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Overall Rating

Awesome: 1.61%
Worth A Look: 3.23%
Average: 16.13%
Pretty Bad54.84%
Total Crap: 24.19%

7 reviews, 20 user ratings

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Green Lantern
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by Rob Gonsalves

"In brightest day and dimmest 3D..."
2 stars

The Book of Revelations was made for movies like "Green Lantern," specifically this passage: “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”

That pretty much sums up Green Lantern, and in general the works of its director Martin Campbell, which are neither cold nor hot. I would they wert — uh, were. Here’s a movie about a superhero who can use a special ring to turn energy into matter, in any shape he wants, and the script never rides on the potential absurdity of that.

The Green Lantern of the comics used to make big green boxing gloves and whatnot come out of his ring. In the one really fun sequence here, he envelops a falling helicopter inside a big green race car, then sends it tootling around a big green racetrack. Otherwise, kind of boring stuff. You’d think a Green Lantern played by snark expert Ryan Reynolds would enjoy defeating his foes with, say, a big green duck, if for no better reason than that you’d have to go through life knowing you’d gotten your ass handed to you by a big green duck. Reynolds brings a certain Gen-Y panache, though he probably needed more moments where his Hal Jordan just leans back and realizes how weird his life is now. After all, he’s mentored by various other Green Lanterns of varying colors and sizes, who in turn take their orders from blue-skinned bosses who look to have gotten the short end of the CGI-budget stick.

Superhero movies have become CGI demo reels, and we go for long stretches wherein nothing organic is on the screen at all, except for the occasional green-screened actor (though, in the case of bland love interest Blake Lively, “organic” is debatable). So we watch as things that don’t exist bash into other things that don’t exist. You really need filmmakers who can have fun with this, acknowledging the unreality of the sequences and dialing it up to 11, and if any movie were fertile soil for that sort of phantasmagoria, the tale of a man who can make anything with his ring would be it. I mean, one doesn’t look to a film called Green Lantern for seriousness, though the script blunders in that direction with its theme that will power must trump fear. Yes, it must, except in the stockholder rooms of a studio that has invested north of $200 million.

Green Lantern is Peter Sarsgaard’s movie, if it’s anybody’s. He plays Dr. Hector Hammond, a dweeby scientist whose exposure to alien DNA turns him into a creature resembling Lester Bangs on an epic bender. Sarsgaard has an amusing habit of standing with his head bowed even before the mutation that enlarges his brain, as though his skull were weighed down with knowledge and resentment (his senator dad, smarmily played by Tim Robbins, prefers the jockish pilot Hal Jordan over him). Sadly, though, Hammond isn’t quite allowed to be the scenery-gnashing villain of the piece; the Green Lantern Corps have bigger fish to fry, in the form of a vicious alien made entirely of fear. This is not the entity FDR warned us against; it appears to be, in the words of several esteemed critics, a massive and malevolent fart.

Visually, the movie may well be colorful and gorgeous. I wouldn’t know, since I saw it in 3D, which — in my theater, anyway — threw a dim blanket over everything. (This hasn’t been nearly as much of an issue with other 3D flicks I’ve caught recently, like Thor.) There’s a scene with Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively conversing at dusk that might as well be a radio play. The action scenes likewise suffer, as do the obviously expensive off-world sequences on Oa, the planet where the Green Lanterns hang out. Your 2D mileage may vary, but under such conditions this was the ugliest movie I’ve paid to see in some time. I know this can’t be the fault of the gifted cinematographer Dion Beebe, so I choose to blame it on the glasses.

I can’t blame the script on them, though — the least expensive part of the movie, emerging from four credited writers who, in disregard of the comic-book lore, didn’t even have the wit to show Hal Jordan’s ring failing to work against something colored yellow. Otherwise we’d have to ask why the alien yellow fear fart thing isn't invulnerable to Hal’s powers, and there goes the movie.

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originally posted: 06/20/11 09:41:57
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User Comments

10/30/16 morris campbell a lame boring cheap piece of shit 1 stars
9/02/14 Doug Wasn't that bad 3 stars
6/17/13 Durwood Great effects and comic book fun but the message (will over fear) gets preachy at times. 3 stars
3/26/12 RLan an entertaining superhero film 3 stars
11/20/11 action movie fan good but superficial fiklm.reynolds is good overcoming fear is best aspect not great or bad 3 stars
11/16/11 the truth Looks like a Marvel movie directed by George Lucas. Campbell stick to Bond 3 stars
10/20/11 Magic Confusingly edited, with a terrible script and an asshole of a protagonist. 2 stars
8/04/11 mr.mike It was OK , 3 plus stars. 3 stars
7/24/11 Charles Tatum Reynolds is betrayed by average flick 3 stars
7/14/11 savvysweep1 enjoyed the humor -the kids liked the action and 3D 4 stars
7/03/11 Kim Kardashian Hella awful 1 stars
6/30/11 Kim Phan out of all the comic book movie, I think this is the worst one yet! 2 stars
6/28/11 Dr.Lao Loved the special effects, hated Hal Jordan being a "Top Gun" type man-child 3 stars
6/21/11 fartvenugen Another pooptastic CGI crapfest. 2 stars
6/20/11 Roy Smith No chemistry with boring love interst, "hero" is dull, villian is horrible CGI - pass. 2 stars
6/20/11 Chris F best film of 2011 so far brilliant 5 stars
6/20/11 Andy Well paced and Humorus story..Good introduction of the Green Latern 3 stars
6/20/11 Apollo Sad. Very sad 1 stars
6/19/11 Ming I love this green movie..Great backdrop story on the Green Latern. True to the comic 4 stars
6/19/11 Darkstar Meh. DC fails again. 3 stars
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  17-Jun-2011 (PG-13)
  DVD: 14-Oct-2011


  DVD: 14-Oct-2011

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