Repeat series day 9: I can’t believe I wrote 1500 words on the fucking Green Lantern. And I gave it a 3.5. A 2.0 would probably be the most appropriate response, right? I think I need to atone for this and write a Deadpool review.
(((RATING)))- “Green Lantern” gets 3.5-of-5 stars.
The recent Warner Bros. release “Green Lantern” is disjointed, cliché and would have benefited greatly from an extra 20-25 more minutes. “Green Lantern,” at least how it was portrayed in film, is a portrayal in the ambiguity of the differences between how a hero and a villain are created.
The movie moves very fast. It will take viewers through spans of 20 minutes where either conversations or actions will be unclear or under-explained, and follow those up with a grounding moment in which Hal Jordon (played by Ryan Reynolds) has a heartfelt conversation with someone making the film feel uneven or hurried in some instances.
“Green Lantern“ starts with an explanation of the origins of Green Lanterns, their use of the power of will, and the story of one lantern’s success in locking away an entity named Parallax (voiced by Clancy Brown) who uses the power of fear to conquer those who stand in the way of what he wants.
After the explanation, which may come off vague to those who aren’t fanboys or fangirls, the following scene begins with a trio of aliens who are scavenging a planet in the lost sector (the same planet in which Parallax is buried) after a crash landing. In the process of wandering the uninhabited planet, the trio of aliens end up falling into the cavern where Parallax lies, awakening the beast who consequently feeds off their fear to kill them and escape from its prison.
Abin Sur (played by Temuera Morrison), the original lantern to lock away Parallax, is travelling in response to the distress call of the trio of Aliens who crash landed on the planet in the Lost Sector. While in transit, Parallax attacks his ship.
Being the first real combat scenes of the movie (the three aliens who first confronted Parallax were essentially ceremoniously vaporized to set up Parallax’s dominance), they moved too quickly. The camera never seemed to stay on Abin Sur or Parallax for more than 1-2 seconds which creates a very uneasy, almost queasy response to the battle. While it can be argued that the fast nature of the battle, and the movie for that matter, ties close into the mentality and make up of its characters, in most instances it will come off as disorienting to the audience.
Ultimately Abin Sur escapes and crash lands on Earth with fatal injuries (as seen in the trailer). He tells the ring to go find a successor to him, and a little green orb fly’s out of the ring and off screen.
Insert Hal Jordon.
We first meet Jordon as he is scurrying out of his bedroom, late to a test flight. Eventually he makes it to the facility, only to be confronted by Pilot/Childhood friend Carol Ferris (played by Blake Lively). She scolds him for being late and reminds him of the importance of the test flight and the contract it could bring to their facility.
Lively is enchanting as Ferris and it noticeably has an effect on Jordon. In the scenes without Ferris, Jordon is brash and over arrogant. In the scenes where Jordon is opposite Ferris, he seems focused, receptive and unwillingly forthcoming.
Jordan and Ferris are testing the combat readiness of two intuitive planes without pilots. Jordan uses Ferris as a decoy so he can get a better position on the planes. After determining that he wouldn’t be able to destroy the planes with missiles, he flies above 50,000 feet and takes them out of the field of battle causing the planes’ engines to stall and fall down to their destruction.
The reason why this scene is relevant is due to fact it takes Jordon so long to eject from his plane. While falling he has fragmented flashbacks of a failed test flight where his father was killed. Ultimately he ejects and watches his plane crash to the ground.
Jordan is scolded for taking the planes out of the field of battle even though it showed the planes had system deficiencies. The loss of the planes cost the facility money which would have saved the jobs of many.
Jordan makes his way to a family birthday party with what seem to be his brothers (wasn’t explained). He walks in while the group is watching a news report of the fiasco at the testing facility earlier. After his brothers chastise him for being like their father, Jordan finds out that his nephew Jason has locked himself away in his room because of the news report.
After cheering up Jason, the Green Orb finally (and if you watch it, you will say finally) finds Jordan and takes him to the crash landed Abin Sur where Sur deems Jordan his successor.
After fleeing the scene with the help of Thomas Kalmaku (played by Taika Waititi), Jordan tries his best to figure out how to work the ring. Carol Ferris interrupts him and the two go to a bar to share a drink.
After sharing said drink and leaving abruptly, Jordan is confronted by a trio of people who lost their jobs at the testing facility due to his antics. While it looks like the group of men will easily beat up Jordan, he is able to harness the rings power to alleviate any concerns with the group. Afterward, Jordan is transported via a green orb to the Green Lantern home planet of Oa.
While on Oa, Jordan learns from Tomar-re (voiced by Geoffrey Rush about his current power, trains with Kilowog (voiced by Michael Clark Duncan), and butts heads with his new boss Sinestro (played by Mark Strong). Jordan, after learning of everything and feeling overwhelmed, quits and returns to Earth.
Back on earth, we are introduced to Hector Hammond (played by Peter Sarsgaard). Hammond lives in a dimly lit house and seemingly spends his time hovering over his science projects. A specialist professor at a local university, Hammond is detained by the government to analyze the body of Abin Sur.
In his analysis, Hammond is struck by ooze from Parallax which eventually (albeit slowly) causes him to become consumed by fear.
The next important scene is a celebration held by the testing facility because they landed the contract with the super planes (we later found out that Jordon’s antics helped the makers fix issues in the plane). After perusing through the crowd, Jordan and Hammond meet and reconnect. They were childhood friends because Hammonds father Senator Hammond (played by Tim Robbins), was involved at the testing facility when Jordan’s father was a test pilot.
Senator Hammond makes a grand exit in a helicopter. As the Helicopter increases, Hector Hammond looks hard at a part of the helicopter causing a beer tap to burst a fling into the rotator of the helicopter causing it to spin out of control.
Insert Hal Jordon (as the Green Lantern). He imagines the helicopter with a race car body and builds a one of those kid loop-de-loop race tracks and eventually saves everyone.
It’s at this point when everyone is finally introduced. Hammond gradually morphs into a vile creature that has similar capabilities to Jordan, Jordan becomes more and more comfortable with his role as a superhero, and Parallax makes his way towards the closest Lantern: Hal Jordan on Earth.
“Green Lantern” takes long to get into. Between the pace issues, the excess of characters, and the lack of exposition into those characters, it is hard to determine who is who and why things happened so quickly or in some cases slowly.
Once acclimated into the “Green Lantern” universe, it becomes clear the movie is speaking to certain points.
It’s clear from the very beginning Jordan and Hammond are both flawed individuals. Jordan is brash and arrogant while Hammond is envious and petty. The presentation of these two characters is at times so ambiguous that the viewer will pity Hammond and disdain Jordan. It isn’t until Hammond is consumed by what drives him that it is clear who the hero is and who is the villain.
Reynolds is not the typical super hero. He appears cocky and smug, and his actions as Jordan make him hard to get behind. In a currently fiscally conservative mass society (mass society meaning the broke people), viewing someone who in his early stages show no regard for another’s well-being makes them disinterested in that character.
What makes Reynolds performance as Jordan interesting, is his reactions after acquiring the power. From figuring out how to use the lamp to showing Thomas his outfit to surprising Carol Ferris behind her desk, he does everything someone would do once they were granted a power that vast.
The best way to describe “Green Lantern” is is “Over-edited.” According to IMDB.com the movie filmed from March 15, 2010 to August 6, 2010 which means the movie spent close to 10 months in post-production. If the movie had a bit more exposition, elongated battle scenes, and made the overall feel of the movie less abrupt then this movie would have been one of the best of the summer.
Think of “Green Lantern” as a comic book: a lot of cool-looking quality information on one page, a span of dead time in which the page is turned, and then some cool-looking quality information. Overall, “Green Lantern” is a decent summer movie.