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Green Lantern


Superhero comics, for the most part, are not generally known as having the most complex and multifaceted plots. Deus ex machina is rampant with constant reincarnations or subtle realizations of weaknesses that allow for the defeat of the villain. To be clear, I am not denouncing this practice at all. What I am saying though, is that Green Lantern takes deus ex machina and forgets to explain the sudden plot twists at almost every turn.

Grade:

Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is a supremely talented, but immature pilot chosen by a powerful alien ring to join an intergalactic peacekeeping unit called the Green Lantern Core. There is obviously more to it than that, such as the girl, Carol Ferris (Blake Lively, the human villain, Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard) and the “you’ll never be good enough” mentor, Sinestro (Mark Strong), but the plot is made irrelevant very quickly.

The reliance on CGI is made evident from the get-go considering there isn’t a human face for almost ten minutes. Lantern might as well have been an animated film for all intents and purposes. The effects, while fun and enticing, don’t distract the audience away from the abysmal writing of the film.

There is a fine line between letting the audience interpret important details independently, and confusing the hell out of them. Lantern, whenever the characters need to discover something on their own, simply gives Jordan and others the powers or know-how to succeed with a complete disregard for explanations. The first, and most blatant, example is the power of the ring. Jordan is told from the dying Abin Sur (the previous owner of the ring) that he must recite the oath to access the powers of the ring. Obviously, Jordan has no idea what this means or what an alien oath could entail. Fear not, for the simple touching of the ring to the lantern gives him the knowledge necessary to complete this task. This sort of mind-boggling lack of innovation and creativity continues for the rest of the film – a college building emblazoned with “SCIENCE BUILDING” on the side, seriously?

There are moments, especially during the flight scenes that I was reminded of Hot Shots, except Lt. Topper was a much better character. Lantern plays more as a parody of superhero movies trying to contend with the solid work of the Marvel movies. We even get a mention to the ridiculous idea that covering his cheekbones would protect Jordan’s identity from those he holds dear. The magical, spontaneous ability of the ring to give Jordan the history of the Core and his extremely high learning curve to use his “imagination” continue the farcical nature of the film.

Sometimes it is clear that filmmakers feel the audience is moronic and needs explanations to everything. It may get annoying, but it rarely gets in the way of enjoying a film. When the film deliberately avoids explaining key plot points, it begins to get insulting. I only knew of the Green Lantern character from Justice League cartoons and genuinely was intrigued by him. Green Lantern finds a way to quell this intrigue and absolutely destroy any chance of a worthy reboot in the next half-decade or so (much like the Bana Hulk ruined the Norton Hulk).

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  1. Perhaps the worst superhero movie to hit the big screen since Catwoman, The Green Lantern proves that DC cannot adapt their superheroes into films (outside of Christopher Nolan’s Batman series). Nice review.

    • Thanks! It is kind of amazing how big the gap is between DC and Marvel films (excluding Nolan’s inputs).

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