Review - Green Lantern

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Review - Green Lantern

Post by Darkwing on Sat Jun 18, 2011 4:48 am

Green Lantern
Starring:
Ryan Reynolds
Blake Lively


Introduction
The best way to describe Green Lantern is being somewhere in between the quality of the first trailer and the second. It’s not as awesome and well put together as the second trailer is, but not as bad or as corny as the first trailer. What this essentially equates to is that Green Lantern is simply an average superhero movie, with average superhero plot points and a cross between really stunning effects and really poor effects.

Acting
Despite a bizarre mashing of average plot points, Ryan Reynolds actually makes a really good superhero. His primary conflict of course is with himself and an internal struggle he fights between running away or being fearless. Reynolds is able to do quite a bit with this and portrays his inner turmoil quite well. He also is able to keep us entertained when he’s not being a Lantern with his mix of semi-comedy, semi-suave and semi-normal cool guy. However, the only downfall with this is that this seems to be the type of role Reynolds seems to be known for and you can sense a bit of type casting on his part. His weakest element would be the love, he just doesn’t feel it and it comes across very poorly on the screen, making the element very useless and simply taking up screen time.
Blake Lively was an odd choice in my opinion to play the role of Carol. She doesn’t really display much for acting talent and simply comes across as very cold and in a lot of ways, fairly monotone. There is very little going on for her character and she doesn’t even seem to really be trying to make anything of her character, even though she’s supposed to be the primary love interest with this turbulent past with Hal Jordan. Her character simply feels as if it were there so that Hal could make his first appearance on Earth as a Green Lantern, other than that, her character could have easily been either re-casted or simply scrapped altogether.
Peter Sarsgaard plays the “human” villain for this rushed superhero insecurity film. If anything, the character of Hector Hammond has the most character to him. He’s like Hal, only worse and so it does make an interesting character dynamic for them to each be facing the same problems, but solving them in different ways, ultimately leading up to a showdown between Hal and Hector. Hector really gets the best character moments in the movie, however it still does feel just a bit odd watching them, almost like it doesn’t fit for some reason. It’s good and all, but something just isn’t jiving too well. Part of it might be some of the convenient scenes that occur to lead up to the climax, along with the fairly disjointed plot.

Cinematography
The key thing with this movie is when it’s cool, it’s really cool. When it’s not however, it simply isn’t. If this movie does have anything going for it, it’s the very stunning depth to the 3D. You really do get immersed in this world of imagination and largely in part to the really fantastic job they did filming this in 3D. They try to avoid things like shaky camera movements which generally are the cause of head aches in 3D films along with using a lot of long shots to really give the feelings of the deep expanses of space and whatnot. Overall, the camera shots are pretty good, though there are a few shots that will really make you snap back to reality and say “why on earth are we looking up his nostrils?” Aside from that, it’s pretty solid on that front.
The music is sort of average for this movie, a mix of this rock-ish orchestral thing composed by James Newton Howard. Unfortunately, with a name like that, I was expecting a somewhat more impressive soundtrack and I feel a little underwhelmed by it. It fits the character of Hal quite well, but it’s nothing really noteworthy. The sound effects however are pretty cool for this movie and fit the inventions and energy of the ring. The soundscape is overall pretty well done and helps with some of the outer space aspects of the movie.
One of the main elements for this movie is its extreme usage of CGI, which for the most part is really cool. However, you can tell where they didn't bother to update the effects after the uproar after the first trailer and it does look very cheap. When it does use the more updated look however (seen in the second and third trailer) it is very very cool, which is a theme with this movie. Whatever is cool, is really cool, whatever isn't, just simply isn't.

Story
Definitely the weakest element of the movie and it has potential up until one line; “doesn’t the superhero always get the girl?” After that line, the movie just falls back into superhero cliches and pretty much ruins any chance of its original potential. The first half an hour of the movie is fairly boring, despite the rapid succession of plot points. Most of the plot feels as if it is simply there out of necessity and that not much for creativity was put into it. This movie had the potential to break out of a mold, however it falls into being a very rapid, shallow and disjointed/confusing plot. The backgrounds to Hal Jordan is rushed and feels very much like it doesn’t belong, along with a lot of open ends like “who is this person and why do they only have one scene?”
That being said, Hal is pretty much the only character to be given any background and even then it’s rushed and meaningless. The rest of the characters have either no background, or such tiny ones that they shouldn’t have even bothered to have mentioned it in the first place.
One of the redeeming factors is though the plot is very rapid, it at least takes us on a journey of sorts and Hal definitely does not end up the way he started, which is good. However, the thing that brings it down is again the cliche factor in that where Hal ends up is basically where every superhero seems to end up, with a few exceptions like Batman in Christopher Nolan’s Batman series. Ultimately, what this story needed was less failed and cliche attempts at building character and more fights and usage of CGI as that is really what this movie is geared for. It could actually have been a highly enjoyable story if there had actually been less story and more focus on the smaller elements, instead of cramming a lot of events into a two hour plot that simply makes the movie feel very short.

Conclusion
If you come at this movie with no expectations, you will probably find it a fun and relaxing film, as long as you can sort of ignore the character moments and just wait for the Green Lantern bits (which are too few in my opinion.) The only real reason to watch this movie on the big screen is for the 3D and the few scenes that occur when Hal is a Lantern or when space things are happening. Otherwise, it’s not really worth the money and would do just as well on DVD or via some cheaper medium.

5/10

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Re: Review - Green Lantern

Post by agentaaa on Sat Jun 18, 2011 4:52 am

wasn't expecting much different from it. Great review as always, DW

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Re: Review - Green Lantern

Post by Darkwing on Sat Jun 18, 2011 5:03 am

Thank ye kindly. Toying with reviewing the Maltese Falcon now, just to do one of my Classics reviews

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Re: Review - Green Lantern

Post by agentaaa on Sat Jun 18, 2011 5:16 am

Oh, don't mention it. On another note, is this green lantern the one weak to yellow, or the one who couldn't affect wood?

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Re: Review - Green Lantern

Post by Darkwing on Sat Jun 18, 2011 5:19 am

Neither, they sort of re-invented Green Lantern as a whole methinks.

Spoiler:

Like the villain is Paralax who is one of the immortals, however he has been corrupted/uses the yellow power of fear. Despite his immense strength and even defeating a squadron of Lanterns, Hal still wins with the emerald energy of will power.

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