Green Lantern is all CGI sheen and no soul, taking the comic book movie one giant leap backwards in its inept attempt at creating a would be dazzling adventure.
Bad acting, bad script, bad direction. Surely such low qualities should no longer be seen in the superhero movie, that persistent sub-genre which of late has churned out top quality entertainment for the masses.
Yet “bad” is exactly what Green Lantern is, but not without a lack of trying. Green Lantern, after all, was supposed to be the DC Comics / Warner Bros. answer to their Marvel Studios rival, this no expense was spared in creating a super hero film of mass scale, with burgeoning superstar Ryan Reynolds in the lead and experienced director Martin Campbell calling the shots.
Visually, this is one impressive film, with intergalactic worlds and CGI set pieces magnificent on the big screen. Yet just like tits on a woman, visual effects do not make a superhero movie. Brains, charm and attitude were in desperate need to make Green Lantern shine bright, but none can be found.
In the hierarchy of DC super heroes, Green Lantern is a top tier character, sitting below Superman and Batman. Here Green Lantern aka Hal Jordan is played by the before mentioned Reynolds, who is seemingly on a mission to appear in every comic book movie imaginable (X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Blade: Trinity).
Hal is a test pilot, brave yet irresponsible, and constantly haunted by the death of his father. One night he is whisked away by a mysterious force, and meets a dying alien who bestows upon Hal a powerful ring and the responsibility as one of many guardians of the universe, known as the Lantern Corps (played by the likes of Mark Strong and Geoffrey Rush).
Soon Hal is put to the test, when an all powerful, fear consuming entity known as Parallax (imagine a giant, worm infested stool sample with teeth), threatens to destroy the Earth. It’s up to Hal to step up to the plate and save the day.
Reynolds is a mixed bag. Physically, the guy is superhero material: buff, chisel jawed, athletic. Comedy has always been his strong suit, and there are moments when he shines with that jerky, satirical humour of his. Yet when forced out of his comfort zone, Reynolds struggles with carrying a role that asks for depth as well as physicality.
Worse is Blake Lively, so good in The Town yet here she playing the love interest with zero charisma while pronouncing dialogue as if reading off cue cards. In fact, in a cast packed with name actors only Peter Sarsgaard provides good quality, playing a heavy underneath a cake of make-up which makes him look like a mongoloid version of fugly porn star Ron Jeremy.
It comes down to poor writing and direction. Neither are up to scratch, with an at times overtly complicated and especially boring script directed without a spark of energy or imagination by Campbell, ironic considering that energy and imagination are supposed to be the Green Lantern’s greatest weapons.
Campbell is no slouch. He re-invented the Bond franchise twice with Goldeneye and Casino Royale, and only last year coupled emotion and action in the underrated Edge of Darkness.
Yet sometime, somewhere, something got lost in translation in this comic book adaptation. What could have been Superman instead became Jonah Hex. Back to the drawing board DC have to go.