Hal Jordan is just the type of person to have a superhero movie set around him. He is like a combination of Tony Stark (Iron Man) and Doctor Who, he is completely sure of his own abilities and has no room in his life for modesty. Jordan works as a military pilot, but when a green bubble picks him up and transports him to the side of a dying alien, his life is changed. Hal inherits a mystical ring, a lantern and some cool powers, and before long he is defending the Earth from a rather annoyed force called the Parallax.
All of this sounds great in theory, but it is in the execution that The Green Lantern fails to deliver. First of all, for those who love Ryan Reynolds (why!?), he is beefed up to the max, but missed several opportunities to take his top off. Reynolds does well with a very thinly scripted character and brings a little charm to the role. The problem is that we know so little of the character’s motivation, wants and needs that it is difficult to understand why he does what he does, other than that he has been chosen. There is a small training/fight sequence with Jordan before he gives up on his new found responsibility and goes home – Cartman style. From there, he floats around in his green muscle suit, showing off to his friends and a girl he didn’t really like at the start of the film, but now has to have.
The supporting cast have equal problems working with what they have been given, Tim Robbins and Peter Saarsgard battle against their badly written characters in attempts to bring some life to the screen. Sadly, this does not work. These are two of the finest actors working today, and they are left to languish in the background. This whole side of the story could have been written out, and not even missed.
The danger that Jordan faces is the Parallax, and while the ‘X’ at the end of the villains name makes him sound cool, there is little else to him. He was one of the Immortals, was corrupted by fear and now goes around the galaxy nomming on people to feed his strength. He wants to destroy the earth, but again, we never know his motivation other than revenge against his fellow Immortals and… frankly, omnomnomnom.
The special effects and 3D swing between the sublime and the ridiculous. At times the images on screen look fantastic and the 3D feels almost worth it. At others, the special effects look cobbled together and the 3D is badly realised and squint inducing.
In all, The Green Lantern is a badly made film relying on nostalgia and fans of the series to get bums on seats. The characters are thin and badly realised, fantastic actors are wasted and questions are raised but never answered. The Green Lantern is the latest in a long line of films in the superhero genre (if it can be called that) that are failing to deliver. The technology is getting better, but the scriptwriters appear to be sitting back and relying on 3D and other effects to make up for the bad storytelling. The Green Lantern is not even good bad, it’s just bad. It has none of the shlock of genuinely good bad films, but is not as laughably funny as Clash of the Titans.
I was considering having a snooze to pass the time while this film was on. Instead I took my 3D glasses off – which actually made the film look slightly better. Avoid at all cost.