1) In the same manner as the recently released Thor, Green Lantern opens with a complicated outer space-based mythology explained via narration and flashy visuals. If you’re not a fan of the source material then you’ll be lost in an instant. I actually read the comic and even I felt that I was late for the story, a feeling that continued throughout the film’s 105 minute running time.
2) Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) accepts the extraordinary in an inordinately short amount of time. He hardly reacts to being transported halfway across the universe. It seems reasonable to him that there’s an intergalactic space corps made up of aliens of all shapes and sizes. And speaking of aliens…
3) For such a grand concept, the corps hardly come into play in the film. The viewer is supposed to accept the existence of these creatures, listen to them say a few lines, and just be fine with the entire concept, which is barely allowed to share screen time with the Earth-centered plots. The whole thing reminded me of the evil red transporter mutant in X-Men: First Class. Who was that guy? Am I really supposed to simply accept his existence? At least the other characters in that film were given a degree of dimension (except that water guy).
4) The Earth villain is scientist turned super powered maniac Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard) while the space villain is a giant tree-like creature (very Transformers-villain like, judging by commercials at least) that speaks English. The latter wasn’t bad, the tree is pretty silly.
5) The film contains lines like “You’re impertinent, Hal Jordan” as spoken by a purple alien with a British accent (Mark Strong).
6) There’s a sequence in which a ring of another color is forged for the sake of defense. And then it’s forgotten; the ring is never used. But wait! There’s a sequence where the ring comes into play HALFWAY THROUGH THE END CREDITS. Green Lantern is possibly the first film that contains a setup for the setup for the sequel. Lame lame lame.
It’s actually incredibly difficult to describe the structure and pacing of the film. It goes by quickly and logically, but feels like a conventional mess. I’m filing this one away in the “ambitious failure” department.
Green Lantern opens wide in Philadelphia area theaters today.
Author: Eric Bresler
Eric is the Founder/Site Editor of Cinedelphia.com whose additional activities are numerous: Director/Curator of the Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art (PhilaMOCA), founder of Tokyo No Records, the brain behind Video Pirates, and active local film programmer including the Unknown Japan screening series. He’s served as a TLA Video Manager, Philadelphia Film Society Managing Director, and Adjunct Professor in Cinema Studies at Drexel University. He is shy and modest. Email Eric.