With Green Lantern due in cinemas UK wide this weekend, we sent Vicki along to London’s West End to see a preview. Here’s her report:
If, like me, you proudly entered the cinema wearing your Green Lantern t-shirt and power ring, you might find yourself inclined to take it off by the end of the film. Green Lantern isn’t a bad film, it just doesn’t hold a candle to the recent comic book films of X-Men: First Class and Thor, nor I suspect, Captain America when that reaches our screens. If you think back to Bryan Singer’s Superman returns in 2006 that’s about the level Green Lantern is at, lagging in certain bits but not the worst film you’ll see this year (Drive Angry I’m looking at you).
Green Lantern is the story of Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds), an irresponsible pilot whose father died in an accident when he was a young boy. Despite watching his own father blow up in a plane crash the young Jordon decides to become a pilot as well; testing his adrenalin in death defying stunts to prove that he’s better than everyone else. Meanwhile on planet Oa, the Green Lantern Corp are facing a threat called Parallax, a former Corp member who was enticed by fear and now plans to destroy the Green Lantern Corp and take over their world. Abin Sur (Temuera Morrison), one of the most powerful warriors is nearly killed in a battle against the creature and flies to the nearest planet so the Power Ring can find another candidate to replace him. Hal Jordan, on his way home from his nephew’s birthday party, is transported by the power of the ring and taken to Abin Sur, who with his last dying breath instructs him to place the ring against the lantern and speak the oath to become a Green Lantern. Once initated, Hal is taken to planet Oa to be trained by Sinestro (Mark Strong), Kilowog (Michael Clarke Duncan) and Tomar-Re (Geoffrey Rush) and help the Corp defeat Parallax.
However on earth a new threat is developing in scientist Hector Hammond (what is it with alliteration in comic books?), played by the almost unrecognisable Peter Sarsgaard, who has been inflected by Parallax and developing powers of his own. Hal must using his powers of imagination – the ring can do anything you imagine – to save the world, protect his potential girlfriend Carol (Blake Lively), and prove his worth to the Corp. A lot to take in for a guy whose main concern two days ago was being late to work.
As you can see there’s a lot of history in Green Lantern which Geoffrey Rush explains during the opening scene of the film and feels a lot shorter than what I’ve just written. The main problem with Green Lantern, apart from the script, is that there was a lot of pressure on the film to be good. The only big screen adaptations currently on DC’s roster are Superman and Batman, while Marvel rolls out new movies every couple of months to (mostly) great success. If Green Lantern performed well enough this could lead the way to a Justice League film and introduction of some of the other characters in DC’s bank.
Not only did the audience not take Green Lantern seriously, but the film didn’t take itself seriously it seemed, jumping between the sombre tones of Geoffrey Rush explaining what threat the Corp were under to Ryan Reynolds thrusting at the screen in his CGI suit. The post credits sequence hinted at a sequel possibility but I fear that may remain an unfulfilled hope.
As long as you go in with low expectations you’ll be pleasantly pleased with the film, and there’s nothing exactly bad with the film and it will entertain most audiences. But if you go in expecting another X-Men you’ll be sorely disappointed.