The first thing I want to say before I review this movie is yes, it took me a year to watch it. I have never been a huge DC Comics fan (I am a Marvel guy) but there are some characters that I do enjoy from the DC Universe and I was interested in the mythos of the Green Lantern Corps.
I have decided that I will not format this rant in a traditional review set-up, as I am not really familiar with any of the Green Lantern’s history or mythos, but I am going to look at it as a stand alone film and with unbiased eyes.
-The way that they established the three main characters of Hal Jordan, Carol Ferris and Hector Hammond was pretty well done. I liked the idea of showing them as children and one thing that really stood out to me was the trauma of Hal watching his father not just fail in the test flight but also that he died. It really did explain why Hal was the way he was and it also gave him that one tragic obstacle that all great heroes need to overcome.
– Mark Strong as Sinestro stole the entire show and was the most interesting part of the movie. His true stance, his motivations, his inability to act when Hal begged for help….it all created a desire in me to see more of the character on screen. He was basically presented as the face of the entire Green Lantern Corps and when he decided something, he spoke for that group.
– I did appreciate the attempted effort to “Marvelize” the film. What I mean by that is, I felt DC was strongly making a pitch to merge their properties universes when they introduced Amanda Waller. She was being used in the same format as Nick Fury was in the Marvel Movie Universe and they even did the little scene after the credits scene.
– Ryan Reynolds did a decent job in the role but he really shone as just plain ole Hal Jordan. I don’t know if it was due to being distracted by the costume’s CGI or what but I just found the normal unpowered Hal much more interesting.
– There was WAY too much going on in this movie than there needed to be. It felt rushed and the movie left me feeling unfulfilled. There were 2 villains and one “villain to be” to try and develop in one movie, plus a hero, supporting cast, Corps and mythos to develop as well. When the movie ended, I really did not feel like I witnessed an epic event as I did with Thor.
– I would have spread the 3 villains over three movie. Have the first film be all about Hector Hammond being the Agent of Parallax. He had huge power and could have carried the film on his own. It could have let Parallax been a slow build that covered three films. Introduce the Corps in the second movie, after having Hal make due with figuring things out on his own to defeat Hector. The second movie could see the Guardians summon Hal and he meets Sinestro. You could have then had the attempt to stop Parallax by Sinestro and his strike team, but do NOT show much of what the threat actually looks like. Sinestro and Hal could argue throughout the film and create the rift between them that sees Sinestro create the yellow ring and turn villain by the end. The third film would be the long awaited arrival of Parallax . Have it attack Oa and have Sinestro show up to assist Hal as he realizes he will at some point have to face Parallax on his own or be destroyed. I honestly felt that they felt “We may only get this one movie so let’s cram in as much as we can” which may lead to them only getting the one movie, ironically enouugh.
– I hate to rag on this as I am not a Green Lantern fan but I did find it distracting as to why he would build constructs that made no sense. Like a machine gun when the ring can fire energy projectiles, turning a helicopter into a race car or the springs under the oil tanker. It just made me wonder why did Hal choose to build those when he could have just used the ring in a more simple manner. As I say, I am not a GL fan and do not know if all of them build needless constructs and if they do, then I guess it is following the source material.
– The CGI ranged from “good” to “dear god no.” I thought they did very good work with Sinestro and the Corps but Parallax just looked way too cartoonish and non-threatening. It truly did not convey any sense of dread as it was just too ridiculous looking. Even if they would have had Parallax assume a more mortal form once in awhile, yes I know in a way Hector was his avatar but it did not feel that way, as they tried to establish him as his own villain with his own motives. The costume was also questionable. I liked the idea they went with of having the power of the ring coursing through the suit but….and I hate to dwell on this….but I hated the CGI mask. I have to give props to them for trying something new but it looked too flat to me.
– I kind of had the idea that the movie didn’t really know what type of film it was supposed to be, so it tried to be a little bit of everything. There was a true identity crisis within the film that kind of held it back from reaching the next level.
If I had to score this review, I do not know if I can. The film had it’s moments but I guess if I had to assign a number score it would have to be a 6/10 at the very most. There were some good moments and some that were not so good but Green Lantern did fall into the same category as Thor did as a movie, and that is it would be a hard sell to get the audience to buy into the character and their world.