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Old June 19 2011, 04:30 AM   #105
Trekker4747
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Re: Green Lantern: Grading, Review, Discuss, Tracking, Sequel?

The Green Lantern

My Grade: B-

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I almost would swing to a C+ but I liked the pretty in it (Blake Lively) so there's that.

I'm not a fan of the Green Lantern so I know nothing about his origins or how things are "supposed to be" so my experience wasn't weighted with that anticipation or expectations, in short The Green Lantern serves as the origin story for the comic book superhero who possesses an alien ring that allows him to manifest anything he can think of and serves in a corps of 3,000-some aliens from around the universe all of whom are tasked with watching over and protecting a segment of the cosmos, a segment which can include thousands of galaxies, millions of planets and billions of species. Budget cuts, you see.

Like many superheroes start-out Hal is a bit of a screw-up in his normal life to the point that he's fired when he points out to an Air Force defense contractor that an airplane that has an operational ceiling of 50,000 feet before completely dying isn't a good idea but fate has it's ways and a dying alien member of the Green Lantern Corps has come to give Hal the ring to carry on his duties. Hal is reluctant at first and humans are seen as a "young" race compared to others in the corps they're none-to-happy too especially when Hal mostly shirks his responsibilities for most of the movie up until Movie Villain #267-B (Giant Space-faring Ball/Cloud of Evil) turns up to not only wipe out Earth but also to continue on to wipe out the Lantern's home planet too. With no where else to turn as their efforts have so-far failed the Lanterns decide to pretty much shrug-off part of their own code and embrace the "dark side" in order to defeat Evil, who can show the Lanterns the error of their ways and back on to the path they've followed for eons?

It's also interesting that MV#267-B crosses the cosmos from a remote sector of the universe to Earth in a matter of days but once Earth-bound it's somewhat sluggish.

The movie, for me, was mostly entertaining but it also plodded along and was bogged down by trying to cram-in The Green Lantern's complex origin story (namely the nature of the group he belongs to), his internal conflicts, his external conflicts (with a former, on/off girlfriend/life-long friend), then there's the origins of the movie's villain, his internal and external conflicts (wanting "the girl", daddy issues) and then our big villain in MV#267-B. There's a lot here and getting there has a lot of somewhat slow spots or places where time could've been better spent exploring all of these issues and plots. There's probably a couple movies worth of story here, this one could've been better spent on setting up Hal and TGLC with a somewhat smaller baddie, I don't think Hal needed to save the entire universe his first time out.

The special effects, for me, were mostly okay but anymore CGI in movies of this nature are beginning to look to busy and too cartoony, space is shown as too complex, colorful and busy, alien worlds are too vast, colorful, busy and filled with too much "oddity" none of it "worked" for me. The CGI suit I could take or leave. Ryan Reynolds does a better job that I expected from the trailers so I actually enjoyed him here, the rest of the cast aside from the previously mentioned female lead are mostly forgettable for me. This movie plays like a Cliiff Notes version of what the entire first season of a GL movie would be like.

I did not see this movie in 3D and I'm glad as I can see some plenty of places where the format would have been abused and overused to point of annoyance particularly in space and in alien worlds. And as a final note, the movie's creators have no idea how gravity works.

The movie is probably worth seeing, I saw it on a free ticket so no loss for me, but I think it'll be mostly forgotten as time goes on and won't quite rank with some of the better superhero movies that have came out even the last 10 years; if the movie gets a sequel it needs to pace itself and try not to cram so much into one movie. That was the problem here, it wanted the entire world in one shot and for that it had to make Hal save the entire damn universe.

If you look back at a movie like Superman The Movie you'll see that pretty much that entire movie is spent on Superman's origins, his rise to the public spot-light and him finally accepting and realizing who he is and what he has to do in order to be Superman. His big threat? Lex Luthor's pretty simple plan of detonating bombs in order to seize a real-estate opportunity and that plot pretty much only soaks up the last half-hour or so; the big villains and story doesn't come until the sequel.

Superhero movies need to step back to that line of thinking just a bit and try not to take the world all in one shot and explore things a bit while laying the foundation, hell look at Batman Begins (again, fairly small "big baddie"/plot" compared to the origin story) and then "The Dark Knight" (origin established, bring out the big guns.)

Slow. Down.

Fun movie, go see or don't, whatever. Barring a Rifftrax on this this Fall it's not likely one I'll see again or buy on DVD.
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