NOTE: Originally published in the now-defunct Comicgasm.
Comicgasm editors Ade and RJ have see the much-anticipated movie adaptation of the fan-favorite comic book series, Green Lantern, starring Ryan Reynolds as the title character. Was it the best comic book adaptation ever or was it a steaming pile of turd? Read on to read the editors’ opinions about the movie.
As always, this review will be FULL OF SPOILERS. If you have not seen Green Lantern yet, do not read on.
Ade: Honestly, I didn’t go in the theater with high expectations. The costume sucked, Ryan Reynolds never struck me as the perfect guy to play Hal Jordan, and the movie has an embarrassing 22% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. With that, I kept my expectations low, and went in hoping for an entertaining dumb flick along the lines of Green Hornet. I can’t believe that hoping for an entertaining movie was asking too much.
RJ: To be honest, I kinda needed this movie to work. And by “work”, I mean “NOT SUCK”. The Green Lantern books have been so disappointing lately (and by “lately”, I meant ever since “Brightest Day”) that I needed something to, forgive the pun, recharge my faith in Green Lantern. Emerald Knights helped. It helped a LOT. But then they gave us THIS? Really, DC? REALLY? I wasn’t asking for something that’ll blow my mind, just a movie that doesn’t TOTALLY SUCK DONKEY BALLS. It’s like you WANT me to be ANGRIER at you, DC!
Ade: Before anything else, though, let me just say: I FUCKING HATE PEOPLE WHO TALK IN MOVIES. Yes, I am talking about you, woman who was loudly describing everything that was happening on screen as it was happening to her boyfriend. Also, your boyfriend too, the idiot who did not put his phone on silent and talked to his mom for a good five minutes. Choke on a bag of dicks, you two.
RJ: It’s like the entire day was made just to piss us off. The weeaboo horde at Toy Con (wait for our Toy Con experience post!), 1:43 posters, assholes seated behind us, and to top it all: the Green Lantern movie. It really was a good idea that I wore my Red Lantern shirt that day.
Ade: At first glance, this movie looked like the one fanboys everywhere have been clamoring for: awesome special effects, a stellar cast, an amazing director, and a very faithful, almost reverent, adaptation of the comic book mythos. So why the hell does this movie suck?
RJ: That’s exactly what baffles me, how could a comic book movie FILLED with references and mythos turn out BAD?
Ade: It’s like they tried to insert every single comic book reference they can and then forgot to make a decent movie. Seriously, the movie was tedious, humorless, and emotionally detached. You could never feel any connection whatsoever for any of the characters AT ALL. Seriously, this movie is about a guy who can create anything he can imagine out of thin air. That by itself is a fucking fun premise. Where. Did. The. Fun. Go.
RJ: They were everywhere at once, the movie tried to mash in so much of what could have been good moments of fun and references, but did it in the worst way possible. It’s like having all these great ideas and moments and just dumping them in a blender and hope that it turns out decent.
Ade: So for those keeping track, this movie is about Hal Jordan, a test pilot who is given a ring by a dying purple alien. The ring gives him the power to create anything, as long as his imagination and willpower allows it. So he just does that, by imagining gigantic fists, race tracks, and a whole lot of nothing. Ryan Reynolds plays the wisecracking, intense Hal Jordan by being as catatonic as possible, with emotions shifting from puppy dog eyes of loneliness to being ridiculously unfunny. Jeebus, this is the same guy that played Van Wilder and Wade Wilson, a.k.a. the only good thing in that Wolverine movie. It’s like he was restraining himself from going full-out funny or serious that he ended up in the middle part of the emotional spectrum of acting. The part where he acts catatonic.
RJ: It’s the little things that pisses me off the most. Why is Tomar-Re so nice? Why did Salaak get 10 seconds of screen time as a regular member when he’s supposed to be RUNNING the corps? How can you design hundreds of generic alien lanterns, but not include a lot of EXISTING ONES? Seriously? That is the ONE thing that I was counting on. To yell out the names of minor characters that make cameos. And why is that “boot camp” scene so stupid? How can a comic book movie be so accurate and yet so inaccurate AT THE SAME TIME?
Ade: Ugh, don’t remind me of that boot camp scene. Kilowog is the ultimate drill sergeant. So why the fuck is that scene just one long explanation of how the ring works? How the hell did the GL Corps, after knowing that Hal Jordan was the successor to the ring of Abin Sur, the greatest Green Lantern ever, just let him go off to earth to sulk and shit? Why the fuck did everyone assume that a guy who hasn’t even heard of the Green Lantern Corps two days before would be better than all of the veterans in the fucking corps?
RJ: Wow, Ade. All those paragraphs and not one dick joke. This post is just full of hate, isn’t it?
Ade: Speaking of dicks, where did Abin Sur’s go? Why is everyone in this movie naked?
RJ: FAN SERVICE! I think… if you’re into naked dead purple aliens.
Ade: Okay, so the movie had two villains: Hector Hammond and Parallax. Hammond’s a creeper who keeps pictures and news clippings of Carol Ferris around his house. He gets infected by Parallax, the embodiment of fear who apparently looks like a gigantic cloud instead of a space bug, and suddenly gets fear-related powers like… telekinesis and telepathy.
RJ: It’s Cloud-lactus all over again! But seriously, how hard is it to get him a different source of power? Does DC think the viewers can’t suspend their disbelief that he got it from radiation? In a movie about GREEN SPACE COPS?
Ade: To be fair, they were trying to tie in Hammond and Parallax to keep the movie’s already disparate threads from going all over the place. But the problem here is that they decided to introduce Parallax way too early. Really, there’s just no way a rookie Lantern can summon up enough willpower to defeat the fucking embodiment of fear. Green Lantern has a shitload of colorful villains, and they had to go for a socially awkward virgin with a cancer cell for a brain and an abstract emotion.
RJ: I don’t mind having Parallax as the big bad, but the way he was presented was just plain wrong. Singlehandedly defeated by Abin Sur? Not locked up in Oa? Space cloud? And how he went out?
Ade: The embodiment of fear, defeated by the gravity of the sun and a green punch from Ryan Reynolds. Oh wait, Parallax in the movie wasn’t the embodiment of fear. It’s just a Guardian infected by yellow energy. Fuck. This. Shit. Is. Fucking. Dumb.
RJ: It’s a homage to The Sentry! Oh wait…
Ade: You know what would’ve been the perfect introductory villain to Green Lantern? The fucking MANHUNTERS. Imagine: an ancient mistake the Guardians made coming back to haunt them. Epic space battles. Raised stakes. Amazing visuals. They can even have the Manhunters go to earth to add tension! How the fuck did that not occur to the filmmakers?
RJ: Imagine all the action scenes that could have taken place! The ring running out of juice, fending off Manhunters with just willpower and ingenuity then running the fuck to the power battery. Okay, I’m getting angry again. So much wasted potential.
Ade: There’s one thing that annoys me about this movie: nobody fucking ran out of juice. The ring running out of charge has been an overused element in the comics and has been, in so many ways, a great way to make the battle scenes better! Remember the part in the Sinestro Corps War where there was this squadron of GLs stuck in some cave and everyone’s charged less than 10%? They just kept their rings to life-support duties and then SINESTRO CORPS ATTACK! How the fuck did anyone not even think of that to add tension, which was one huge thing this movie was missing?
RJ: Sinestro was one of the few things that kept me sane during that experience. And even then, they fucked up with that! Mark Strong did the character justice, but he just wasn’t developed enough to have any real impact on Jordan or the viewers. The film has so many unnecessary scenes, but they didn’t bother giving him enough screen time to have the audience understand his motivations? Nope! Just slap him the yellow ring after the credits and yay sequel? Fuck that!
Ade: Mark Strong fought hard to keep the filmmakers from changing his look into a goateed alien with a ponytail, thank goodness. He acted the shit out of the character, and you could tell he understood the character and his motivation so well. Too bad the scriptwriters didn’t. I mean, how the fuck could the guy who was almost as devoted to the corps as Abin Sur ask the Guardians for a yellow ring? In the comics, in his mind, he wasn’t going against the Corps when he turned yellow. He believed he was still serving the corps but they were so outdated that he has to replace the green power of willpower with the yellow power of fear. And how the fuck did Hal Jordan, the new guy, suddenly show up out of nowhere and tell the Guardians and Sinestro that yellow rings are bad when he doesn’t know shit about anything?
RJ: Why would the Guardians even MAKE a yellow ring? WHY? Ever heard of Qward? You can use that for the sequel, you know!
Ade: If they think that using Qward, a planet in an antimatter universe where the yellow rings are forged is too complicated for the average non-nerd moviegoer, they can just get Sinestro to forge the ring himself. In the comics, the Guardians won’t do those requests. They’d just tell Sinestro “Yellow ring, you say? Piss off.”
RJ: Speaking of piss, “Yellow Energy” is now the official name of piss. Forever.
Ade: BRB, Yellow Energy break. Wait, this isn’t the chat window? FUCK.
RJ: You know another thing that’s “Yellow Energy”? The Pacing. It’s just so horribly done! That, and Blake Lively’s acting (awesome boobs, though :D). The “romance” felt forced, and that Superman reference (you’d think this would be a good thing, but it WASN’T) was just dumb.
Ade: Not even Blake Lively’s fantastic boobs could save this fucking trainwreck of a film. I’m the guy who likes to see as much comic book references in my movies as much as possible, but I think inserting all that mythos in the movie hurt the pacing big time. Look, they showed the Corps in ten minutes of the film and not even used them for the finale. They just showed up and shouted and cheered and stood around looking dumb. For the fans.
RJ: The character interactions/dialogues were so.. Bendis-ish. Wait, that doesn’t make sense. JUST LIKE THE DIALOGUE. The only one there that had semblance of development was creepy Hammond. You see Hal’s dad dying in a plane accident, Hal reliving those memories and choking. THEN, WHAT? That cliche scene where he recited the oath could have been better presented if he overcame his fears and his Dad’s death and turning it into Will. But nope, we get ONE PUNCH and a sun. That’s right! ONE PUNCH!
Ade: I actually shouted “Okaaaaaaaaay… WHAT?” during that ONE PUNCH. God it’s so stupid. Although I actually liked the part where Hal Jordan finally finds his will and removes the straps holding him to the construct jets. It’s one of those rare flashes of how much they understood the character and mythos that makes the entire movie so frustrating.
RJ: I expected that, actually. It won’t be Hal Jordan if he doesn’t used giant green fists or giant green boxing gloves. Reynolds is the one of the things that kept the film from falling further apart, really. Ade and I were quietly trying to erase the film’s existence with our minds from our seats and he’d crack a joke or have an awkward moment and calm us down a bit.
Ade: I guess the filmmakers believed that being faithful to the comics means they should just shove every single reference they can think instead of, you know, figuring out what makes the comics work and using that as the backbone of the film. Hello, guys from Warner Brothers, ever heard of this small indie movie called Batman Begins? It wasn’t entirely faithful, but it got 100% what makes Batman tick. That’s how you make a comic book origin movie, guys.
RJ: I’m starting to think that DC has absolutely no idea how to make successful film franchises and just got Nolan by some freak accident.
Ade: To sum it up: I was really hoping, until the end, that this movie would turn out good. But Green Lantern is one long yawnfest punctuated by the occasional acceptably funny joke and with a few bright spots when Mark Strong shows up, Ryan Reynolds actually remembers how to act, and those all-too-rare glimpses of Blake Lively’s boobs.
RJ: Wait, we’re summing it up? Are we allowed to NOT say anything positive in a review? Reynolds and Strong aside.
Ade: What positive points?
RJ: Boobs! And uhh, we saw Bzzd! Fly-Lantern is cool! Wait, Bzzd’s partner is Mogo. No Mogo. Aaaaaaaaand I’m back to being angry.
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