Sunday, June 26, 2011

Green Lantern

Oh God...

This movie is "Twilight" bad.  Its as bad as a "Transformers" movie.  Its "The Last Airbender" bad.  What we're dealing with here is something that takes what should be a fine time at the movies and turns it into raw electric pain.  This isn't merely mediocre or forgettable, its one of the worst movies I have ever seen.  "X-Men Origins" and "Spiderman 3" simply had bad structures and screwed-up plots that could have been good.  This is one of those movies that from conception to final cut was never good, never could have been good, and is completely awful in every way.

If there are Green Lantern fans reading this blog (I assume there's always at least one), I'll go ahead and explain my experience with this character.  I only know Green Lantern from the "Justice League" cartoon that I watched occasionally in its first couple of seasons.  Yeah, I was one of those people who were like "why is Green Lantern White now?  He's a Black dude!"  Ultimately I was able to get over the race issue, because honestly that doesn't matter.  Green Lantern was only Black in cartoons to be the token minority anyway.  But I was never able to get over Ryan Renolds as the lead.  I could not imagine a person worse for the role of the the hard-nosed, no-nonsense, ex-marine Green Lantern then Ryan Reynolds... except maybe Jack Black.  And of course this means that Hawkgirl won't be here either, which is too bad.  So the picture for this review is going to be the real Green Lantern and his girl looking sad, because his good name has been forever ruined by this piece of shit.

I knew this movie would suck.  I knew it from the very first trailer, which looked like a remake of "Top Gun" at first.  Thank God that film didn't happen but this movie isn't much better.  I got dragged to this movie, honestly.  If only I had something else to do today, I could have spared myself the pain.  This movie feels like three hours long too, despite being only an hour and forty minutes.  I can't believe how mind-grating this thing gets.  I was giggling the entire time at how bad it all was in every way, giggling in between the parts that glued my palm to my face.  By an hour and a half in, one particularly dull scene got so trite, so badly written, so forced that I burst out laughing uncontrollably.  People were staring at me like I had lost my mind, which I probably had.  It was either laugh or cry.  I am just emotionally exhausted after seeing this thing.

This is what being raped feels like, I suppose.

"Green Lantern" is a really wacky movie with lots of very bizarre concepts that need to be sold to the audience.  You're introducing a whole universe full of weird aliens with essentially limitless powers.  This is a movie where the Superhero saves a helicopter by summoning a Hot Wheels race track for it to ride away from a crowd of people (instead of just stopping the damn thing one of a million easier ways), this isn't grounded.  You got to keep people from laughing at how utterly implausible this entire concept is.  One way you do not manage to sell your story is by casting a lead who snarks constantly at how this story is really really stupid.  Ryan Reynolds, the man who is supposed to be the star here, spends more time making fun of his own movie then fighting bad guys.  He says lines like "I pledge allegiance to a lamp... that I got from a purple alien" then basically winks at the audience.  "This movie is stupid, huh folks?"  If you can't get the hero to give a shit, why should I?

I didn't like "Thor" but I can at least give the film some credit by taking its own mythology seriously.  Here we have a movie where they actively joke about how silly Green Lantern's mask is.  Well if it was silly, why did you include the mask at all??  If you're aware the movie sucks, make a good one instead!  "Thor" was sincere at least.  Even "Kung Fu Panda 2", a movie that's basically a comedy at its roots, is serious in trying to show that what's happening is important.  "Green Lantern" can't decide if its playing this wacky green magic stuff straight or being a self-parody.  The hero just shouldn't crack jokes at the plot's expense, that's my job.

And really, that's the least of this movie's problems, this review is going to be long.

First of all, there's so much to the mythos of Green Lantern that you need to learn that the opening narration feels like an eternity.  Then they spend a half hour teaching Ryan Reynolds the lore anyway.  Apparently there are 3600 Green Lanterns all of different alien species and planets, and they all follow the orders of bored-looking blue dwarfs with fifty-feet long robes.  And that evil fart-creature from "Fanastic Four 2" is back eating planets or something.  There's so much magic and rules to establish, that we can't have an emotional storyline that deals with characters.

I never actively disliked Ryan Reynolds, but I never loved the man either.  He's way too smug to begin with.  The fact he's too cocky and slightly dickish to be a proper Superhero was a minor joke in "X-Men Origins", "Green Lantern" for some reason decided to make a whole movie about it.  In this movie, he's by far the worst character, acting like a complete asshole to everybody and everything.  The movie opens with him abandoning some pretty brunette he's sleeping with (the poor girl doesn't even get a line), then has him show up late for work, crashing a massively expensive jet fighter and blowing his company's army contract, get into a fight with his concerned brother, and argues with his hot brunette* ex-girlfriend played by Blake Lively.  The producers have realized that he was being too much of a jerkass, so they threw in a scene where Reynolds gives his nephew a birthday present - this kid is never seen again.  Then for some reason Ryan Reynolds is decided to be the most worthy person on Earth for the mighty task of being a Superhero.  I still don't know why the Ring chose this asshole, the movie completely failed to show that.  The writers do try to make a conflict that Green Lantern needs to overcome, something about fear, but its never really clear what character flaw they're talking about.  It sure isn't being an asshole, Green Lantern is good at that and never overcomes it.

I'll give Green Lantern one thing:  he drives a great car.  Its a 1971 Dodge Challenger, a symphony of evil that looks like it drove itself off the set of "Drive Angry Shot in 3D".  (And I really wish I saw "Drive Angry" again instead of this.)  The Challenger was also the character I was most worried about in this movie, because it repeatedly gets left behind whenever Ryan Reynolds gets kidnapped by aliens.  The first time he managed to find it again, but the second time it just disappears after Reynolds flies off from a bar fight.  He left the keys on the ground too, so I assume it was stolen.  Poor Challenger.

Every joke this movie makes basically falls flat.  Then when "Green Lantern" is trying to be serious, it drags.  Any scene between Green Lantern and Blake Lively is a moment where half the audience will fall asleep. The script is awful.  These characters have no chemistry.  Every scene between these two characters is always about the same thing:  Green Lantern is an asshole who won't commit to Blake Lively.  Its always about him shaping up for her, and I guess Lively is just supposed to wait for this guy?  When "Green Lantern" wants to be romantic, it comes off as absurd and forced as any scene between Bella and Jacob.  This is an amazing feat because Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively both have ten times the charisma of Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson.  I guess it goes to show, you could hire Patrick Stewart and Meryl Streep to fall in love, but if your script sucks it always be off-key.  As a matter of fact, I don't think the director was just missing notes, I think he was blowing into the wrong end of the instrument.

Off topic:  Blake Lively, will you marry me?

The amazing thing is that the main villain, played by Peter Sarsgaard comes off as a million times more interesting than Ryan Reynolds.  Yeah, Peter Sarsgaard has unbelievably bad hair, but it all works in the oddest way.  He gets woken up one night by Men in Black to investigate the corpse of the alien that brought Green Lantern his ring.  The whole time while Peter Sarsgaard is being led into the underground facility, he acts like he's stoned, its hilarious.  Sarsgaard is able to do so much more with a little smirk then Reynolds can do with a million lines of dialog.  The alien corpse has some Evil inside of it, and Sarsgaard gets psychic powers and turns Evil.  I loved the scenes with the villain, then we cut back to the hero and the boredom returns.  Sarsgaard is having fun and being entertaining, Reynolds is being sarcastic and a cocker, which am I supposed to prefer?

The plot doesn't work either.  I already mentioned that choosing Ryan Reynolds for Green Lantern makes about as much sense as choosing an alcoholic born-again fake Texan for President**, both in literal casting and in terms of the story.  He's an irresponsible dolt that demands everybody's attention and unfortunately gets it.  Why didn't the Ring choose... let's say, Batman?  Or Blake Lively?  Or Green Lantern's nerdy best friend that only appears in two scenes?  What's really sad is that between Green Lantern moping that he isn't good enough for the Superhero job and the bloated exposition-adventure to outer space, Green Lantern doesn't get to do anything even vaguely Superhero-y until an hour in.  "Green Lantern" is such a mess it barely manages to cover the necessary ingredients to make a Superhero movie.

I find it particularly weird that the superpowers that Reynolds gets is Good, but Sarsgaard's is Evil.  Peter Sarsgaard's character isn't particularly bad at first, he just seems like a lonely loser who will never get Blake Lively (I can sympathize).  There's nothing at all sinister in his investigation into the alien body, he seems properly excited for making the biggest scientific discovery of all time.  But he's bitten by the Evil Color, which is yellow for some reason, and Reynolds is bitten by the Good Color green.  If you reversed which one got chosen for which hue, the story would progress exactly the same.  It isn't your own internal goodness or evil that matters, only what kind of intergalactic being you run into.  Oh, and if you get yellow, your head will blow up like a balloon in the film's only creative imagery.

Then there's a whole subplot starring some alien Green Lantern named Sinestro that goes nowhere.  Sinestro, played by Mark Strong, is like the head Green Lantern, the veteran badass who wants to fight the bad guy.  Mark Strong by the way is incredibly charismatic and takes his job seriously, making him another more interesting character for a movie then Ryan Reynolds.  During the movie, Sinestro convinces the blue guys to make a Yellow Ring, which apparently is extremely powerful but might also be evil.  This isn't clear.  Well, after the Yellow Ring is finally built, Green Lantern shows up and gives a speech, so they don't use it.  That's it.  No more Yellow Ring, its completely cut out of the rest of the movie.  I hear that Sinestro is going to be the villain of "Green Lantern 2", but let's hope that doesn't matter.  "Green Lantern 2" would make me wish that the human race had never been given the gift of cinema from God.

Speaking of cuts, I can tell I'm watching a movie in tatters.  The editing is atrocious.  At least a half hour has been cut right out of this movie, leaving huge holes everywhere.  At one point we cut from Green Lantern in his suit to without it, just like that.  When Hal Jordon finds the alien who gives him the ring, he runs away from helicopters flying overhead - for no reason.  Dude, you basically work for the military, why are you running away from the government?  Then there's a scene where Green Lantern is fighting the giant fart alien, then two minutes later has somehow teleported three miles away and is on a rooftop.  It turns out that Peter Sarsgaard and Green Lantern and Blake Lively are all childhood friends - this is revealed a whole hour after these characters are introduced.  When Green Lantern beats up three guys in a parking lot, you never find out what happened to them.  I assume he just murdered them - leaving his beautiful Challenger behind as evidence for the cops to use.

My favorite part is a huge plothole when Green Lantern flies from Earth to Green Lantern meeting for some reason, then asks permission to save his home world.  YOU WERE JUST THERE!!  Why did you fly all this way?  He also makes the aforementioned speech about how Yellow is bad, even though he shouldn't know that.  He's a rookie Green Lantern who has had super powers for maybe a week, the people he's lecturing are wise masters as old as time itself.  What the fuck do you know?

The people who made this movie just didn't care.  I don't know if the director failed or if the Warner Bros execs built the movie by committee, but either way the result is a disaster.  In case you might be fooled to think that this was a film made by anything close to an enthusiastic filmmaker, just check out the final battle.  Green Lantern and the Final Boss fly from Earth through the Asteroid Belt and reach... the Sun?  What???  The Asteroid Belt is AWAY from the Sun, you're fucking up Solar System geography!  A third grader can point out how stupid this is!  Come to think of it, how could Green Lantern beat the bad guy when all the strongest Green Lanterns tried before and were curbstomped in seconds?  I think the answer might be "because his humanity gives him strength", an answer so stupid and cheesy that it only makes me hate this movie more.

I cannot end this review without talking about the Green Lantern suit.  It is awful.  This thing is made entirely out of CG, making it seem like Ryan Reynolds is completely naked and has green skin.  It looks like he's wearing a black thong.  More money then I will ever see in my life, then you will ever see in your life, then any of us will see in our lives have been blown in this ridiculously bad special effect that looks far worse than the Superman suit from the 70s.  I haven't even talked about the mask yet, its the worst part.  It covers so much of Ryan Reynold's face that it like bleeds over his eyes.  Now they looks like little sunken beads in a CG face.  At times when Green Lantern is flying directly at the camera, the effects get so bad that it looks like they plastered Ryan Reynold's face onto a cartoon background.

The other effects range from okay to plain old bad.  I can see a lot of work went into modeling the many Green Lantern aliens, but they all get seconds of screentime, if that.  The imagery just isn't any good, and the effects are rubbery.  This is an artless movie, sadly.  Green Lantern's style of fighting is ridiculous, summoning everything from jet planes to the kitchen sink to fight the bad guys.  I didn't buy any of it for a second.

"Green Lantern" is a complete mess, probably only good as something to laugh about years later as one of the biggest failures ever.  Its going to be real competition next week for Michael Bay, who is trying to make the Worst Movie Ever with "Transformers 3".  That I steadfastly refuse to see - there's only so much I can take before losing it.

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* At first I thought the ex-girlfriend was the nameless girl from the beginning, because they look exactly the same.  No, its not.  Later when Black Lively shows up at Green Lantern's door, I couldn't tell which girl was appearing.  And even though both of these chicks have incredibly minor roles that exist only to show the manliness of the protagonist, I couldn't help but feel that both of them would have been better Green Lanterns.

** Am I still allowed to take cheap shots against President Bush in 2011?  Or has that joke sailed?

12 comments:

  1. This looks like a completely shitty movie, I never intended to try to see it in the first place because he looks like a plastic army men who a snobby little kid took a magnifying glass to, HE LOOKS LIKE FUCKING SHIT, this movie deserves to be edited out, they would have done better with a black actor.

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  2. Green Lantern was shit. It did, however, give my friends and I a great number of in-jokes. A list of them:

    >Because of the villain's head-balloon, he (and we, by extension) begins all sentences with "I'm a Cabbage Patch Kid." For example, "I'm a Cabbage Patch Kid, and gimme the ring." "Okay." "I'm a Cabbage Patch Kid, and I lied."

    >Due to the dreadful CGI on RR's mask, every error he makes is due to his "plasticine eyes." "Hey, why did Ryan Reynolds fall into the sun?" "It's his fucking plasticine eyes, he couldn't see where he was going."

    >Everything the villain's dad says about Ryan Reynolds is immediately succeeded by "not like MY SON." This comes from his whole "doer" speech. "Ryan Reynolds is a 'doer'. It's men like him that make the world go 'round. Not like my SON. My NO GOOD, DEADBEAT, WORTHLESS, NERD SON! Why couldn't Ryan Reynolds be my son? Why? GRAAAAH! I HATE MY SON!"

    >Ryan Reynold's birthday gift to his nephew was a pair of panties. When he gave them to him, he said, "Here you go, champ. I snagged'em off a whore."

    >And then, of course, there is the "Ryan Reynolds Bang Count", which surprisingly only ever reaches two. If he's characterized as a sleaze in the opening scene, why is the girl he humps'n'dumps a whole 50% of the women he's slept with?

    Also, I'm pretty sure that Ryan Reynolds' suit was supposed to look like his skin turned green. I think his lady comments on this at one point.

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  3. about batman betting a ring yah it happened in a diffrent comic book universe in the maih he universe he almost got a yellow ring and recently after he died his corpse was usesd as black lantern including his dea parents first robin(now batman) and 6th robin (damien wayne)had hard time with that. of yaehbatman has a son no not in the future talia raped him 2nd badass robin. the first died in the movie under the red hood killed by the joker.

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  4. Well there goe's my favorite DC hero. Guess I have to go back to Batman.

    I think the people of the world need to create a petition to stop hollywood from creating movies based off of books and comicbook heros. Who's with me?!

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  5. yeah the only super hero that deserves movies is batman and maybe the xmen. batmans the only super hero who gets the gets the best movies. so why would these rejects get ther movies ok there cartoons are great but what the fuck happened

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  6. I told you it would be terrible!

    The trailers did it no justice, not that they had any justice to give this abomination of cinema.

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  7. @Anonymous2- they are running out of ideas, so they are making movies of all these gay superheroes.

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  8. The only Superhero that I wish they'd make a movie about is Captain Marvel, only because there's really no way it could be any other than the most sincere basic Superhero movie. You really can't have a love story, you can't have much angst, its just a kid becoming a Superhero and saving the day.

    But it won't happen, so forget it.

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  9. I want a new National kid movie. He's the best superhero ever, because he is a teacher. he is breeding a new generation of well meaning citizens of Japan, the world's greatest power.

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  10. national kid ? eh
    so blue which is higher green lantern or batman and robin. quick captain america please we need a good superhero movie im not american and you ironically short of hate your country.
    spellfail

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  11. welp i couald go on rage on how bad films are now a days but we have you.
    but still WTF why is there a fucking sequel do this piece of shit ineed arkham city soon.
    i wonder how yproductions feels about this lol.
    if there is a fucking sequal to the clone wars movies i dont know what to say.
    but there are fanboys who are pissed and i love pissing crazy fanboys like the one who said that tha romance in the prequal was belivable or this movie was good
    spellfail

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  12. Same guy who commented on the Kung Fu Panda 2 movie review here, and I laughed even more this time! Your criticisms are hilariously, surprisingly, accurate! Bahahahaha ;D

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