This (reported) $300 million abomination represents every misstep that Hollywood tends to make when launching a franchise.
Based on the comic book series, this film shows little of the talent of director Martin Campbell and instead, feels like it was directed by the studio.
The film opens with several minutes of exposition which explains that the Green Lantern Corps are essentially intergalactic space cops.
They use green energy infused rings, powered by willpower. Green represents the ability to overcome fear, while yellow rings are fueled by fear as opposed to willpower.
The story is essentially a poor retelling of Joseph Campbell’s The Heroes Journey, with lots of CGI aliens (who are onscreen as long as the budget allows) and a bad guy named Parallax, which is essentially a giant yellow turd with a face which sucks out the skeletons of people making itself more powerful.
One of my pet peeves in comic book movies is when the introduction of the fantastic in an ordinary world doesn’t receive an appropriate or adequate response. The arrival of both Green Lantern and Parallax doesn’t seem to offer much of a reaction (except when Parallax sucks out people’s skeletons. Then, they scream).
Characterization is inconsistent and it’s often pretty hard to buy into an intergalactic world that looks like a screensaver.
Ryan Reynolds tries his best to be a movie star and unfortunately, his too close eyes are the focus as his digital mask draws attention to it. Blake Lively appears to have trained under X-Men: First Class‘ January Jones, delivering a performance that’s as exciting as stereo instructions. Appearances by Angela Bassett, Taika Waititi and Tim Robbins are all wasted by a lack of material. Peter Sarsgaard having adopted the look of Dennis Franz, plays a socially misfit scientist and the awkwardly cast son of Tim Robbins’ character who is mutated as the result of Parallax. The character, who is one of Green Lantern’s rogues in the comics, just mugs creepily for the camera without servicing the plot in any capacity. Mark Strong gives a solid, albeit too brief performance as Green Lantern Sinestro and his actions during the credits establish him in a larger role in the most likely upcoming Green Lantern 2, despite no reasons for his actions except that’s what they did in the comics.
Green Lantern represents the first film in an attempt to develop the DC canon of characters (as replacements for the soon-to-end Harry Potter franchise) and is an uninspired, exposition heavy, soulless and frankly, dull film (in post process 3D!) that plays like a rehash of every comic book movie that’s come before.
Especially the bad ones.