Green Lantern Movie Review

DC’s green Marvel returns, and no, we are not talking about the Hulk. Based on the comic book series of the same name, the Green Lantern is about a test pilot named Hal Jordan who is given a powerful ring that turns him into a Green Lantern, a kind of intergalactic space cop. The cast includes Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan and Blake Lively as his love interest Carol Ferris; the movie also stars Peter Sarsgaard and Mark Strong.

Green Lantern has received mixed critical and fan reaction ranging from good to horrible and has performed less than WB expected. So, before we see how bright this lantern shines I should mention that while I am a comic book fan, I am not a huge Green Lantern fan. My primary comic fandom has always been Batman and X-Men. So, will this movie represent the blackest night, or the brightest day?

The Good

The cast: WB did an excellent job casting Green Lantern. Although they had to alter a lot of Hal Jordan’s personality to fit Ryan Reynolds, but the character they gave him to play works very well. Hal Jordan’s character arc in the movie is nothing amazing or new, but it is done well for the most part. Mark Strong was an amazing Sinestro. Readers of the comics will know all about Sinestro, but they did make some minor alterations to his character and turned him into someone that you could believe to be called one of the best Lanterns. Sinestro seems like a powerful character that is filled with pride in his abilities and the abilities of his fellow lanterns.

Blake Lively gets shoved mostly into the “damsel in distress” role for this movie, but her acting ability allows her to make the role into something worthwhile. If they decide to follow the comic path with her character I can imagine Lively pulling it off well. The only dark spot on the casting is Peter Sarsgaard, but that isn’t his fault. He is given a fairly bad role and he struggles to make something of it.

The CG when it works: The first trailer for Green Lantern had CG work that I almost mistook as something from an Asylum film; it was horrible. WB realized this and put a lot of effort into improving the effects, even spending $10 million at the last minute to improve some areas. You can tell where they put a lot of effort into the CG because those scenes look great. The Green Lantern suits look really good, for they are highly detailed. The up close shots of the costumes really show off the detail and effort put into them. Parallax usually looks very good as well. He doesn’t always come off as menacing as he should, but when the movie calls for the effect to do some damage it does so.

The Bad

The CG when it doesn’t work: So what about those scenes where they didn’t put that much effort into the effects? They are jarring enough to completely rip you out of the movie when you notice them. I’d go so far as to compare some of them to the CG work you saw in PS1 RPGs (Jerky movements, blurry appearance, etc). It is pretty embarrassing for a $150+ million movie in 2011 to have effects that bad. Some of the flying scenes are the worst offenders. If they couldn’t get it right they should have just put Reynolds on wires in front of a green/blue screen.

Story: There are areas of the story that were set up for no other reason than sequel baiting. Also, there are a couple minor plot lines with poor resolutions that are just left hanging. One of the biggest issues with the movie is Hal dealing with his memories of his father, which took too much time and it could have been skipped over. This plot element had no point to the plot at all other than to give audiences a reason not to outright hate how much of an ass Hal is at the start of the movie.

The other major problem the story has is with the character, Hector Hammond. Peter Sarsgaard did the best he could with what he was given. Once he turns evil, he looks ridiculous and his character feels like he belongs in an entirely different movie. His role is poorly executed throughout the movie, which is mainly due to the script. On a rather amusing note I found Hammond to be more sympathetic than Hal for a good portion of the movie. Speaking of which, Reynolds did a good job playing the role he was given, but I just feel they pushed it a little too far at times. As I said before he is a bit egotistical in the beginning. However, his character does turn around by the end of the movie, but it is a tad awkward given his prior attitude in the movie.


Overall I enjoyed Green Lantern despite my issues with it. I went in with no expectations and the movie entertained me, and at the end of the day that is one of the most important things. WB is already working on the sequel and I will go and see it. Super hero movies usually improve with the sequel. As long as WB learns from the aforementioned issues, I think Green Lantern 2 has the potential to be a much better movie.

If you are still on the fence at this point, I’d say wait for it to come out on DVD and Blu-ray before seeing it since there are better movies in theaters right now to watch. If you are a Green Lantern fan it might be worth watching, as long as you go in knowing that you won’t see the Hal Jordan and Parallax you’re used to in the comics and TV shows you have seen. Also don’t go see it in 3D. I saw it in 2D and I see no reason for a 3D version of it to exist. I don’t see how 3D could add anything except making some of the bad effects even more obvious.

Green Lantern Movie Review by Derangel