Chad Ackerman of Chapter 14 is back with a really awesome review of “Green Lantern,” which is in theaters now. If you’ve never read one of his reviews, you’re actually missing out. Some people say you’ll be missing out, but in this case, it’s actually true.
Martin Campbell’s “Green Lantern” really disappointed me. I saw his movie “No Escape” for the first time when I was a kid, and was blown away by the action and brutality of it. I saw “Casino Royale” about five years ago, and was blown away by how he made a James Bond movie with even more realistic action and brutality. Last year, I watched “Edge of Darkness” with Mel Gibson in the lead. Again, I was blown away: Campbell made an action movie that gave me the same excitement I’d had as a kid.
When I heard Campbell was doing “Green Lantern,” I was more excited for this newly-released film than any other comic book movie that was or is coming out in 2011. Honestly, I had the preview on my computer and I would show it to every guest that came over if they had not yet seen it.
I went to the theater with my Lantern ring, my Lantern button, and my Lantern high hopes. I walked out of the theater and felt like I’d just watched a bad version of “How To Train Your Pet Dragon” (which was amazing).
The CGI, which runs throughout the whole movie, was great at times and terrible at others. Every scene felt rushed as did the editing cuts. It is funny to me how they fit a better story — and more of the story — in the animated “Green Lantern: First Flight,” directed by Lauren Montgomery. The even funnier thing is that Campbell’s real life action “Green Lantern” was 105 minutes and Montgomery’s animated offering was 77 minutes. That is almost a half-an-hour time difference, yet Campbell still gives us what comes across as a rushed effort.
Now — on to the casting. Let me touch on Ryan Reynolds for a second. He portrays Hal Jordan, the first human Green Lantern. If you have respect for Reynolds — which I do — you most likely were excited to see him be the Lantern on the big screen. I recently saw “Buried” with Reynolds as the main and only character, and I was very impressed. In “Green Lantern,” however, it seemed like Reynolds was Van Wilder…chosen to be a Lantern.
Reynolds was goofy, unconvincing, and campy. Now, put a rushed film, with a rushed story line, and then rush character development with the main character, and you have disaster. Campbell also tried to put in a romance side story, with Reynolds and Blake Lively (as Jordan’s love interest, Carol Ferris). The relationship was confusing to me and awkward during the entire movie. Sometimes they were acting like a brother and sister, and then the next scene, they would be kissing each other.
There are great performances in “Green Lantern” from Mark Strong (Sinestro), Peter Sarsgaard (Hector Hammond), and Temuera Morrison (Abin Sur), but these actors could not keep this Titanic from sinking. If you want to have a little fun, and feel like you are on a sketchy carnival ride, “Green Lantern” will deliver. If you want a good story, better character development, and true depiction of a Green Lantern, watch “Green Lantern: First Flight.”
Although it is an animated feature, Montgomery’s vision is much more clear than Campbell’s live action CGI vision. In brightest day, in blackest night, Martin Campbell’s “Green Lantern” just wasn’t right.