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Movie Review: Green Lantern

Prinz Lee image

Prinz Lee wrote this review 5 years ago

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Ok, so this bad excuse of a film will finally hit theaters this weekend, and for all the hype it caused during the last few months, I always had a mindset about how awkward I felt regarding visuals versus bits-and-pieces of dialog presented during trailers and/or TV spots. Something didn’t feel right, and after having had the opportunity to watch this particular movie, I whole heartedly regret all the energy I placed in promoting what I feel is one of the most mediocre superhero movies I’ve ever seen. I mean, I’ve seen some bad ones (I.e. Ghost Rider), but this piece of possum shit had to be among one of the worst!

For starters, when presented with the opportunity to promote a 10 city screening, I felt good because not only would it spark interest and generate more hits for the site, but it would also allow us the opportunity to have worked our VERY FIRST COMIC BOOK-BASED movie since the site’s been active. I’ve worked lots of action films, horrors, and a few comedies, but never have I handled a hero-based flick that generated over a thousand inbox messages in a matter of two days. It was a bit overwhelming, but reading up (or trying to because it was impossible to read them ALL) on everyone’s interest answering my questions was fun and opened my eyes to who’s out there, what’s being watched, what others are into and how the level of “geekness” isn’t too far from mine.

I chose my winners and also pushed to have some folks I know and work with uniquely tagged to individual screenings across the country. The signs of this stink-fest started as my hours of work and “Team Lee” began nose diving one by one! It also led to a few winners emailing me about not being able to attend and if their emails can be saved for another screening (generating last minute cyber-run-arounds with others who had submitted), as well as friends who had screened it prior to me reporting on their disappointment. (Sigh) I’m bald as it is and pretty easy going, but I think I lost skin on my head (aside from all the hair I already lost) due to all of the stress and work that went into this prior to screening dates, as well as the see-saw feeling knowing I might not like this movie. Guess what? I was right! Well, I didn’t hate it, but my God, it was nothing more than visual porn (or to a degree tried to), but lacked so much structural substance, I’d rather suffer from a stomach virus instead of ever watching this vertigo-like experience of a movie again.

This film had ALL the elements to make it work! Ryan Reynolds is one of the best Hollywood has to offer, and makes a pretty cool Hal Jordan. The overpriced space epic mythology of the Green Lantern Corps is sort of there, and even the shitty CGI costumes didn’t look THAT bad after a while, but all and all…I thought this was bad! It’s not horrible bad, but there comes a point where you’re just getting lost amidst all sorts of forced semantics. I think there’s enough stuff in Green Lantern to keep the movie afloat and somewhat enjoyable, but the film flops in the moments that COUNT THE MOST—drama and organic characters. And I can’t help but feel that the problem stems initially within a soft script and a director who just has no IDEA what movies like this need—Casino Royale is a totally different monster!

One of the biggest issues with this movie is that it’s not enticing! It’s not engaging! It’s a flat-line which never seems to steer up! The Green Lantern universe is introduced to help those who aren’t familiar with it—The Guardians, Oa, the green energy of power, the yellow energy of fear, the Corps, alien species etc—but it remains still on screen. Green Lantern is a standard style superhero movie with a little fancy Sci-Fi entrapment that didn’t amount to much beyond fan-based service. It’s the sort of movie where you’re told that the guardians are ancient, powerful immortals for example…and that’s it! However, we then see a whole bunch of them killed off by the evil Parallax, which sort of shits on everything we’re told!

Following that freeze-frame mentality portrayed in Green Lantern, there are folks out there who have issues understanding elements of showing something, rather than telling when it comes to films, and one of those folks is Mr. Director (Campbell) and his crew of writers! The movie opens with some space CGI stuff which was a bit over-the-top, and Geoffrey Rush (one of the film’s saving graces) narrating a history of the guardians and the Corps, which is not raping the element of show. The same would go for Hal Jordan. The movie gets it right as well in the beginning when showing us Hal’s a badass pilot who is willing to destroy his own plane to win. And that’s cool because it shows us his character, and it shows us why he’s a dare devil. However, later the movie decides that showing any aspect of Green Lantern’s arc is too time consuming, so it just TELLS us everything for reasons that I believe make no cinematic sense, and translate to nothing more than insecurities when balancing a bridge between worlds.

With all that links to Hal, the Green Lantern way of life, Hector Hammond, Sinestro etc. nothing seemed to have worked—at least for me. This branding of bullshit approach continues throughout the entire film, leaving the feeling of emptiness/aggravation living within me from one scene to the next. Other than the Justice League and what I picked up in the past, I was looking to recap and/or learn more about one of DC’s most prominent heroes, but it was such a let down, I couldn’t find any compromise between the moments I found pretty good and those which just dropped. The action behind it was ok, and what I noticed is how much of it was left towards the end. Was the approach just to juice up the audience and have them talking about the film once done? Perhaps! Will it work? I don’t know. We’ll see what happens this weekend at the box-office!

It’s also worth noting that Green Lantern has possibly the worst score of any movie in my memory bank. If the weird flatness of the film isn’t enough to make you run to the bathroom and shit your brains out, the out of balance between material, setting and music was totally off too, adding to my disappointment.

I guess aside from SOME of the action, at most, I also enjoyed the players (Reynolds, Rush and Sarsgaard) along with some of the F/X, but what this movie needed was a director who understands, respects and knows how to translate the material. I’ve often said only a true devotee to this kind of genre can nail it—especially when based on comics—but in an era of money rules all, I guess this won’t be the last time we’ll see a hero-based film suffering from “IDontGiveAFuckitis” in order to bank off a genre which lures in truck loads of people and money. If anything, the only thing DC Comics has in their ranks of great story-telling among their heroes is Nolan with his reinvention of Batman a/k/a The Dark Knight.

There was a lot of potential in this movie, almost all of it flushed like last night’s dinner! At this point, the best I can hope for is that the movie earns enough (Over $80 Million) to green light (no pun) a sequel and somebody else can come in and make a good Lantern film utilizing the excellent existing elements—especially knowing Sinestro becomes one of Green Lantern’s enemies! The structure of this movie is a disaster, and from what I see, this film will stand as an acquired taste. I’m sure it’ll have its fanbase, but I’m thinking it’ll be really small considering the low level stance when piecing it together.

The difference between MARVEL and DC is that MARVEL seems to take their projects a wee bit more serious. Yes, they’ve had their flops (I.e. Fantastic Four, Ghost Rider, X-Men: Last Stand), but they always seem to learn from their mistakes and tend to rehash their golden nuggets. You may or may not agree, but truth is the quality of films/numbers prove it, and unless it’s Batman, DC has nothing…the last piece they banked on (Superman) didn’t really show much strength. Overall, there are few on the list of hero-based films coming up, and it’s sad to say Green Lantern will be one of those easily forgotten films—especially due to its “Summer Block Buster” push and release.

In conclusion, I’m grateful for it having raised hits on the site, and regarding my feelings…oh, well, my name’s “Prinz” Lee Romero and I approve this review! BRING ON CAPT. AMERICA!



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