Green Lantern – Review (No Spoilers)
The Captain & Commander Qamari attended the Green Lantern press screening – 15th June 2011.
Written by The Captain
It’s a superhero fan fest this year & the Green Lantern is greatly welcomed. I grew up reading Marvel comics in the 80’s. The facts of the era here in Malaysia was that there were Marvel comic superheroes (which were more widely spread) & then there was Superman + Batman… which were NOT Marvel comics haha. Ironically, it was DC comics who started first in the comic business then followed by Marvel. DC also struck first with success on the TV screen with the Superman TV series (in black & white)… then later the Batman TV series played by Adam West. These icons then made its way to the silver screen with help of Richard Donner, wowing us in the 80’s with 4 Superman movies, which made us believe that Christopher Reeves WAS Clark Kent & Christopher Reeves WAS Superman. Then the 90’s saw Tim Burton bring a dark + cool flavour to Batman movies which incidentally had 4 renditions as well 🙂 Then from 1997 – 2004, DC took a bow & in this time saw the rise of Marvel comic heroes taking to the silver screening AND having reasonable success at the box-office. Well it didn’t help the DC name much that after a 7 year hiatus they made a come back with the movie Catwoman staring Halle Berry …oh gosh that was bad! Fortunately in the following year 2005, DC got a major boost with the origins + reboot of Batman which would set a benchmark for comic–book-to-movies films. Its sequel Dark Knight is probably THE MOST herald of all comic-hero movies.
Well, the point of my trivia-trip is to point out that after 3 decades (starting 1978 Superman)… DC has always relied on Superman (1950s), Batman (1960s), Superman (1978 – 1987), Batman (1989-1997), Batman (2005), Superman (2006), Batman (2008) & next Batman (2012) followed by Superman (2012)… get my driff?? hahaha Anyways now, in 2011 DC Entertainment releases the Green Lantern!! I’m telling you, it’s such a breath of fresh air!! Now based on my limited DC comic knowledge, I know of the famous 2 (Superman & Batman), Green Lantern (which I did think was cool & sometimes wanted to be too), Wonder Woman, Hawk Man, Hawk Girl, Flash & Green Arrow. That’s it, apart from the fact that most of them are members of Justice League much like Marvel’s Avengers. GOSH, I hope they do a Wonder Woman movie next!
I might sum all this up with this quote, which could inspire Marvel to say “Anything DC can do, we can do better… despite them always being the 1st to do it (on 3 occasions at 3 different levels), we’re coming in 2nd but doing it better”.
STORY – Well it’s good but it’s not GREAT! However, I’m only watching this movie from the point of view as a ‘movie buff’, Marvel Comic buff & a casually knowledged DC reader. Remember, this is one of the first DC superhero movie to have no direct association with Batman & Superman neither does it spawn from them like Catwoman or Steel (please don’t mention Jonah Hex or Watchmen, they’re different 🙂 So get ready for an out of this world superhero adventure flick… in 3D if you’re opting for it. On the other side of the coin, this movie could be taking its time to lay a foundation as well as taking it’s time to allow the audience to embrace this part of the DC universe & vice versa. It’s up to you to decide. Overall it’s plausible, it communicates a strong morale value & inspires hope in man-kind which is always gets a fist-pump salute from me. [7.5 of 10]
CAST – Wow when Ryan Reynolds was announced, I had that ‘omg, franchise-crossover alert’* expression on my face! I mean, I thought he made a great Wade Wilson aka Deadpool & they already announced an ‘Origins’ movie (like Wolverine’s) for Deadpool which is now re-scheduled for a 2014 release. It could get pretty messy not to mention confusing. Chances are maybe they’ll get someone else to play Deadpool. To be fair, I also had the same ‘omg’* expression when they announced Chris Evans, who previous played Johnny Storm in Fantastic Four, as the new Captain America. So if I were to compare the 2, it would be for their ability to bring these comic book heroes to life. I’m not an avid DC comic follower so I don’t know what Hal Jordan is like but I do know Ryan Reynolds. And what I know him for is COMEDIC roles. The word ‘action hero’ doesn’t naturally come to my mind. So playing Hannibal King (Blade 3) & Deadpool was a big difference… but not so different as he would always inject some Ryan Reynolds into his character (the slick-talker, woman-charming, master of college-life dude). Gosh, I think I’ve just described Vance Van Wilder (2002). Anyways I think that stigma has stuck with him even till Hal Jordan. A side from the male lead, Gossip Girl – Blake Lively holds her own as the multi-talented-&capable-modern-day-woman Carol Ferris who is Hal’s love interest. I did not full imagine what significance an average female lead actor would make, in comparison to one who is just wrongly cast. I first experienced this when I watched Ghost Rider in 2007. To me, Eva Mendes diminished almost half of the movies appeal (which was not much there in the first place) because since she appears thru 35% of the film & her acting did not fit in. This year I was reminded & total convinced of this occurrence when I watched the latest Pirates flick ‘On Stranger Tides’. Penelope Cruz was terrible at playing a key & soon to be permanent role in the next trilogy. So Blake Lively definitely holds her own & makes you want to see more of her. According to Green Lantern comic lore – she WILL be significant… so I hope Blake will be a staple in this movie franchise. The other supporting casts do a decent job though I thought they should have used them more. Did I mention that there is an Oscar winner & Golden Globe winner in the supporting cast? Now I hope they are staple characters too 🙂 #hint – Senator Hammond & Dr. Amanda Waller. [7.5 of 10]
SOUNDTRACK – Well they pulled in a big gun here by getting James Newton Howard, who recently won a Grammy Award & Saturn Award for the Dark Knight soundtrack with Hans Zimmer. He is also an 8 time Oscar nominee & 4 time Golden Globe nominee. Well knowing him to be brilliant is one thing, the next task would be to score this movie with something of its own that would make it an icon like how the score from Batman Begins & The Dark Knight were. Gosh, I guess I’m setting it up to high ya? Well lets say I didn’t feel that at all… the worst part is that it felt a bit like Superman in certain parts of the movie, aiyo… quite saddening ‘lah’ this revelation. The end product is just above average due to it having its moments to sound like John Williams was writing to the score! [5.5 of 10]
DIRECTOR – Now this is the confusing part for me. The strong facts for Kiwi Director, Martin Campbell (naming his movies) are – Golden Eye, Casino Royale, The Mask of Zorro, Legend of Zorro & if you want to throw in a few more titles you may have heard of before – Vertical Limit, No Escape (Escape from Absolom) & most recently Edge of Darkness (staring Mel Gibson). Hmm… now if I were to ask you make an observation of all his previous directorial work, what would u come up with? Well how about – making a seemingly average guy be more than he can be or even achieve more than he can i.e. James Bond, Zorro & Thomas Craven (from Edge of Darkness). Now this may seem ok for Batman except that Hal Jordan has an alien super ring that can literally do SUPER things. So maybe they wanted more human side of Hal Jordan or that comic Hal Jordan is like that, in which only hardcore fans can verify. So to get Martin Campbell & some unknown producer just doesn’t add up or should I say it doesn’t seem particularly appetizing on paper. For those of us who like to eat (or cook), we can roughly tell if something will taste good by a) Looking at it, b) Knowing the ingredients, c) Smelling it & of course by just eating it. So now after tasting the whole main course, which is to watch the whole movie, I’d say they could have got a some one else because another strong fact for Martin Campbell is that he sort of ‘jump starts’ movies franchises i.e. Zorro (Antonio Banderas & Catherine Zeta Jones), Golden Eye (Pierce Brosnan’s first of 4 Bond movies), Casino Royale (Daniel Craig’s first, 2 Bond movies at present). I still think that superhero flick is not in his genre… but since the movie did not ‘suck’ it gets [7 of 10], though maybe he did some home work of Richard Donner’s work.
3D Factor – I watched this is Cathay, e@Curve Hall 1. It used non-active 3D glasses and as usual did seem to be a bit dark. The movie had some great moments in 3D, especially when it involves flying thru space. Despite that, it’s still possible to enjoy it without 3D but I would have to say that 2D is recommended. You also may want to try watching this movie in a 3D cinema with active glasses. [Has more 3D effects than Thor]
CLOSING – It was a kind of mixed bag of elements before watching the movie & now after having watched it… it is a MIXED BAG of elements. You’ll like it, if the amount of your ‘likeable elements’ out number the amount of your ‘unlikeable elements’. So like I said in the beginning, this movie was good but not great. However I will end by telling you what I thought made this movie GOOD & not ‘just average’.
LOVED THE SUIT… outfit… super skin? I like how it looks, why it looks that way it is & the whole ‘eNIGMA’ (it’s a DC joke) behind the movie-lore of the ring & its powers.
Green Lantern Powers. The fist is the basic of all power ‘manifestations’ & it is featured among many!
Ryan Reynolds ability to be humanly funny.
It had a strong morale message that would inspire man-kind with hope despite insurmountable odds.
liked the Green Lantern in the comics. I felt how he got his power was relatable & the ring powers were also cool. (Superman is an alien, can’t relate to that. Batman was human but super rich, can’t relate to that either haha).
“In brightest day, in blackest night, No evil shall escape my sight.
Let those who worship evil’s might, Beware my power… Green Lantern’s light!“
VERDICT 7.5 / 10
Green Lantern opens in cinemas all thru Malaysia on 16th June 2011 & in 3D where available. Do stay a little while after the movie ends – there is an extra scene that leads to…. SEQUEL! huhu