It’s Not Easy Seeing Green

Someone should snuff out this Lantern’s flame

Green Lantern courts a niche audience: insomniacs and the recently lobotomized. This will one day be recognized as “patient zero” in the disease pandemic known as “cinematic superhero fatigue.” In honor of its dogged devotion to a yawn-inspiring storytelling formula, here’s an algorithm: Four writers (Greg Berlanti, Michael Green, Marc Guggenheim and Michael Goldenberg) minus one original idea, plus one out-of-place director (Martin Cambell), divided by one miscast star (Ryan Reynolds), multiplied by a $300 million budget equals a super-turd.

The property on which the film is based spans hundreds of issues and sports some of the richest characters and events in all of comic books. They didn’t use any of that. Instead, we get a “Superheroes for Dummies” version, as an unexpected hero once more gets his powers and balks at his newfound responsibility before deciding gosh-darn-it he will save the universe.

The hero is Hal Jordan (Reynolds), an uber-brash fighter pilot whose character-defining brashness later comes and goes at inopportune moments…sort of like character-trait herpes. An alien who is killed by a giant, intergalactic, yellow fart cloud of doom crashes on earth in his spaceship in order to give Hal a magic ring. See, the universe is protected from things like giant, intergalactic, yellow fart clouds of doom by “The Green Lantern Corps.” They’re like space cops who can fly and create glowing green objects with their jewelry. Just go with it.

Faced with their biggest threat, the ancient organization calls up their new-recruit, Hal, in order to train him. They do this for five minutes before he quits and returns to earth to slow-dance with his personality-free love interest (Blake Lively). Oh, and there’s a guy (Peter Sarsgaard) who becomes evil because he gets infected by remnants of the giant, intergalactic, yellow fart cloud of doom and his head swells up like a zit. And that guy’s dad is played in two scenes by Oscar-winner Tim Robbins. Huh?

The movie is divided into space stuff and earth stuff. Neither stuff is good. On earth, Hal pouts and gets pep talks from morons. This is especially lame because Reynolds specializes in exuberance yet somehow, despite getting superpowers, his character is forced to act like Debbie Downer. In space, the abundant computer generation looks like a video game…a bad video game no one likes. And then there’s the laughable, what-were-they-thinking CGI costume and mask. Yipes.

Green Lantern cared not for writing or thinking, so one shouldn’t write or think too much about it in return.

It’s bad.

The end.

Grade = D

posted at 11:19 am
on Friday, June 17th, 2011

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