I’m a huge fan of Martin Campbell. This is the guy who successfully rebooted the Bond franchise (twice), and brought a kickass version of Zorro to the big screen. A superhero film based on Green Lantern seemed like a bit of a stretch, but with Campbell’s action sensibilities and his ability to portray characters broadly yet compellingly, I was more than willing to give it a chance.
Green Lantern finally hits theaters today. Is it an action adventure on par with Casino Royale? Can Ryan Reynolds hold together an entire superhero film? Hit the jump and share your thoughts. Assume SPOILERS lie after the jump.
We’re a few weeks into this summer movie season, which is loaded with comic book/superhero films, and I’m beginning to lapse into my yearly existential crisis, in which I wonder: what was the point of this? Did the world really need to see a film based on Green Lantern? Perhaps it was watching this Onion video that sparked this line of thinking:
If you also had questions about the justifiability of Green Lantern’s existence, they aren’t answered by the film itself. While Green Lantern does a few things right, it’s a big mess overall. The performances are mostly fine (save for a particularly wooden Blake Lively), but the characters are woefully underwritten. In particular, the character of Hector Hammond (Peter Saarsgard) is almost completely wasted, a shame given Saarsgard’s creepy rendition of the tortured character.
All this would be forgivable if the Hal Jordan character was compelling and interesting. He’s not. Ryan Reynolds has charisma to spare but Hal Jordan spends as much time moping around in this film as Logan does in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (i.e. a lot). One has hope that if a human ever was actually chosen for the task of defending the universe, he would try to man up and take responsibility faster than Jordan does here.
The very concept of Green Lantern is not an easy sell, and kudos to Campbell for tackling it. Within a very short period of time, the audience needs to buy into the idea of immortal creatures charged with protecting different galaxies by harnessing the power of “will.” It’s a difficult trick to pull off, but Campbell mostly succeeds. However, while the world of Oa is nice to behold, pretty CGI, decent art direction, and solid production design can’t make up for shoddy storytelling.
What did you think?
[Edit: An earlier version of this article incorrectly referred to the title of this film as The Green Lantern]