This review is going to be the easiest one I’ve written for three reasons: 1) Research; 2) I’m a writer and 3) I’m a ‘fanboy.’
How does these three aspects play a part in my assessment of Green Lantern that was released in theaters today? It’s as elementary as, well, one of Sherlock Holmes’ deductions. First off, I’ve always bashed critics who review films based on comic book characters because of their lack of knowledge of the source material. It is obvious, most critics are of the older generation and who has never once picked up a comic book EVEN when the comics were out during their youth.
I just recently got into Green Lantern for another project of mine. I did a lot of research on the mythology of the Green Lantern corp, even purchasing the first volume of an anthology of the earlier area Hal Jordan comics. So when I put my behind in the seat I had a vast knowledge of the Green Lantern corp universe. Knowing what I’m suppose to see played a role in my final feeling towards the movie (keep reading for the verdict).
Secondly, being a writer and not just a columnist or reporter such as critics are, I understand the creative process. I am able to discern what the writers were trying to do. That’s key — because once you understand that then some of what critics call ‘bad script’ becomes irrelevant.
Lastly, I’m not going to say that I’m a comic book purist. But I’m slowly becoming one because of other works that I’m currently doing. As I mentioned earlier, I just recently got into GL in the past year or two so I’m very familiar with the material. He still isn’t my favorite comic book character but I’m liking him more and more.
With all of that said, I’m going to begin with the greatest part of the movie — the visuals. I’m not the one to pay the extra price for 3D. Screw the nonsense however that doesn’t stop me from appreciating the visuals that the production team put together. Oa looks fantastic; the Guardians look fantastic, the Lanterns look fantastic and even the constructs look awesome. The makeup artist did wonders with Mark Strong as Sinestro (which I agree with one reviewer that HE IS SINESTRO) and creating Tomar-Re and Kilowog to look realistic was amazing.
Director Martin Campbell gave viewers who are clueless about the the Green Lantern universe a summation of it during the opening sequence, then followed that up with reminders of what GL’s powers really stand for — which is what the movie is told around.
Being in fear, being fearless and the ability of overcoming fear. That’s what makes a Green Lantern great. Campbell and the writers displayed that with Ryan Reynolds and how he shied away from the responsibility of being a Lantern because he was afraid, he was fearful. That’s why the writers created Hal’s character as being brash and/or egotistical, because it hid the fact that Hal is actually afraid of failure. It took him understanding the power to believe himself that made the climax of the movie special.
And for the critics who has a problem with the introduction of all these different characters who appears to have no connection whatsoever? Well, those are for fans and each one plays a role in the bigger DC universe as a whole and Green Lantern’s universe on a smaller scale. For instance, Dr. Amanda Waller (Angela Bassett) in comic book lure is ranked the 60th Greatest villain of all-time according to IGN. Campbell actually explains why she becomes evil during a flashback moment. Thomas (Taika Waititi) is Hal’s most trusted friend in the comics and even Carol Ferris (Blake Lively) plays a larger role than just the CEO of Ferris Aircraft and Hal’s love interest (see Easter Egg).
Green Lantern is great because it does what critics seems to miss — it stays true to the mythos of the core of the Lantern.