Martin Campbell’s The Green Lantern: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Jun 23, 2015

Looking back to 2011, Green Lantern was one of the most highly anticipated movies for that summer. Ryan Reynolds already being one of my favorite actors, and Hal Jordan a childhood hero, you can understand my excitement for the film. After an incredible disappointment in ticket sales and critiques, the film was quickly swept under the rug. Four years after it’s release, it’s time to give the movie a closer look.

The Good

Ryan Reynolds
Ryan Reynolds (640x567)
Although Reynolds was given most of the blame for the movie’s poor performance, he actually wasn’t the reason it flopped. Hal Jordan is known for running off his mouth, keeping others at arms length, and struggling with overcoming fear. As far as I could see, Reynolds did a great job at portraying all of those qualities. After all, he wasn’t the one that wrote his own lines (that blame goes to Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim, but we’ll talk about that later).

Mark Strong
Sinestro pic
Hands down the best casting in the entire movie. Sinestro is a hard character to pull off, but Strong portrays the stoic peacekeeper phenomenally. His role contributed greatly to the film; and had it not flopped I’m wiling to bet Sinestro would be as popular of a villain as Loki (if he were given a second film to shine as a Yellow Lantern).

The Bad

GL writers
This movie was doomed right out of the gates when Berlanti and Guggenheim took over the screenplay. Don’t get me wrong, I love the DC Universe the two writers are creating on the CW, but Green Lantern is a character they just weren’t the right fit for. In an attempt to establish the importance of the Green Lantern Corps and Oa, they ended crowding the movie with scenes in space, which the average person doesn’t care about as much as they do their own planet. Had there been more scenes of Hal saving civilians and less short ugly blue people, the movie may have done considerably better. Lastly, with an attempt to create a comedic tone for the film, the jokes that were written often made fun of the superhero genre; which were then contradicted by dramatic cliché lines from Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds.

The Ugly

The Suit
GL suit
With such an iconic character being brought to life, there is no excuse to skimp out on the CGI budget (maybe next time skip the giant yellow cloud and go with a better villain). The concept surrounding the suit was intriguing, but too often through out the film the audience can see plain laziness through the animation of Hal’s uniform.

Hector Hammond
Hector Hammond (528x296)
“Hey, you know what would be good? If we creeped out the audience with a terrifying version of Jimmy Neutron.” – most likely what was said when they discussed ideas for on of the main villains. A non intimidating scientist who has daddy issues brings Parallax to Earth, who’s head seems to grow for no apparent reason other than for him to have a resemblance to the fear-cloud. Every scene that included him made me feel uncomfortable and outlined his irrelevance to the movie (which was proven during his very anti-climatic death).

Overall, the movie’s profits resembled its value. Credit has to be given to Warner Brothers for attempting something new that isn’t apart of a bigger shared universe, but as Guardians of the Galaxy showed us, new can be done well (if you’re given the right writers and an unlimited budget). Hopefully when 2017 rolls around, the Green Lantern we see will be a little bit more thought out.