A strange subheader for this review, folks, as we take a look at the recently-opened release Green Lantern. In grandest summer movie, comic book movie fashion, it’s shiny, it’s loud, it cost a fortune, the purists will probably hate it and it’s thoroughly mediocre.
Green Lantern joins us with test pilot Hal Jordan, son of a test pilot, who just showed up some automated jets that were going to get a federal contract for the area worth millions. But rather than dwell on the failure his ego wrought, he instead finds himself on the receiving end of a dying alien’s last wish, to induct him into the mythic Green Lantern Corps, a society of policemen created by immortal aliens who worship the power of will. Its immediate rival, the power of fear, has managed to find an inroad onto Earth, however, and that’s going to leave Hal Jordan in the position to defend not only our planet, but the entire universe in the process.
If that paragraph sounds like a lot to take in all at once, that’s largely because it is a lot to take in all at once. And it’s probably too much for a two hour movie, too. Remember the Green Lantern story spans dozens, if not hundreds, of comic book volumes, not to mention decades. So if the end result comes off looking disjointed and poorly planned, well, that shouldn’t be a surprise. Rather large plot threads will be assembled and then forgotten about for much of the movie, ostensibly to be “saved for the sequel”, or given a brief shout out in the end credits (and I hate when movies do that), which there will almost certainly be. Trying to pin down the movie’s main villain is a master-level philosophy exercise, because that which probably should be the main villain only gets about twenty minutes of screen time total, which shouldn’t be a main villain at all. Seriously, I don’t know when Green Lantern’s arch nemesis became the nefarious Dr. Phoneitin, but it’s not a good sign overall. Oh, and every time I saw Peter Sarsgaard as Hector Hammond I got vaguely disappointed that it wasn’t Brad Dourif. Because Dourif would have owned that role.
You’ve got to hand it to this movie for sheer loud. Everything is bright, shiny, and heavy on the green–which is exactly why I called it “the worst prom dress ever”. Seriously, this thing’s greener than Burrito Night on the Titanic. It’s fun, sure–at least, parts of it are–and the CG is as awesome as advertised. But as we all know, good effects can’t save a truly godawful script, and this certainly was powered by one. Considering the ring’s power is limited only by your imagination, why they couldn’t have imagined up some coherent plot connections is utterly beyond me.
So when you take absolutely pretty and stack it up against clunky and poorly assembled, the end result is probably pretty clear.
The Screenhead Ten Scale is looking a little green around the gills itself, so I’ll pass on that it’s calling Green Lantern a five out of ten for being great in some respects and truly horrible in others. When a movie takes it for granted that there will be a sequel like this one does, it just makes me cringe a little inside.