I know you’re all serious fanboys (and fangirls) of the comic genre. That comes with being a sci-fi nut, right? Well, I am too, I dig a good graphic novel and grew up on DC and Marvel superheroes. But that didn’t prepare me for the complete shlocky mess that is Green Lantern. Miscast, too cartoony by half, and with enough plot holes and unexplored story avenues to fuel a second film I was not impressed with this big budget adaptation of a dated comic book story.
The film focuses on ne’er-do-well test pilot Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds), who is picked by the “green light of will” to be the next Green Lantern, a sort of intergalactic cop who, along with 3599 of his best Lantern pals, patrols the galaxy and ensures we’re all safe from bad folk. Why 3600 sectors? Just because.
Hal is unbelievable as a slacker who is a top test pilot at Ferris Aircraft but otherwise fails out and disappoints everyone around him (shades of Top Gun, anyone?). His love interest is the beautiful Carol Ferris (Blake Lively), daughter of Ferris president Carl (Jay O. Sanders) and a superb test pilot in her own right. What she sees in him is a complete mystery, whether he’s wearing that cool green suit or in a ragged t-shirt.
Hal is selected as the newest Green Lantern and taken far, far away to train for his new found role, even as the rest of the Green Lantern Corps are sneering about “those weak humans”. He learns that his power comes from the energy of will, and it fights the yellow energy of fear, which, surprise, is then tapped by Parallax, a weird slithering being who feeds on creature souls and plans to suck up the Earth’s populace to fuel his galactic domination plans. Lucky we have a Green Lantern here on Earth, right?
Meanwhile, creepy egghead scientist Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard) has become an unwitting accomplice to Parallax and wreaks havoc on Hal and the rest of us humans. He also can read minds, though that’s promptly discarded as the story unfolds, and he’s a generally uninspired bad guy anyway (even though Sarsgaard is a splendid actor). The film is super predictable, the story bounces from one cliche to the next, and the source material itself is so comic-book-y that really only a Green Lantern fanboy can appreciate the movie.
As for me? Not the best two hours I’ve spent in the theater by a long shot. In fact, I strongly encourage you to skip this one and wait until it’s on HBO or commercial TV, something that’s not going to take long: it opened with lower box office results than even the most conservative figures from the studio.
Now, dear ScienceFiction.com fans, let the debate commence!