Saturday, June 18, 2011

Green Lantern - In Brightest Glowing Suit, In Darkest Bitter Review

I'd still have preferred Nathan Fillion, but I said the same thing for Captain
America, and he's admittedly too old to play these characters live, now.
I saw Green Lantern last night. Originally I had a wonderful idea to tear down all the terrible things about it, starting with the line, "In brightest lens flare, in darkest…" something. Well, it didn't quite work out that way. Here are all the lousy things about Green Lantern:
  • The score's main theme sounds a little like the vintage Superman music, which is to say it's a grand, sweeping fanfare on some horns, or a traditional fanfare, really.
  • The suit was a little weird. It could have easily been CG less often, but it wouldn't have glowed as much, so I get it. (I'm sorry, did you want the glowy man and all of his space alien friends flying around an alien planet to by a bunch of puppets? My deepest apologies.)
  • The last fight could have been a little longer and involved a few weirder ring constructs.
  • They mention some flashbacks happened in 1993, and young Hal looks about 9 or 10, which means Green Lantern is only like 3 years older than me and that means my life is already wasted. At best, I can hope to be Kyle Rayner and find my girlfriend dead in a fridge a few years from now.
That's. About. It.

The pacing was good, the characters were all fairly well enacted, Ryan Reynolds did not turn Hal Jordan into some ridiculous caricature of Van Wilder, and there were tons of great fan nods. Of no importance:
  • Carol Ferris' callsign as a pilot is "Sapphire." (She later becomes the character "Star Sapphire.")
  • Explanations for there being multiple emotion-color-powers in the universe
  • Guardians mention that they did not always rely on green lantern power to enforce peace (manhunters!)
  • Specific green lanterns in crowd scenes included B'Zzz or whatever (the bee) and a few others
  • Angela Bassett cameos as a certain Project Cadmus bitch
  • There is in fact a teaser at the end of the film, and it's incredibly important
Here's the thing, though. I cannot for the life of me figure out why even now Rotten Tomatoes has it at a twenty-three percent freshness rating. Twenty-three! That's twenty point below "My. Popper's Penguins." Really? I don't see how that's possible.

Maybe they're judging it by the seven people who were judging this as a stand-alone movie? People who had no interest in the character or story and were just looking for a good time? Maybe. They probably would have hated all the little blue guys and the big green guys and the weird yellow cloud thing and the pink guy and Tim Robbins.

Which raises an interesting point: we're at a point where comic book movies are actually getting made for people who read the comic books and not casual fans who want to see a good guy in a cape.
  • Batman x3
  • Superman reboot
  • Green Lantern
  • Spiderman reboot
  • 3x Iron Man, 2x Thor, a Hulk reboot, 2x Captain America and an Avengers extravaganza
  • Kick-Ass
  • An X-Men prequel and and new Wolverine
Superhero films are starting to rely more heavily on the established fan base, also the ones from earlier movies, but predominantly comic book nerds who are going to all pay for a ticket at least once, even if they think they'll hate the product. There's suddenly this sense of treating the source material as something more than just a jumping-off point for explosions and insufferable drama. The fact that DC is trying to rebrand its Superman to fit more in line with The Dark Knight and axed that god awful Ally McBeal-style Wonder Woman television series proves this.

For some reason, it is no longer okay to screw with time-honored and beloved characters.

You know, unless you're their comic writers.

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