Green Lantern movie poster

Seven months ago I couldn’t contain my excitement when the first Green Lantern trailer was released. In two-and-a-half-minutes, the trailer gave audiences everywhere a taste of what to expect: there was your basic superhero origin story, casting was spot-on, and the visuals looked fantastic. I was literally antsy to see some of my favorite Green Lantern Corps characters brought to life on the big screen.

Starring a slew of talented (and somewhat lesser-known actors), and directed by Martin Campbell – credited for the rebirth of the James Bond franchise, I think a lot of people were hoping for the same magic that made Iron Man such a success. Both films featured a lead character that’s generally known for being a dick, both had casts that made fans go, “Wha-!?!” and both had iffy odds of being “blockbuster material.”  Unfortunately, with a meandering plotline that took the audience through some confusing and sometimes boring scenes, all I can say is that Green Lantern is just okay.

(Spoilers below.)

The main story, if it wasn’t too obvious from the trailers, revolves around a reckless pilot who receives a ring with the ability to form energy into whatever he can imagine. And I suppose that’s the problem I had with this movie – that it revolves around Hal Jordan.

Hal Jordan is a dick.

In a movie about the vastness of space and the introduction of the Green Lantern Corps, I was hoping to see the first superhero movie that acknowledged that sometimes you can’t do it alone and have to rely on teamwork to succeed. Having Sinestro, Tomar-Re and Hal get in the trenches and fight the bad guy – that would’ve been amazing and would’ve made for a believable friendship between the Lanterns.

Instead, Hal fights not one major bad guy, but two! And he does it without anyone’s help because he’s such a badass. There’s really no character growth or acceptance that sometimes things are bigger than you are, which was unfortunate. The idea that someone can learn in a few hours what other Green Lanterns take years to acquire, and defeat the greatest enemy the entire Corps has encountered just because “the boy’s got moxie” is laughable.

Despite Green Lantern‘s weaknesses, there were also quite a few strengths.

The cast didn’t just look the part, they acted the part, which is sometimes rare in these types of films. Ryan Reynolds plays a douchebag very well, Blake Lively plays a good hard-ass career woman, Mark Strong is Sinestro, and Peter Sarsgaard made Hector Hammond both sympathetic and creepy-as-hell. Of the entire cast, I was most impressed with Lively’s performance. When news of her being cast as Ferris came out, I was apprehensive based on her past work on The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and Gossip Girls. Did she really have the balls to play Carol? Yes, I’d say she does.

Aside from the really good cast, the CGI was ridiculously good. The first 10 minutes of this movie felt like I was going to see my generation’s Star Wars. It felt both realistic and artistic – if that’s possible. But maybe the breathtaking space sequences were a disservice to the movie as a whole? I know I felt bummed out when we’re taken through space and end up in Hal Jordan’s apartment. I wanted more space and less Earth. I wanted to be taken away.

Overall, this movie was an entertaining and mindless action movie – especially for those who don’t know the Green Lantern mythos. Because I knew the comics, Green Lantern was an example of an average superhero movie that failed to live up to expectations. All I could see was the potential the series had for a great movie instead of what I was given.

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