Green Lantern (2011) Movie Review

details
Title: Green Lantern.
Universe: DC (stand-alone).
Rated: PG-13.
Director: Martin Campbell.
Screenplay: Greg Berlanti, Michael Green, Marc Guggenheim & Michael Goldenberg.
Story: Greg Berlanti, Michael Green & Marc Guggenheim.
Release Date: 2011.
Runtime: 114 min.
Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Science-Fiction.
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong and many more!
Budget: $200,000,000.
Opening Weekend: $53,174,303.
Domestic Gross: $116,601,172.
My Overall Rating: ★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆ (4/10).

thoughts

One of the greatest problems that DC movies have been struggling with for countless years is the meddling of studios in production and development. From changes to directors to interference in the script, these issues continue to pervade and destroy countless movies that could’ve been much greater than what they turned out to be. Among those movies, there is one movie that has suffered from this and earned its title as one of the worse superhero movies to have been released theatrically and it is none other than Green Lantern (2011). While it is isn’t as bad as some other movies under DC’s umbrella, such as Catwoman  (2004) and Batman & Robin (1997), it did leave a bitter aftertaste for many viewers who went in looking forward to a cinematically-revolutionary sci-fi space cop story only to come out of theaters having seen a messy, light, rom-com with questionable CGI-effects. While many view it as a complete failure, it still does offer some average-to-good moments that save it from being completely crucified alive.

What is Green Lantern (2011) about? Following an encounter with the deadly Parallax, Green Lantern Abin Sur escapes in a pod and crash-lands on Earth where he sends his power ring in search of a successor that will carry on the responsibilities that comes with it and who is deemed worthy to take on the mantle. It is none other than the reckless test pilot Hal Jordan that is sought and is brought to take the oath to become a Green Lantern, an intergalactic space cop part of the Green Lantern Corps. As a representative of Earth, one of the 3600 sectors in the universe, Hal Jordan has to learn to overcome fear and summon his willpower to become the superhero he was meant to be. Accustomed to avoiding and running away from responsibilities, Hal Jordan’s struggles continue in his new role and it is only by looking deep within himself that he will be able to overcome it all. Will willpower be enough to defeat fear? That is the premise behind this superhero origin story.

Image result for green lantern 2011 gif

The script remains its biggest fault and the real reason behind its downfall. There are so many plotlines that make no sense at all and countless directorial decisions that are incomprehensible, knowing that the Green Lantern is a superhero with incredibly rich lore that could’ve allowed just about anyone to create a memorable and visually-stunning movie. In fact, the mere idea of a galactic space force with magical rings that allow their beholders the ability to conjure anything from their imagination with sheer willpower should’ve instantly given us an entertaining and immersive movie. What we instead get is a movie that lost itself in an earthling romance polluted with characters with daddy issues that drive them to avoid action and hide in cowardice and status quo. The quick introduction of the Green Lantern Corps and all of the heroes from different sectors was also an indicator of this movie’s obliviousness to all of its potential. If it had at least considered building Hal Jordan’s bravado and character in space instead of Earth, the movie would have easily won points it so desperately craved.

While its extremely simple and linear plot was a major downside, it didn’t help that the material offered for all the characters kept the actors from having an opportunity to shine and take off throughout the movie. Ryan Reynolds gave us the best that he could with what he had in a role where he had to deliver witty humour but also an unlikeable personality as Hal Jordan. Although I’m not a huge fan of his to start it all off, he did give a respectable attempt as the Emerald Crusader, and only truly needed a solid script to work with, which unfortunately remained inexistent throughout the movie’s production. It only suffices to take Blake Lively’s role as the stunningly beautiful love interest to show that this movie wasn’t taking itself seriously. So, how exactly did they expect anyone to hence take it seriously? At least Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively’s real-life relationship couldn’t have been ongoing and solid if they hadn’t met thanks to their respective roles in Green Lantern.

Image result for green lantern 2011 gif

Another issue with the movie was its choice for its main antagonist. There are two main villains, the first one being Parallax (voiced by Clancy Brown), an abomination that is mostly portrayed as a giant, vicious, ugly and tentacular cloud creature, and the other being a Hector Hammond (played by Peter Sarsgaard), a mad scientist who ends up corrupted and power-hungry. The choice to give Hal Jordan an abstract villain was an ill-advised decision and never gave the character the opportunity to truly face adversity and to fully explore his powers. With only a poor and short introduction of Sinestro (played by Mark Strong), it was easy to see how much wiser it would have been if he was the main antagonist instead of teasing it in the mid-credit scene. However, Peter Sarsgaard does steal the show with his portrayal of a character descending into darkness although he doesn’t get a very memorable ending. It is unfortunate that the movie failed to capitalize on both Mark Strong’s and Peter Sarsgaard’s character and acting abilities as they were the most promising casting choices for their respective roles. I mean, look at Sinestro. You couldn’t have gotten a better actor to play him and to also look so much like him too.

The element that finally put the nail in the coffin is the animation. To first decide to animate Green Lantern’s suit was a huge mistake, especially his mask. If there’s one thing that takes you out of the moment in any movie it is any form of animation that is forced into real-life sequences. In this movie, it is hard to not look at Hal Jordan in his costume and be reminded that it is all fake. The CGI was also far from being impressive, considering that you have a hero that can come up with any ring construct thanks to his powers. With childish and mediocre ideas, his constructs also remind you that the target audience might not have been anyone too mature. It also doesn’t help that the space civilizations and the cities that are shown—very quickly—in this movie didn’t look or feel alive at all. The CGI used essentially gave us a pale and dead impression when it should’ve have been vibrant and stunning. Once again, with what they had in their hands, they could’ve given us so much more but preferred to offer us a dull final product.

Green Lantern (2011) is a missed opportunity that fails to exploit the galactic space cop premise and resorts to a poor linear and gratuitous plot to introduce the Emerald Crusader on the big screen.


EXHIBITA

Green Lantern (2011) is not based on a particular comic book story but adapts the superheroes’ origin story! Check out Geoff John’s run of the character based on Geoff Johns’ run of the character!

Have you read any Green Lantern comics?
Have you seen Green Lantern (2011)? What did you think about it?
Share your thoughts with me!

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27 comments

  • (Leaving this comment before I read the post then I’ll come back and comment again)

    You didn’t! This has got to be one of the most embarrassing “super” hero movies ever produced and you shine the light of day on it? I’m cringing already 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  • ALL THE THINGS were wrong with this movie indeed! A frakking hobo with mental issues off the street could have been given a brief outline of Green Lantern and then come up with a better story than this. I just remember being absolutely appalled when the movie ended and all I could think was “what brain dead idiot did this?” The whole thing with comic books is that we shouldn’t have to get mediocre stories any more! We’ve got so much lore on so many characters that even a bad writer can’t go wrong. And yet as we’ve seen, DC movies seem to be on a quest to find the worst writers possible and then stupify them with alcohol and drugs and THEN tell them to write a story script.

    As for the studios and moneyshakers getting involved, that doesn’t surprise me at all. And so far, I haven’t seen it work out for the better even once. There seems to be this “corporate” mentality (I see it through Mrs B at the big box store she works at) that is completely out of touch with reality. The movie industry is RACING to its destruction and jackasses like these are not only pushing as hard as they can, they’re leading the charge!

    I’m just peeved, that is all. There shouldn’t be ANY bad superhero movies and yet look at what we keep getting…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well said. It blows my mind that they’re able to create such horrible movies with bad effects, editing, actors or scripts. I don’t understand how it could indeed go so wrong when there are so many stories they could draw inspiration from.

      It doesn’t help at all when Warner Bros and all come and chop off parts of movies without understanding their consequences. I also strongly believe that they’re influenced by Disney’s formula. After all, I also believe that critics today have set Disney’s Marvel movies as the standard for superhero movies and that Warner Bros are looking to “lighten” up their movies to compete when they should be making their own movies with their own style.

      I do hope that DC’s upcoming Green Lantern Corps movie will be much better overall than this Green Lantern movie.

      Liked by 1 person

  • The only thing I like about Green Lantern movie was the vicious teaser scene from Deadpool 2 when Deadpool kills his real-life counterpart before Reynolds can accept the script 😛
    But seriously, 3rd time??? I don’t know if I should commend your sheer willpower (ring, anywhere?) or worry about your mental state… Can’t wait for your review of Batman & Robin, though! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • Me, I’ve never actually watched it. There were so many scathing reviews, fragments I’ve seen on YT were so unappealing, I just decided not to bother. I’m more and more certain it was a wise decision!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Hahahah I did enjoy those shots fired at the whole Green Lantern thing, even the “don’t make my suit animated!” 😂

      Well At least I won’t be seeing this movie for a VERY long time, if ever again hahaha I do look forward to check out those other “horrible” movies again hahah

      Liked by 1 person

  • Oh my goodness I had forgotten about this terrible movie! I guess Deadpool kind of erased Green Lantern from our collective memory. I always thought it was so weird how bad this movie was considering the really pretty great cast. You’re right – the script IS truly awful. I always wonder if they know while they’re making it that it’s trash, or if it’s all so out of order when its filming that they really have no idea what they’ve made.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahahah Deadpool did remind us all that it once existed too but maaaan, if’s pretty sad that it even happened.

      I have no idea how come such a movie was allowed to screen when anyone can tell that it is so bad! 😂 I do hope that things will change in the future and that the next Green Lantern movie will be much better though!

      Like

  • I wouldn’t go so far as to call Green Lantern a terrible movie, but it’s a complete mess. The CGI often looks goofy. The green lantern costume looks completely ridiculous. The story is overly complicated, as if they stuffed three movies into one. Sinestro makes a somewhat compelling potential villain, but the movie ends before he could be a villain. The actual villains on the other hand are completely forgettable. I saw it in theaters way back, and I’ve never once considered watching it again. It’s not bad enough to be worth watching again, nor is it good enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep. The CGI was so goofy and doesn’t stand the test of time too. And it doesn’t help when the costume looks so weird. I do wish that they gave Sinestro the main villain role… Or had built his relationship of mentor must earlier and longer in the first movie too! I do look forward to the Green Lantern Corps movie if they actually go forward with that project.

      Like

  • A brave endeavour my friend! I didn’t hate Green Lantern and as you say it’s nowhere near as bad as (shudder) Batman & Robin (shudder) but, yes, it wasn’t a great big screen debut for the character. I think Ryan Reynolds was actually a pretty good choice for Hal Jordan but yep, the script isn’t all that great. The CGI suit was a mistake – I know that the suits in the comics are constructs of the power rings but we only really needed on/off CGI sequences and had Reynolds in a real suit with computer generated embellishments.

    The biggest shame really is that it seems to have killed Martin Campbell’s career – people seem to forget that he directed two of the absolute best Bond films (Goldeneye and Casino Royale). Unfortunately he just wasn’t a good match for the approach Warner Bros wanted to take – fingers crossed they get it right with Green Lantern Corps.

    P.S. I’m going to save checking out your Mister Miracle review, I have the collected edition and plan to start reading it this week so look forward to reading your thoughts when I’m done, or at least read a few chapters!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep. This was not on Ryan Reynolds. With the right script, this could’ve been his first transition to a more “serious” role compared to his more comedy-oriented stuff in the past. Unfortunate, the script killed everything, and the CGI didn’t help it at all. It’s pretty sad that it killed that man’s career too. It’s insane how messy things get with Warner Bros/DC… It dates way back before anything related to Snyder’s movies. I really do hope that DC will manage to get things back on track for its own prosperous DCEU, or that its stand-alone non-DCEU movies give DC the good reputation it deserves.

      Oh snap! Pretty excited to hear your thoughts on Mister Miracle in that case. It might be one of the first non-Batman stuff that we read around the same time! 😛

      Like

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