Review: Green Lantern

So anyone who follows my Twitter account should by now should know how I feel about this film. The original comment I tweeted post my viewing still stands and I’m going to be as blunt about this as possible; The Green Lantern is possibly the worst film I’ve seen at the cinema since Transformers 2. It’s a soul sucking void, about as interesting as watching A Good Year in slow motion. Whilst it’s painfully obvious Marvel hasn’t gotten the hang of the whole comic book to film adaption thing, D.C thought it was a good idea to use Marvel’s recurring failures as a diving board to plunge deeper into the pool of abominable filmmaking, nearly hitting its head on the bottom of the pool.

The Green Lantern follows the story of Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds, although it could of been played by anyone with nothing better to do by the amount of effort Reynolds puts into his performance) a rebellious, danger seeking pilot with a dash for misanthropy (sounds familiar yet?) who is bestowed with a green ring that allows him to create anything in his imagination through the power of will which he must use to fight off yet another imminent alien invasion. There are numerous reasons I disliked this ‘film’…

1) The Hero: Ryan Reynolds manages to make Hal Jordan the most unappealing superhero in the history of film. Not only is he bland but he’s randomly misanthropic and then he delivers every single joke or punch line he’s given with about zero effort. Every joke falls flat on its face, not because it’s a bad joke but because Reynolds puts no effort into it. Shooting could have continued with or without his presence. During the obligatory moment of human emotional turmoil that all heroes have to mandatorily go through, I felt nothing but disdain for his character and if I can’t like the hero how on Earth am I meant to like anyone in this film?

2) The Villain(s): There are two villains in The Green Lantern. The obvious pawn villain and the master villain who ultimately accumulates to something of a gelatinous blob of brown and orange that slugs its way around the Universe like some sort of single cell organism. There is absolutely zero motive to attack Earth and absolutely zero motive to even exist. It’s just there to add some form of dramatic climax to the film. Despite the way the film manages to make it seem like some unmovable force of pure evil, it really doesn’t take that much of a beating. But on a slightly nit pickier note – the pawn villain looks like Victor Crowley from Adam Green’s 2006 exploitation masterclass Hatchet, hindering me from taking him seriously at all, not even in the slightly. In fact his presence was usually greeted with rush of hilarity.

3) The Female Lead: Just stands there conforming to the idea that all women in films are just rewards for the male to take once they’ve achieved their goal. No emotional depth or chemistry between her and Reynolds. It’s almost like the first female he encounters in the film is instantly the love of his life.

But overall Campbell’s inability to dive a little deeper is the true tragedy. So much back story is touched at and even talked about, yet none of it is ever excavated. The film is just some hollow shell full of money and 2 bit SFX. If the film had a slightly more robust core I could possibly attempt to forgive some of its downfalls, but with nothing to fall back on, there’s nothing to care about, making its flaws even more obvious.

The Green Lantern is a hollow, boring, soul-sucking explosion of nothingness. Instantly forgettable and that’s probably the only nice thing to say about it. Take a leaf out of Ross Kemp’s book and “get out of there before it kicks off.”

12A certificate

Review by LiveWire Young Film Critic, Jay Crosbie (July ’11)
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