Like many of you I was crazy excited about seeing the new comic book film adaptation of Green Lantern. Then all those terrible reviews started coming out that completely trashed the movie, which is pretty much what I expected to happen. I knew the film was going to have it's problems, I just hoped that it would at least be a fun movie that I could enjoy watching. Before I saw the film I asked our readers what they thought of it, since that's whose opinion really counts. The response I got back from them was more positive than negative, which re-sparked my hope in the movie. My opinion on the film falls somewhere in between.
Now that I've seen Green Lantern I can tell you that I actually enjoyed it. It definitely wasn't the best comic book movie made in the last few years, the film had it's problems, but I thought it was still fun. It think it was the most comic bookish comic book film that I've seen in awhile. Meaning that it carried over that same kind of comic book dialogue and feel that just doesn't translate very well to the big screen. The script for Green Lantern was absolutely terrible. I think there are a couple problems that the studio made in making this film. First, they brought in comic book writers like Geoff Johns who is the Chief Creative Officer for DC Comics to come in and help develop the story and script, to guide the movie in a certain direction. What Johns does for comic books is cool, but movies are a completely different beast, and basically he has doesn't know how to tell a story for film, he had no real experience with it. The other problem I see is that the film had four screenwriters including Greg Berlanti, Michael Green, Marc Guggenheim, and Michael Goldenberg, the majority of which came from writing TV series. I just imagine there were so many ideas and opinions going around, this shows in the final product. Then there is the director Martin Campbell, who I feel was influenced a lot by what the studio wanted to see in this movie. There's just nothing abut Green Lantern that says "This is a Martin Campbell film."
As bad as I thought the script was, there was still enough fun and exciting stuff going on to keep me entertained. Hell, the script in itself could be considered entertaining because of how bad it was. In the end I just couldn't contain my geekdom, I grew up reading Green Lantern, and seeing him brought to life on screen was simply cool for me. I thought the designs and effects in the film were pretty awesome as well, they came a long way from that first trailer that was released that got fans all hot and bothered. The effects ended up being pretty freaking polished.
As for the acting… Ryan Reynolds was solid as Hal Jordan, he basically played himself which is fine because I thought it worked for the role. Blake Lively was good as Carol Ferris, she looked great, but her acting really isn't anything to write home to mom about. Peter Sarsgaard is a great actor, and I was happy to see him cast as Hector Hammond, unfortunately his role fell victim to terrible dialogue and bad direction, I didn't care for how this character was portrayed at all. Then there is Mark Strong who is also a great actor, and I think he did a fine job with his portrayal as Sinestro. My biggest problem with the character was what happened during the post credits scene in the film, which didn't make any sense in context to the rest of the story. I won't spoil it for you.
To be honest there were really no surprises for me going into the movie, I knew what I was getting myself into, and from all of the trailer, TV spots and film clips I know what the basic story was and what I would be seeing. The only stuff included in the film that really wasn't already revealed was the actual ending of the film, and all of the different things that Hal Jordan creates with the ring throughout the film. Some of which are just completely ridiculous, such as a helicopter crash Hot Wheels track scene that was just silly beyond belief. That was pointed out to me before I saw the film, but actually seeing it unfold on screen…wow. Whoever thought of that should be fired.
As I wrote this review I've found that I have a love / hate relationship with this movie. I enjoyed watching it because as a fan of the character it was cool to see him brought to life for the big screen, but I also just wish the creative team behind the film could have written a better script, because that was it's major fault, and it's a pretty big one.
This is a film that's hard to recommend, I know some of you will enjoy it, and I know others will hate it. So the best advice I can give is to just see it for yourself to form your own opinion, and I think it's just a fun movie to watch on the big screen.