Green Lantern

One of these aliens is Mark Strong.
"In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night."

Welcome back to The Tagline, with another review of a movie that I thought was ok and everyone else hated apparently: Green Lantern. Green Lantern stars Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan, who over the course of the movie becomes a green lantern (for those not familiar, Green Lantern is not a single person, there are a whole bunch of green lanterns, they're like superhero space police). As Hal comes to terms with his new-found powers, he must also come to terms with his own fears as he battles to save the Earth from Parallax, a monster which feeds on the fear of its victims to become stronger. This film hedges pretty close to the comics as an origin story for Hal Jordan, and features a huge special effects budget. For reasons that I'm not entirely sure of, people didn't care for this movie at all. I don't just mean that they were lukewarm about it or that it got some bad reviews, I mean that people really, almost universally disliked this movie. While it might not have been the most original or deep movie I have ever watched, I don't see why Green Lantern was such an apparently awful movie. I will now, as is my way, defend green lantern systematically, by addressing issues reviewers had with it, and then calling them a bunch of rude names while disagreeing with them.

This guy is too cool. BORIINNGGG.
1)Hal Jordan isn't a maladjusted loser, so I am not interested in this movie: I read one review that complained about this. Then I found a few more. Basically what it boils down to is this: In other comic movies, the protagonists are screw ups and underdogs, and that's why we like those movies. I'm going to go over all the reasons that's wrong. First off, people love to point to the X-Men and Spider-Man as examples of this, and while those movies certain do represent that archetype, that's not why superhero movies are good. I'd point out also that both of those IPs are Marvel comics, not DC like the good ole' Green Lantern. I might also point out that, while Batman might be broody and disturbed or whatever, he is also incredibly rich and handsome and popular with the ladies. I'd also point out that while Green Lantern might be super powerful and a handsome playboy, in his universe he is certainly an underdog. He is the first human to ever be a Green Lantern, and is scorned by all the others for his species youth and his own inexperience. Hal Jordan is sent to fight a super powerful monster that killed one of the most experienced Green Lanterns, and he's sent to fight it alone. Hal struggles with his own insecurities, and his intense, sometimes paralyzing fear. That looks pretty much like a similar set up to me, the overall power is just juiced up. Sure Green Lantern would whip Spider-Man's ass, but he doesn't have to fight Alfred Molina with robot arms, he has to fight a huge space brain that is literally made out of terror, and will freeze you with soul crushing horror before he devours your soul. Cut him some slack.

He doesn't look like he has a teacher's temperament.
2) This movie is a jumbled up mess, with shallow characters and an unoriginal plot: The first part of this one is one of those "did we watch the same movie" issues for me. There are criticisms you can leverage at the plot of this movie, but I don't think it was especially jumbled. Bad guy shows up, guy becomes Green Lantern, guy fights bad guy. Seems pretty deliberate and straightforward to me.  While you might argue that the plot is much like the plots of other superhero movies, I must point out that this is an origin story about a superhero who's been around for... a while. Whether we needed another superhero origin story movie well, that's open to debate, but accepting the fact that the movie exists, I don't think it can be faulted for being what it is. There are certain criteria you meet while making a movie like this, I don't get mad at the movie for it. I admit, outside of Hal Jordan himself, there isn't much in the way of deep characterization going on here, and that's probably the only criticism I heard of this movie that I think holds any water. It spends so much time following Hal Jordan around the Galaxy that there isn't much time for anyone else to get much of the limelight (hurhur get it), possibly with the exception of Sinestro, who does get a little extra fleshing out as compared to the other supporting characters.

Oops I forgot to swear at the reviewers up there. You guys fucking suck, clean your act up. Shit.

I'm going to wear that ring to guarantee a sequel!
Green Lantern, like so many movies of its type, suffered from an incredibly bloated budget (the final bill was somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 million dollars). It managed to gross just over that, with a solid showing of 220 million estimated gross. That's a lot of money, but as you've seen with other entries into this genre (take the Batman movies for instance) grossing under 300 million dollars makes the movie something of a disappointment. Despite that, plans are still in the works for a sequel (alluded to in the post credit teaser) and hopefully audiences will brush the chip off their shoulder before that comes around!

That's it for today, join me again on Saturday for another special post, where I'll probably leave off some movie that you really like and then get grief for it!
That'll teach me.

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