Saturday, 5 November 2011

[WHY...] Was The Green Lantern such a BAD movie?

Director: Martin Campbell ('Casino Royale', 'Goldeneye', 'Edge Of Darkness' i.e. HANG YOUR HEAD IN SHAME!!!)
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard
Certificate: 12A

I was sat in a room watching this with 4 other people and they were all reacting the same way as me - in complete hysteria at how a) pathetic and unexplained the storyline was and b) much money had been spent creating this complete shambles! There is just NO excuse as to why this film is so, so bad. Everyone behind it is an industry professional and they (should) know what they are doing. The cast are all people I usually like - I had no problems with Ryan Reynolds taking the lead with this because I thought he could do a similar job to what RDJ did with 'Iron Man' and casting 'Gossip Girl' aside, I was even willing to give Blake Lively a chance.

So why has this film flopped spectacularly, not only with critics, but also with fans?

  1. OVER-RELIANCE ON CGI - I think it's only natural to compare this to 'Thor' because it was another comic book adaptation released this year, but in comparison to that film, 'Green Lantern' just looked mediocre. There was nothing really wrong with the CG, it just felt too safe, too child-friendly. Add to the fact that about 90% of the film is computer-generated, you do start to get a little bored. There were no genuinely good cinematic shots in this film, everything was done by some guys behind a computer screen. Even Ryan Reynolds' costume was CG'ed, which just seems unnecessary to me.
  2. SHALLOW AND MEANINGLESS PLOT - The backstory of the Green Lantern and the whole world of the film is explained in about 5-7 minutes of voice-over right at the beginning of the film. You are then shown lots of overdramatic space battle scenes and it all doesn't really mean anything. Reynolds then finds a crashed alien ship and is given the power of the Green Lantern via a ring. He gets beamed up to space and is given another 5 minutes of training and that's it, he goes home! Reynolds' character doesn't even act surprised about his abduction, this is like an everyday occurence to him. There's also a subplot involving an evil scientist who is jealous that Reynolds is hooking up with Blake Lively (to be fair, I'd be jealous too), so he wastes a good half an hour dealing with that dude. THEN, he conveniently remembers that there's a giant shadow monster heading for Earth and the film anti-climaxes with a fight scene involving him pushing this shadow demon into the Sun (SUPERRRRRR LAME!) Seriously, whoever wrote this didn't give the film time to breath, and the characters (especially the alien ones) were all neglected and we didn't care about them ATALL!
  3. CHILD-FRIENDLY - I didn't really know what else to call this section so child-friendly will do. Essentially, this film could've been a PG. I'm not asking for 'Saw' like violence but I never really felt threatened in this film. You just knew how everything was going to pan out. The Green Lantern had it far too easy, and the only credible threat he had (shadow monster thing) was dealt with so simply that you wondered what the big fuss was about. People get thrown against glass windows, flung high into the high and stamped on but there is no blood, no physical evidence of pain, nothing atall. Plus, the aliens he encounters early on are too friendly and accepting of him.
  4. UNINTENTIONALLY FUNNY MOMENTS - This kindof ties in with the child-friendly moment. Due to everything being too underplayed, some emotional and poignant scenes just came off as hilarious. There's one particular scene where Ryan Reynolds is driving a fighter plane and he has flashbacks of his father's death and its one of the most cliche father-son interactions ever seen. Truly dreadful. Peter Saarsgard's character is also extremely funny because his character rapidly transforms from a normal, nerdy guy into this massively-foreheaded evil villain. So much of this film was just rehashed from films like 'Spiderman' and 'Fantastic Four', that your only reaction was to just laugh it off. 
In the end, this film was just dull. Mostly due to the 'and-this-happened-and-that-happened-and-this-happened' script but also because of the flimsy characters. It makes me wonder if the over-inclusion of CGI had an impact on the actor's performances because if you are constantly filming in a large warehouse talking to yourself because the rest of the film is going to be added on in post-production, it must be hard getting into the character and the story. This is why 'Thor' was so good because the director of that (Kenneth Branagh) came from a heavily dramatic, theatre-based background, so the perfomances were strong.

Unless you are going to acquire this freely... then don't even waste your time seeing this. For me, this was the worst movie of 2011 other than 'Your Highness' and I'm judging the 'Green Lantern' so harshly because of the money and people behind it.

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