GREEN LANTERN is one of those comic book/superhero movies where I want so much just to be entertained, and yet the movie has obvious problems that can’t be ignored, to the point where they become a distraction.
Marvel, as a whole, has figured out how to minimize this problem: Get on-screen talent so compelling to watch that the audience is less likely to start checking their watches while they check off the mandatory origin movie constructs.
See Tobey Maguire in SPIDER-MAN (and Willem Dafoe as well) or Robert Downey Jr. in IRON MAN for specifics. DC seems to only get this right when Christian Bale is owning the screen as Bruce Wayne in BATMAN BEGINS.
So, what’s the verdict of the latest origin story to hit the screen two weeks after the really interesting X-MEN: FIRST CLASS? How does GREEN LANTERN hold up under the origin story conceit?
The good news first: This isn’t nearly as bad as the mainstream critics are making it out to be. In fact, it’s a LOT better than I expected.
There’s a lot to like here, and it starts with Ryan Reynolds, whose performance here one could probably compare/contrast w/ Robert Downey Jr. in IRON MAN: Unlike Downey’s surreal smoothness from the start, you spend several minutes watching Reynolds and saying, “No…no…OK, that wasn’t bad…all right, THAT’S what I was waiting to see.
” That moment is reached when Hal Jordan finally takes The Oath and Reynolds finally takes hold of the role in all its cheesy glory, and from there the movie revs up…
…and then stalls out again. That’s the main problem with the movie: It’s easily 15-20 too long, because scenes that should crackle with life sputter out between big set moments. Even the first time GL saves the day on Earth, which itself is amazing, drags so-o-o slowly in its setup.
Yes, I know this is an origin story, and yes, I know pretty much ALL of these origin story movies have similar issues (SPIDER-MAN and IRON MAN aside). That does not make it right for them, and it’s not right for this movie, either. Clip 30 seconds here, a minute there, speed up the action sequences, and you’d have a LOT better movie.
The third act (insert showdown between unbeatable foe and reluctant hero finally coming to terms with who he’s become here, folks) is truly a thing of beauty, it rocks, and it rocks HARD, but man, it’s a slog to get there.
3D: Worth it ONCE. GL’s constructs do look amazing in 3D, but after that the punch is lost, and it’s just more budget filler. It’s as if someone said “Hey, we’re spending $300M on this movie, isn’t it great?” No. It isn’t. Spend your money where it counts, not on ridiculous 3D gimmickry.
Movie as a whole: Definitely worth it once (though, thanks to a projector failure, I got to see it twice, both for free, so I’m probably a little more charitable than any fan paying full price). So, DCers, go out and get your popcorn and sodas, take your seat in the multiplex, and remember to refrain from checking your watches during the slow grinds.
Oh, and don’t forget to stick around for the mandatory post-credits sequel tease. Worth it.
Source: Scarlet-22 – imdb