If you’re anything like me, you’ll have been worried about seeing this film after all the terrible reviews that have been published in the papers and all over internet last week. Well, you can forget all about that because GCB went and saw Green Lantern, and you know what, we only bloody liked it! Yep, I really don’t know what everybody’s problem is, sure the film isn’t perfect but I am very happy to say that Green Lantern is a highly enjoyable, professionally made summer blockbuster, which does not walk all over the well loved character.
Since everyone keeps going on about the film’s negative attributes, let’s start by looking at what’s good about Green Lantern. Director Martin Campbell skillfully handles the balance between the scenes that take place on Earth, and the extra-terrestrial action. This nicely sets up Hal Jordon’s attachment to his home planet, his intense sense of humanity that is essential to his development as a Lantern and gives the audience, who may be fresh to the comic book property, a strong grounding in reality. In the key scenes where Hal is trained by Kilowog and Tomar-Re, the action is nicely cut between Oa and Earth as Hector Hammond slowly becomes infected by alien stuff. This makes the huge amount of information received on Oa a lot easier for an audience to digest and gives a nice break from CGI shots, too much CGI for too long is never a good thing.
Before the film’s release, there was a lot of buzz floating around that the effects may not be completed in time, and the finished film looks cheap and rushed. I really saw no evidence of this, the film had a huge amount of effects and CGI work but it all looked well rendered and convincing, the Lantern’s constructs and Parallax looked particularly cool. The film is well cast, and has a number of actors pop up who aren’t usually seen in this kind of summer blockbuster. It’s pretty obvious that Peter Sarsgaard really delights in playing Hector and has a lot of fun looking as intense and on edge as possible, also Mark Strong looks suitably menacing as Sinestro. And as for Hal, the most important casting in the whole film? I think Ryan Reynolds did a pretty good job, and plays up his experience in comedy to gain a good few laughs.
Sure no film is perfect, and it would only be fair to say that Green Lantern has it’s fair share of niggles. The score was pretty underwhelming, it was crying out for a big scale musical theme to really hit those action scenes home, but composer John Newton Howard relied too often on trashy generic guitar rock, which is just boring. Thomas Kalmaku was completely underwritten and pretty useless; the role had no purpose and just popped up when Hal needed a face to talk to. But these are all small problems, and looking at the film as a whole they’re just niggles.
If I had seen this film when I was 10 years old, I would have really loved it. It has well filmed and interesting action scenes, loads of effects, a wide range of characters and a lead hero who drives cool cars and even cooler planes. I really do hope all the negative reviews don’t put an audience off seeing Green Lantern because without a good box office return we might not see the sequel, and after the post-credits sequence at the end of the film I really want to see more of Hal on the big screen.