Saturday, June 18, 2011

Movie Review: Green Lantern

Last night, my wife and I went to check out the latest superhero flick, Green Lantern.

Quick capsule review: I was entertained, but not overly impressed.

Longer review:
I should I guess remind folks (or let the new people reading this know) that when I was into comics back in the 90's, I was mostly reading Marvel titles and a bunch of indy comics.  Not a whole lot of DC's fare.  I'm more familiar with the characters of the DC universe from Saturday morning cartoons, movies, and video games than with the actual comics themselves.  So while I have a familiarity with most of the characters that appeared, I don't know (nor care) how closely they followed any of the story-lines in the comics.

That being said, what disappointed me about the movie wasn't the acting -- one of my buddies was really concerned over Ryan Reynolds playing Hal Jordan.  Reynolds did a pretty good job.  It wasn't the special effects -- random internet mumbling about a completely CGI suit from some early trailers proved unfounded IMO.  The suit looked good, and fairly realistic in most of the close-up scenes.  It was the story.

Of course, non-comic book geeks watching the movie need that introduction story of how the hero gets his powers.  I can accept that, although it gets a bit old after a while (the reason I'm not looking forward to the new Spider-man reboot next year).

In Green Lantern, though, I felt like the story was at the same time too big and too small.  It was too big in that it was trying to tell the Parallax story (not sure, but I doubt that this was the way the comics introduced the character of Green Lantern and the Corps, was it?) which is pretty 'big.'  You've got an entity that can easily wipe out the entire population of planets here as the bad guy.  It was too small because it had to get Hal Jordan from loser ace test pilot to one of the strongest superheroes in the DC universe in less than two hours so that he can battle that overpowering enemy.

OK, don't let my negativity there dissuade you.  It wasn't a perfect movie, but it was fun and entertaining.  I thought the action scenes were pretty fun, a few characters were fairly cardboard (Tim Robbins as the senator, for example), but the main characters were all convincingly complex.  The CGI, very important these days for a movie where a good third of it takes place on other planets, not to mention with the presentation of the super powers of imagination made real, were very well done. 

Of course they're setting things up for a sequel at the end.  I hope they make it.  Now that they've got the character intro out of the way, they will hopefully ramp up the action in the next one.  And as I've said before, maybe DC will get off their rumps and get some more of their characters up on the big screen to compete with Marvel at the box office.

On a complete side note--we didn't want to see this in 3D, and the theater didn't have a digital 2D version.  Man, the celluloid was crap!  Maybe we've gotten spoiled with digital, but there were so many scratches and vertical lines all over the screen.  It was like watching a movie at a second run theater back in the day, where the tape had already been played a few hundred times at a first run theater. 

There were, counting myself and the wife, only seven people in the theater as well.  Not sure if that's a sign of GL's lack of exposure in Korea, or maybe everyone else was seeing it in 3D.  When we saw Thor (digital 2D), the place was packed.

1 comment:

  1. My wife and I just got back from seeing it ourselves (yea, free babysitter!).

    Note: if you haven't seen the movie, but plan to, there are SPOILERS below.

    I also thought it wasn't as bad as I'd heard it was going to be. I have some of the same complaints you did.

    My main complaint was that the story was was too rushed. The whole "training" part felt like it only took about 30 seconds and... VOILA! He's trained. That could've used some development.

    I also felt that they introduced a lot of characters just for the sake of having them in the movie. Tomar Re and Kilowog are icons of the core, but if you're not going to have them do anything super important, then get rid of them. Most of what they did could've been handled by making Sinestro's character a little more complex and rich so that, presumably, in the sequel when he turns evil, we'll actually care that he did that.

    I'm not sure that we needed Hector Hammond and Parallax as villains in this one. Hammond's on the screen for only a few minutes, and again, his character isn't fully developed so we don't care when he dies.

    Lastly, I thought there was just a little too much camp or cheesy humor or whatever you want to call it.

    That sounds like a lot of complaining, but they're just things I didn't like. Overall, though, I thought it was much more enjoyable than I was expecting.