Green Lantern (Martin Campbell) 2011
Production Budget: $200 million
Worldwide Gross: $219 million
It’s ironic that a movie based on a superhero who’s power is derived from his imagination, is so derivative and unimaginative. I also like producers are scrambling to cover up the lackluster box office of this movie by saying it is because the movie is based off of a smaller read superhero. Maybe it is because despite spending $300 million dollars on this movie, you still can’t make this movie any more interesting.
I was just bored sitting through this. I know when I’m bored when, in the middle of a movie, I stop focusing on the movie and try to think of all the ways the movie is losing me. Let’s start with the story. The story is a big ball of evil is coming toward Earth. That’s about it. Usually in better superhero movies, we have a a larger theme which gets us into the story. Spider-man has Peter going through his tough teenage years and all the struggles therein to become a better man. This latest X-Men movie was about the struggle for equality and a battle of ideals personified as Xavier and Magneto. In Green Lantern we don’t really get any of that. True in the story Hal is trying to fight his fears in addition to fighting a monster feeding off fear, but again there doesn’t seem to be any effort behind it. It doesn’t feel like Hal learned anything of value except to nut up and act like a man. It’s not exactly on par with “With great power comes great responsibility.”
Another thing which hurts this movie are the lack of compelling characters. To use other superhero movies as an example, in Batman you have Harvey Dent, Joker, Alfred, etc. In X-Men you have Xavier, Magneto, Wolverine, Cyclops, etc. Hal Jordan doesn’t have anyone to play off of. His villain is an expressionless ball of evil, he has no real friends, and his love interest is a cardboard cut out. I thought that void would be filled with other lanterns such as Kilowog, Sinestro, and Tomar-Re, but they are barely in this movie to provide any kind of personality. They also seem to tone down the usually wacky Ryan Reynolds
I did like when Hal actually got to use his powers. I don’t think the action scenes had too much tension behind them, but hey, at least something is happening. The lantern effects looked good and I liked any attempt to take the story into outer space (which had more interesting things than the dull Earth scenes). And also for $200 million for the production, the special effects SHOULD look good. Frankly I wouldn’t care if they made this at a quarter of the cost as long as it had a good story.
Now maybe I’m being too harsh on it. I’ll admit that. It’s true that I can’t look at this movie and tell you anything that is dreadfully bad about it. At best this is a serviceable origin story for Green Lantern. This movie introduces all the characters, establishes the universe, and does everything it can to get the franchise going. At worst, if you have seen ANY other superhero movie, then you have seen this one. This movie takes no chances, and follows every other cliché superhero script line for line and note for note. It is dull and uninteresting. By the end, I was not excited to see the further adventures of Hal Jordan, I was not interested to see what new villain was around the corner, and I was not interested in seeing this film ever again. I don’t think Green Lantern fans will really like this movie, nor do I think the general public will accept this half-hearted attempt at DC trying to shove their way into a genre already dominated by Marvel.