Saturday, 23 March 2013

Green Lantern

In brightest day, in blackest night... don't ever, ever watch this shite.

With a new Justice League film in the pipeline, I thought it might be interesting to revisit the 2011 Green Lantern - seeing as it potentially will tie into the DC universe in the same way that Iron Man, The Incredible HulkCaptain America and Thor tied into the enormous success that was The Avengers (or Avengers Assemble  if you're unfortunately like me and British). I had high hopes when I started the film again, thinking to myself: okay, it can't be that bad. That's what I hoped.

Green Lantern stars Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan, an army fighter pilot come daredevil come ladies man who, after encountering a fatally wounded alien, is entrusted with one of the greatest honours in the universe: joining the Green Lantern Corp. The film then its pretty predictable: Hal joins the Corp, doesn't want to be a part of it, but in true fashion American Style, finds the courage to save Earth and become accepted by his fellow lanterns.

Let's talk about the one saving grace of the film: Ryan Reynolds. I know he has done a few iffy films in the past (*cough* Just Friends *cough*), but I think he pulled off the role really well. He captured the hedonistic and fearless essence of Hal Jordan, and if he is to be included in the new Justice League film, then I am confident that he will do a great job.

Okay, with that done, let's get started with the bad things. Firstly,  I felt that the villain of the film, Parallax, was wasted. I'm sure there are die hard fans of the comics that would argue that this was an accurate portrayal of the yellow entity, but to me, it looked like a form of explosive diarrhoea with a head - something that most hungover people think is arguing with them when they void their bowels on a Saturday morning. Another problem with the film other than 'Space diarrhoea Godzilla', is that the film is too short. The personal struggle of Hal coming to terms with taking on this immense task is highlighted but never fully developed, meaning that there is a lot of wasted potential. I'm not saying that the film should mirror the same personal conflicts that we saw in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, I just felt that Jordan's story was never real enough for the audience to connect with him. When you watched Nolan's films, they hurt; you felt Bruce Wayne's struggle. In this, however, it feels as though it doesn't even try.
I know it's a film and I know that there isn't a green army of space police watching over the universe, but if this happened to any normal person - I mean a purple alien giving you a ring that looks like it came out of a cracker and asking you to join a secret band of space warrior - I am sure the response wouldn't be to just accept that this is what you must do. But in this film, it doesn't seem to phase Jordan, even when he is on the alien planet Oa being trained by Kilowog (voice by the late and great Michael Clarke Duncan). If someone I know asks me to do them a favour, I even have to think whether I can be bothered, let alone doing something on the magnitude of joining the Corp.

If this had been the first official film in a Justice League saga - in the same way Iron Man kicked off The Avengers Phase One, then I wouldn't be holding out much hope. I'll admit it's not the worst film ever, but with a poor script and flimsy plot, not even a magic power ring could make it better.

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