Fight Film Friday: Green Lantern

Posted: June 17, 2011 in fight film friday
Tags: ,

Green Lantern
USA, 2011
Genre: Action, Superhero, Science Fiction
105 minutes

Ryan Reynolds stars as Hal Jordan, a fighter pilot chosen by a Green Lantern ring who must save the Earth from fear itself.

In the middle of the biggest superhero movie season ever, Green Lantern is a complete and utter disappointment for the entire genre. While it may not necessarily by the absolute worst comic book adaptation ever, it will certainly be cast out by both fans and newcomers alike. To begin with, the visual effects and CGI are some of the worst I’ve seen this year, comparable to a SyFy original movie and certainly not befitting a film with a budget of $200 million. The characters look like cartoons or video games, the environments look like cheap plastic. The villains appear more comedic than terrifying, making it incredibly difficult to take them seriously. The musical score tries to make things seem cooler than they really are, but ultimately fails at drumming up any sort of interest in the action. This is partly because of the poor shooting and camera choices, and partly because of the ridiculously choppy editing. There was simply no sense of cohesion or coherency in the film, which is a surprise when looking at director Martin Campbell’s past credits, including GoldenEye, Casino Royale, and The Mask of Zorro.

The main culprit behind this mess seems to be the script and story. Between the team of four writers, only Michael Goldberg seems to have any previous film experience, and only a handful of them at that. Green Lantern’s story was terribly inconsistent and lacked any sort of pacing or steady tone from start to finish. As a result, the story comes off as bland and predictable, without much of a point or emotional impact. The cast hams it up something ridiculous, with only Reynolds doing anything to try and add any depth to the cardboard dialogue. He manages to steal some moments, but even at the top of his game the writing drags everything down into the gutter. Peter Sarsgaard just decided to go as over the top as possible with his villain, and this is entertaining only because of its absurdity. Most of the rest of the film feels the same way, with only the sheer silliness of the whole thing keeping me from walking out.

In addition to the weakness of the characters and investment, the action itself lacked any sort of impact worthwhile. With only a handful of real action scenes to begin with, Campbell completely squanders them, hoping to rely on the subpar special effects flash to somehow draw the audience in. But even those weren’t innovative or interesting enough to turn my eye, lacking any sort of redeeming qualities to make them remotely fun. Like the story, everything comes off as juvenile, boring, and simply pointless. Green Lantern is my bet for the worst superhero film of the summer, and should absolutely be passed over for something better.

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