Ink Blotting - Green Lantern

Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2011 at 06:00 PM

At 26% on, but at $53 million earned in its opening weekend, did the critics and reviewers get it right?  No.  They did not.  I don’t know what expectations have been set in regards to movies these days, especially comic-book-action-adventure-eye-candy stuff, but I can’t help but think that there is a bar set by certain other films (regularly repeated by critics in reviews for new releases). This expectation unfairly chastises good movies, good comic-book eye candy movies,  in much the same way a gym teacher unfairly chastises his grade 8 class for not being able to high jump as well as the provincial record holding high school-er he brought in one day.

Should a movie like Green Lantern be held next to a $155 million opening weekend, Best Picture nominated film that high jumps over 8 feet?  If not, then why is the bar set at that mark?  I keep seeing reviewers say “Oh it’s all right, but it’s no…”  Is this a fair comparison?  The King’s Speech won the Academy Award last year for best picture.  I don’t think anyone said “Oh it’s all right, but it’s no Citizen Kane.”

Green Lantern professes to be no more than it is.  The previews and buzz about the film promised a certain kind of movie… and they delivered.  Much like a good pizza place, it was hot and it was on-time.  There has been a great deal of talk about the film; that they had to spend more money on special effects after early viewings were very negative.  In my book…  MONEY WELL SPENT.  So much of this movie lives in a CGI world, and it is for the most part, very well created.  I enjoyed the spectacle and in the context of “eye candy”, this is a big green ring pop you could spend hours licking and get green dyed sugar everywhere.  But the reviewers don’t talk about this.  They talk about the lack of weight and substance to the images that Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) creates.  Few mention the intricacy, believability and immediate recognition of these green, mostly-see-through, constructs Hal Jordan creates in an instant.

There are hiccups in the film.  It’s not perfect.  I hope you weren’t expecting a perfect movie.  The plot could definitely have been tightened up resulting in fewer trips back and forth between Oa and Earth leading to more of a connected feeling for the places we were in.  The special effects around Hal Jordan’s first flight were pretty hackney (in comparison to everything else) and I think we could have done with more meaning and less explication.  It’s as they say – show me, don’t tell me.  Green Lantern’s plot was a lot of “tell me.”  All of the romantic interest between Hal Jordan and Carol Ferris; actually all of the relationships Hal generates in the movie are based on words as opposed to shared experiences.

Green Lantern is a good movie.  I plan to see it again very soon.


4 Giant Green Ring Pops out of 5


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