Green Lantern

Posted by ron On June - 27 - 2011

No one including the Guardians are quite sure how the ring chose its wielder, maybe with great power comes great irresponsibility.

A compromised Intergalactic order entrusted a very flawed fighter pilot with a green ring that can will the user’s imagination into existence. Based off the DC comics’ property, the Green Lantern has been amended many times over the last 70 yrs. No longer a mystical warrior named Alan Scott in 1940 whose ring had a vulnerability to wood, Hal Jordan’s 1959 Green Lantern abilities are cosmic in origin. Despite the evolution of the character, the concept remained the same:  Courage and the will to act are vital ingredients that enable living beings to possess the ability to solve any problem or threat. Unfortunately the film chose to explore the concept through uninspired dialogue instead of depicting the necessary transition scenes that would convince the audience of a metamorphosis from a buffoon into a hero.

Emerald Dawn would have been a much better template for the Rise of Hal Jordan & Fall of Sinestro. Alas, no follow through and a hodgepodge of ideas

Surrounded by an A list cast, the script writers were pulled in two different directions as the interplay on Earth did not match up with the interplay on the alien world, Oa. As Hal Jordan, Ryan Reynolds’ charisma worked as an irresponsible, directionless flight jockey but lacked the substance of a Sam Sheppard to display the resolve that would sell how a character transitions from a quitter into a fearless hero. Reynolds in briefs achieved the strangest alien probe scene ever that was never part of the source material but rather as a demographic. As Hector Hammond, Peter Sarsgaard complimented Reynolds’ character as Jordan’s inferior polar opposite. As Jordan chose Will as his cosmic muse, Hammond chose Fear. A Yin to the other’s Yang in the midst of intergalactic war of emotional spectrum would have been a good introduction to the higher concept that we are not alone in our struggles to overcome obstacles. The emotion that each individual chose to overcome their obstacle in life not only defined who they were but also could have been the centerpiece for what was largely a group of characters with no direction in their lives. Alas, the actors were short changed by the studio’s greater interest in all the CGI effects that its reach overextended its grasp in telling a compelling story grounded by the acting talent at hand. Blake Lively followed January Jones in a list of vixens that had no material to work with. A shame for the actresses involved because comic books industry has come a long ways in terms of giving female characters some power and relevance to the story. Tim Robbins and Angela Bassett were along for the carnival ride. The first act’s labile characteristics don’t build up to the introduction of Sinestro played by Mark Strong. Sinestro’s importance as Hal Jordan’s mentor and ultimately the Green Lantern’s deadliest arch nemesis was undermined by too many characters and perhaps too many cooks in the kitchen of the studio.

Parallax might be Oan for paradox because it was intentionally created to retcon why Hal Jordan became a murderous killer. The movie version was completely different and failed to make the parasite's purpose any more simplified than the source material.

 

Like a marriage doomed from the start, the writing and director tried to mesh Emerald Dawn, an origin story that has been rewritten in Secret Origins to the prelude of the Sinestro Corps War. The script was uneven at best and won’t help any audience member should they decide to pursue the comic book itself. If the writers had a handle on Hal Jordan, they would have established why the most powerful side arm in the galaxy  chose him above anyone else in sector 2814 of the universe. Unfortunately they had neither an understanding of the source material or the character. As a result, Green Lantern was a film that was on par with Fox’s Fantastic Four, another bastardized adaptation that didn’t get any better in the sequel.

 

 

 

Green Lantern rates as a go-to beer if there’s nothing that strikes your fancy on a nice summer weekend. It’s not distasteful but it doesn’t quench your thirst either. Perhaps, you’re better off spending your money on the source material itself.

 

Cheers,

I'm serious with my coffee.

Ron

 

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Thoughts on Cinema is dedicated to film reviews. An uncompromising opinion on the intellectual, artistic, and entertainment value to the consumer. With rising ticket prices, we dedicate ourselves to present to you content regarding what you should or should not be viewing. -Ronald H. Pollock Founder and Editor in Chief

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