me I'd be signing myself up to seeing a Psychiatrist within minutes). There's also a sense this film being good quality and well-rounded, with good effects and scenes, making it a pretty film to watch.
The downsides, as far as I'm concerned, seem to evolve more around the general feel of the film; I got the impression that this was aimed more at younger audiences because of the style of language and humour. On the whole, I'm more of a Marvel fan than DC fan, and unfortunately this film just didn't improve my impressions. Although the plot sounds like something for 12 year olds, it could have been made darker and edgier, or at least more serious and believable, because comics aren't just a 'kids' thing. I thought this was a shame as it made the film harder to watch and be interested in. I also found the storyline and ending quite poor, but without having read the comic I can't properly comment on this or how closely it fits to what was written. It was also far too cheesy and unbelievable in parts, far too much of the film in my opinion, which again distracted from this being a good bit of entertainment. It almost felt like a tacky comic book meets Hollywood romantic mush, what with Reynolds and Lively. That brings me to my next irritant of the film; why did they pick Blake Lively? This definitely wouldn't have been in my top 10 of people to choose for this sort of film.
All in all, however, I was left feeling quite disappointed yet indifferent about this flick. DC fans may want to give it a go, and those who enjoy getting lost in fantasy, but for me it just didn't have that grip and edge to immerse and intrigue me.
Released 2011, running time 109 minutes, rated Certificate 12
Selling on Amazon for £9.99
In 2010, at the Los Angeles Scream Awards, Green Lantern won the 'Most Anticipated Movie' award; however, I'm sorry to report that it did not live up to it's high expectations. I have to admit I'd never actually heard of the superhero 'Green Lantern' prior to watching the film but let's be honest, 'Green Lantern' is a bit of a pathetic name for a superhero. In fact it just reminded me of the 'Dragonfly' in the spoof movie 'The Superhero movie'. In addition it was awfully confusing given that 'The Green Hornet' had recently been released as well as the titles are far to similar and the plot lines are essentially the same (as they are in every superhero movie).
I don't think it was the acting in this movie that brought it down, in fact the acting is quite good with Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively (Gossip Girl), Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong, and many other familiar faces. Personally, I think that there were far too many visual effects that did not enhance the action at all but made it all rather ridiculous and reminded me of 'Son of the Mask' which is basically about a ridiculous green dude doing stupid things. Ryan Reynolds plays Hal Jordan, the 'Green Lantern', and he has 'will-power' which he can use to create anything he wants in order to block his opponent and the producers could've made this very exciting. Instead, all Hal does is create a race track, a giant fist, and some brick walls, nothing too exciting about those. It's funny because when I look back on this movie all I can think about is the colour green. I just rememeber seeing flashes of green on the screen all the time and I didn't find the fight scenes particularly exciting.
The plot was badly developed as I didn't think that it was actually going anywhere and one hour into the movie Hal Jordan still hadn't done anything significant as the 'Green Lantern'. Everything started to happen at once near the ending and it was all rather rushed and not very well thought through. The 'bad guy' didn't have a prominent role in the film and therefore I didn't feel like the Green Lantern was protecting anyone since the baddie didn't seem to be much of a threat anyway. In my mind this is what happens in the movie: Hal fancies Carol (Blake Lively), Hal gets whisked away and becomes Green Lantern, Hal doesn't want to be Green Lantern, Hal becomes Green Lantern, Hal 'saves' the planet, Hal gets the girl, Hal runs off to save the Universe. I really don't think that there was a lot more to it than that.
In conclusion, I don't recommend this movie because the special effects are over-used and this lessens the quality of the movie, the plot is badly developed, the movie is very slow paced up until the end when everything happens at once. It is a shame because Reynolds and Lively make a good couple.
Another summer at the cinema, another comic book adaptation. Not being much of a fan of comic, the Green Lantern wasn't one I'd heard of before now. But given that a number of the comic book adaptations have been pretty good, especially in recent times with the "X-Men" franchise and the updating of the Batman, Superman and Spiderman characters, I figured it couldn't be all bad. And it wasn't, but it certainly paled in comparison to what has gone before.
Having been imprisoned by the Green Lanterns many years before, the evil being Parallax has escaped and is aiming to take his revenge. He succeeds in killing the Green Lantern warrior Abin Sur, who first defeated him. Abin Sur crash lands his spacecraft on Earth and sends his special ring out to seek his replacement. The ring finds Hal Jordan, a cocky, over confident test pilot, who certainly seems to have the lack of fear the job demands, but struggles with the physicality of the job.
Hal is taken to the planet Oa, where the Green Lanterns get together and he starts training. Unfortunately, there has never been a human Green Lantern before and he is derided, especially by the Green Lanterns leader, Sinestro. Meanwhile, having infected the scientist who did Abin Sur's autopsy, Parallax is heading for Earth to destroy it. Hal Jordan either has to convince Sinestro to help, or fight the battle to save Earth himself, whether he's ready or not.
It's tough to know where to start with this film, as it was pretty bad in almost every single aspect. The first issue I found was with the story, which wasn't substantial enough to support the film. The pacing of what is there is horribly off as well, as there is too much time spent looking at the relationship between Hal and Carol and not nearly enough time spent on the Green Lanterns. This means that the threats to Earth that Hal supposedly has to fight off and the training he'll need to achieve this are skipped over way too quickly. You never get the feeling that the Green Lantern has grown into the character he needs to be before the time comes where he has to be and the ending of the film itself is so blink and you'll miss it, that it's barely worth waiting for.
The special effects on the film, usually the best part of any action film, are also seriously lacking here. Many of the alien Green Lanterns look like they've either been put in very bad costumes, or drawn on by someone more used to working in cartoons. The Green Lanterns' arch enemy, Parallax is little more than a swirl and the details that film fans have become used to thanks to the advancement in Computer Graphic Imagery are absent. Some scenes involving Parallax look so badly done I wished this film had been a cartoon, as it would have fitted in better.
The acting performances, never a strong point in action films, weren't here either. Ryan Reynolds may look decent as a superhero, but that's about all he does, delivering his lines with all the emotion of the original comic book Green Lantern. Blake Lively as Carol is nice to look at, but there is never any chemistry between the two of them. Tim Robbins, who has put in some excellent performances over the years, is wasted here and seems to be largely going through the motions. For the second time in recent memory, Mark Strong as Sinestro is the stand out, although here, as in "Robin Hood", he's not got any real competition. His performance wasn't markedly excellent by any means, it was just significantly better than anyone else's here.
The one minor saving grace to the film was some of the script. Admittedly, it slowed down in all the wrong places and was completely wrongly paced, but it did deliver some good lines. Unlike "G. I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra", which seemed to be trying too hard to get the laughs, the jokes in the script here felt a lot more natural. Some of the moments where Carol and Hal are sniping at each other are snappily written and Hal's attempts to get the Lantern to charge his ring are quite amusing.
Apart from this minor saving grace, however, this is a poorly put together film. There's really nothing here to recommend spending money on it, either on a cinema ticket or for DVD purchase or rental when they become available. This is a film that will swiftly transition to the Sky Movies channels and it's best waiting until then to see it. Nothing here is worthy of seeing on a big screen or with an impressive sound system and there's not really a lot here to even recommend seeing it on a small screen either, but at least then you'll be satisfied in the knowledge that you've not paid anything extra to watch such a poor film.
Poor DC comics, they are masters of releasing quality straight to DVD animated films, but when it comes to live action movies they have failed to crack the market. Rivals Marvel has released a number of excellent movies based on their properties whilst DC only have Batman to show off. We had a Superman movie a while back which I found to be a snore fest (it seems like many other viewers share my sentiments as the next flick featuring the man of steel will be a reboot.) So the question is can Green Lantern prove that the caped crusader isn't the only DC game in town?
Although there has been a lot of hype surrounding this film the odds were not in its favour. Audiences must be suffering comic book fatigue after seeing so many superhero films in quick succession. Following up the brilliant Thor and X-Men: First Class was always going to be a tough task especially for a hero that isn't that well known outside of geek circles. I've heard a few people mistake Green Lantern for Green Hornet (who had a movie of his own not so long ago) and wonder what the deal was with the ring that endows him with superpowers. Does Gollum pursue him by any chance?
Like with many other superhero movies what we have here is an origin story. The movie starts with an alien named Abin Sur crashing down on Earth. Abin Sur is a member of the respected Green Lantern Core that protects the universe from evil. Before dying from his injuries he gives his ring, the source of his power, to a human fighter pilot named Hal Jordan. A short time later Hal is whisked away to the planet Oa (home of the Green Lantern Core and their leaders the Guardians.) There he trains on how to use his new powers although he isn't exactly welcomed with open arms as humans are considered to be a primitive race.
The villain of the piece is an entity named Parallax, a former Guardian who has been turned into a monster/cloud hybrid (oh great another cloud trying to consume the world, that worked so well in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.) Parallax was beaten by Abin Sur in the past, but has now escaped his imprisonment and sets his sights on Earth, because our humble third rock from the sun seems to be the place to go for budding alien invaders. The Green Lantern core are seemingly powerless to stop the fiend so can newbie lantern Hal get his act together and save his home planet? You'll have to watch the film and see.
Ryan Reynolds plays the lead role of Hal Jordan. Reynolds seems to be in demand when it comes to superhero films having previously stared in Blade Trinity and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Those two movies weren't well received and I am sorry to report that Green Lantern completes his hat-trick of sub-par superhero films. Reynolds himself isn't bad, but no matter how competent he is there is only so much a guy can do with the limited material he is given to work with. The same can be said for most of the cast in this film.
Hal Jordan is presented as a man wrestling with fear that stems from his childhood when he saw his father perish in a plane crash. We learn this during a sequence were he crashes a fighter jet after seeing a picture of his dad. The image triggers some painful flashbacks which makes me think that Hal isn't brightest chap in the world. Placing a photo of your pop, that triggers nightmares, on a cockpit is as clever as stocking the AA kitchen with booze. Hal's character arc in the story mainly deals with overcoming his inner demons and naturally concludes with a showdown against Parallax who feeds off fear. If he can overcome his issues he will grow into a better person, if he doesn't the fear that has plagued his life till this point will literally consume him and everyone he cares about.
Another example of Hal's fears come in the form of fellow pilot Carol Ferris (Blake Lively.) It seems like his fears of commitment may have ruined a budding romance they had in the past. Blake Lively is gorgeous, but aside from eye candy doesn't offer much else in the movie. She says a few wise words when the script deems it necessary and that is it. I didn't feel much chemistry between the Jordan/Ferris love story which was shame as it made the romantic portions of the film drag on. One of the biggest flaws in the movie is that is slows down whenever there isn't any action on screen. During these segments we have to endure uninteresting scenes dealing with relationships I don't care about.
Peter Sarsgaard plays Hector Hammond a scientist who performs an autopsy on the deceased Abin Sur. During the process he gets infected with a Parallax parasite that gradually mutates him into an elephant man look alike with telepathic and telekinetic powers. The film's finale is Green Lantern versus Parallax, but before that Hal has a few battles with the transformed Hector Hammond which are arguably more entertaining than the final battle (like the film that fight is hyped up, but what we get is ultimately forgettable.)
During Hal's training in Oa we meet fellow Lanterns Tomar-Re and Kilowog who are voiced by Geoffrey Rush and Michael Clarke Duncan (their alien characters are brought to life using C.G effects.) They seemed to be interesting personalities, but hardly got any screen time. Ditto for Mark Strong as Sinestro, Abin Sur's friend who cannot accept that his pal's ring is now in the hands of a human. Mark lives up to his surname giving a strong performance, but he only gets a few scenes. It feels like he is only there to introduce the character so they can use him in the inevitable sequel.
Green Lantern ends up being a disappointing film that will please no one. Fans of the comic will find that it does not meet their expectations and anyone else will likely rate it as a below average superhero film. It's not terrible, but it isn't something I would recommend to the average movie goer. Compared to other films in the genre I would say that it is more Fantastic Four than Batman. It has the ingredients to be something special with a good cast and some decent ideas, but it just fails to gel together.
The visual effects are for the most part decent. Green Lantern's suit that is made up of energy for the most part works, but his mask looks like it is painted on. I have no complaints about the action were you see some creative use of how Green Lantern's energy ring can be used to form constructs (like swords, guns and even race cars.) The sequences in space were also impressive so it was a shame that most of the film was set in Earth. I'm not sure if they did this to cut the cost of special effects or if they feared that people would not accept the heavy use of C.G. If they make a second film I hope they opt for a more galactic setting.
What makes the film a failure in my eyes is that although the action is entertaining, when Hal is out of the costume things get very dull. It did not learn the lessons of Batman, Ironman and Spider-man which had compelling stories whether the hero was battling his nemesis or dealing with real life issues under the guise of their secret identity. If you want to learn more about Green Lantern you are better served checking out the animated film First Flight. The supporting cast is more fleshed out, Hal's growth from human pilot to intergalactic hero is handled better and they weren't shy to shift things to outer space were the character works best.
Review originally posted on Ciao.
When it comes to comics, I'm a DC man; always have been, always will be. Yet you can't deny that when it comes to translating comics to the big screen, it's rival Marvel that has had the greater success.
Even when it comes to their smaller, less well-known properties, Marvel have made a better job than DC. Thor might have been big, dumb and stupid, but it was also good fun. On the other hand, DC's latest effort, Green Lantern, is simply a great big steaming pile of ... erm tripe.
Things don't start off well and then go rapidly downhill. Recognising that your average cinema-goer won't know much about Green Lantern, the prologue decides to give you a summary of the history of the Green Lantern Corps of galactic peace keepers. This involves throwing huge amounts of information at the poor unsuspecting viewer who has by this point only just settled into his* seat and is in no way ready for this onslaught of information containing so many weird names
[* Note: I apologise for the apparently sexist use of the masculine pronoun here. However, I am assuming that women will have far too much intelligence and taste than to go along and watch a film that is so patently rubbish. Mrs SWSt certainly did]
After thoroughly confusing the viewer in this way, we are introduced to soon-to-be-Lantern Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds). If things have started off badly, they don't get any better and any vague semblance of plot there might have been soon descends into one unholy mess. There's some guff about green being the colour of Will (and hence Good) and yellow being the colour of Fear (and therefore bad) and that's about all you get by way of explanation.
The plot makes little sense (although to be honest by the half way point, you will be so disengaged from the whole film that you will no longer care.). Individual scenes make some sort of sense, but try and put them together to form a coherent tale and you will fail miserably. It's as though each of the three scriptwriters were sent off to write a story in isolation, with only the briefest outline of what they should include. The Studio then appears to have chosen the best scenes from each, regardless of whether they actually fit together to form a coherent narrative.
The script also shows a distinct lack of imagination and follows the well-worn Superhero Origins film template: Jordan gets his new powers, Jordan is trained in using his new powers; Jordan flails around with his new powers and generally looks like a bit of a numpty; Jordan fights the bad guy with his new powers and wins. Hurrah. Cream cakes and back slaps all round. Can we please go home now?
OK, so you don't always expect superhero films to have fantastic storylines or great depth, but you do expect them to have a fair degree of excitement. Green Lantern fails on even this rudimentary level. Except for the very last bit of the film, set-pieces are sterile and dull, proving about as exciting as watching someone mow their lawn [my apologies if this really is your hobby. Have you tried therapy?] The outer space setting of parts of the film (the vowel-hogging planet Oa, home of the Lantern Corps) is boring and lacks the over-the-top pomp that was granted to Asgard in Thor. Earth settings, meanwhile, are as boring and predictable as ever.
Rumour has it that after seeing the initial cut, Studio Execs immediately handed over another eight million dollars to fix the appalling special effects. If that's true, I shudder to think how bad they were before. They do improve greatly towards the end and you have to give credit to the climactic battle with bad guy Parallax which finally generates both some decent special effects and a vague stirring of excitement. However, it's clear that most of the effects budget was saved up for this sequence, with the rest of the effects cobbled together from loose change raised from a whip-round amongst the crew (who were evidently a tight-fisted lot). Green Lantern's suit is particularly laughably bad, and his randomly appearing/disappearing mask an unintentional source of comedy.
The 3D effects have once again been badly implemented in post-production and add nothing to the film other than the amount of money which the producers can make from selling this great big steaming pile of ... pants.
If you're looking to the cast for some salvation, then you'll need to turn elsewhere. Ryan Reynolds looks like he is wincing with embarrassment at the excruciatingly awful dialogue he is forced to utter. He also seems to think that occasionally saying "whoa!" and "cool!" will somehow convey his enthusiasm for the role and persuade us that he's having fun. Needless to say, it doesn't. Blake Lively completely fails to live up to her surname as (possible) girlfriend Carol Ferris, turning in a performance that's so un-Lively that any passing coroner is likely to pronounce her DOA. Mark Strong as Sinestro has already turned red with embarrassment thanks to some ridiculous face paint and is a complete wasted of space, whilst Peter Sarsgaard does a standard unhinged bad guy turn. The main bad guy, Parallax (confused yet?) is some sort of giant spider/cloud combination with a face and tentacles. Although well-realised at certain points in the film, he is just too ridiculous to be scary.
So, join with me now in taking the oath of the Green Lantern Corps.
"In brightest day
In blackest night
Green Lantern is
A pile of ... erm, rubbish."
Now vow never to watch this film. Trust me: you'll thank me for it. Maybe not today maybe not tomorrow; but soon and for the rest of your life.
[Oh, and by the way, part way through the end credits is an extra little scene that's intended to set up a sequel. Two observations: 1) don't bother staying for it. It's not worth it and haven't you suffered enough already? 2) For the love of all that is holy, please have mercy DC, don't inflict any more of this trash on a poor, unsuspecting cinema-going public.]
Director: Martin Campbell
Running time: 114 minutes
© Copyright SWSt 2011