Movie Review: ‘The Green Lantern’

“The Green Lantern” was released on DVD several weeks ago after a rather disappointing run in theaters. The film had a budget of about $200 million, but it only took in about $117 million in the United States (source: www.imdb.com). It also seemed to be widely panned by critics.

Ironically, heading into the summer, “The Green Lantern” was one of the films I was most looking forward to seeing. The premise seemed interesting, and the CGI in the trailer looked amazing. Yet the actual film just didn’t seem to deliver what I’d been hoping it would.

Granted, the film wasn’t truly terrible: I’ve seen far worse superhero movies (the infamous George Clooney/Arnold Schwarzenegger “Batman & Robin” comes to mind). It’s just that all the other superhero movies this summer — “Thor,” “X-Men: First Class” and “Captain America” — were really good, and I think “The Green Lantern” suffered somewhat by comparison.

According to the Internet Movie Database, the film stars Ryan Reynolds as “a test pilot (who) is granted a mystical green ring that bestows him with otherworldly powers, as well as membership into an intergalactic squadron tasked with keeping peace within the universe.”

I’m a fan of Ryan Reynolds (I loved him in “The Proposal,” and in his brief but great role as “ Deadpool” in “X-Men: Wolverine”), but I’m not quite sure this film was the best fit for him. “The Green Lantern” screenwriters didn’t really let him take advantage of his trademark sense of humor, but even if they had, I’m not sure it would have set the right tone for this movie. It would have been interesting to see what an actor like Chris Pine might have done with the role. Interestingly enough, I believe Michael Fassbender, who played Magneto in “X-Men: First Class,” also auditioned for the lead role in “Green Lantern,” but I’m glad he didn’t get it, because that might have meant he couldn’t have been in “X-Men,” which he was amazing in.

I think “The Green Lantern” also lacked a strong main villain. “Parallax” is supposedly this alien creature that has become this giant cloud of destruction (it looks somewhat like a hurricane, except made of dust) drifting around the galaxy. Not much time was devoted to the back story of the being that became this creature, and I think more of a back story would have made it more interesting.

I also wish more time had been devoted to the characters voiced by Mark Strong and Geoffrey Rush. Strong and Rush are great character actors, and I would have liked to see their characters given more screen time. I think Blake Lively’s character “Carol Ferris” could have been fleshed out more as well. She seemed more like the stereotypical “superhero girlfriend,” either waiting on the sidelines, or getting captured and having to be rescued. Natalie Portman  and Hayley Atwell’s characters in “Thor” and “Captain America,” respectively, were more a part of the action.

Overall, I left the theater after watching “The Green Lantern” feeling disappointed, because I felt the film could have been so much more. I’m not sure what the likelihood of a sequel is, but I think it’s still a premise worth exploring. I just wish the concept had been executed a little bit better.

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