Monday, January 16, 2012

1 Movie I Hated in 2011

It would have been nice to round my list of 2011 movies off to 50, but I only saw 48. Slacker.

Like last year, I'm going to break them into categories by how much I enjoyed them, covering one category each day all week. Unlike last year, I'm not going to force 10 movies into each category, so some - like today - will only have one and some - like Wednesday - will have much more. Fortunately, I only really hated one movie this year.

48. Green Lantern

I try to find something I like in every movie and usually I succeed. And if I'm truthful with myself, there were things I liked in Green Lantern. I don't know that Ryan Reynolds is a great Hal Jordan, but I always like him, so having him in the movie is a good thing. Mark Strong made an awesome Sinestro and was probably the best thing about the movie.

The problem is that I didn't grow up with Green Lantern (probably because he wasn't on The Super Friends), so I don't have opinions about him now. The space police angle has a lot of potential, but I've never felt the ring and - perhaps unfairly - always picture Green Lantern using giant, green hands to do his dirty work for him. Frankly, I've always seen Green Lantern as sillier than most people see Aquaman. When I've read about him in Justice League comics, I've tended to re-imagine the effects of his ring so that it's less goofy. Mostly, I imagine it as a generator for a telekinetic force, because moving and manipulating things is how Green Lantern typically uses it.

Because of all this, I needed this movie to pull its own weight in turning me into a Green Lantern fan and it didn't do that. The flaws of the movie were so well-covered over the summer that I don't feel like anyone needs me to rehash them here, but this was always a movie that was going to start from behind for me and it never gave me a reason to change my mind about it or its main character.

The reason I hate it instead of just disliking it is because I want superhero movies to be awesome and there's no excuse for bad ones anymore. The makers of Green Lantern had every opportunity to observe what folks were doing with Batman and the Marvel films and create something that could at least get close to that bar. It ticks me off that they didn't even seem to try.


Erik Johnson Illustrator said...

I don't know about "hated", but it certainly was one of the most disappointing of the summer.

The film follows a strict formula of tepid exposition followed by a brief action scene without context or consequences and then sets that on repeat. So even at the end of an hour and a half of events taking place from one end of the galaxy to another, it feels like very little has actually happened

Hal Jordan's public introduction involving the helicopter crash; The first and only person he saves during the crisis is a woman that he slept with. While Spidey may have been eager to save MJ at the parade in his first movie, but at least he rescued some other bystanders first. Apparently Lantern's school of thought is "Spread, or you're dead!"

Also, this movie shouldn't be called "Green Lantern", it should be called "Captain Limelight". Hal Jordon hogs all the attention and gives nothing to anybody else. All the other characters are there to dump exposition on the audience. I love the line Tom says "Hal, we've been friends for fifteen years..." Yeah, because thats how friends who know each other that long talk to one another. Hector Hammond also calls Hal and Carol "friends", but they sure don't act like they know each other at all.

Aside of some really forced dialogue out of Geoffery Rush, the GL Corp is only there for fan-service and a Deus Ex Machina conclusion. We'd have been better off without them and save their appearance for a sequel.

Bottom Line: Too Much was spread too thin. I give it a 2 out of 5.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

The worst thing about this movie was the awesome trailer that really showed off the awe and wonder that is Oa and the Green Lantern Corp. I know I gasped when I first saw Abin Sur introduce himself to Hal. The movie that came out was a poor substitute for the two minute trailer and that is never a good way to begin.

Mitchell Craig said...

There is one good thing to be said about Green Lantern: Parallax looks less like a flaming bowel movement in the film than it does in the trailer.


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