So, earlier tonight, I was sitting in a dark theater watching the latest super hero film, Green Lantern. Now, Green Lantern is getting some terrible reviews right now and having seen it, I can understand why. That said, Green Lantern is not an offensively terrible movie in the way that Priest, The Beaver, or The Conspirator were terrible films. Instead, Green Lantern’s main problem is that it’s just so freaking forgettable. To be honest, I found myself forgetting about it while I was watching it. So, this isn’t going to be an easy review to write.
(This is also why this is a quickie review. I mean, I’ll make some noise for a few minutes and I’ll try to come up with something halfway neat for the end of it but don’t ask me if I really felt anything.)
Since I realized I was forgetting about the movie even as I was watching it, I decided to use social media to help me out. Blatantly ignoring the rules (but that’s why you love me, baby), I spent most of the film texting and tweeting. I’m pretty sure I heard the people sitting behind me whining about it but who cares? I did what I had to do.
Anyway, checking my texts, I find the following conversation:
Text from LMB (that’s me) to ENB (that’s my sister, Erin): Hey bitch where you at?
ENB to LMB: WTF, bitch? I’m sitting next to you in the theater.
LMB to ENB: Hi, Erin! lol. : )
Okay, so that’s not much help but it does tell you just how engaging this film is. I had the choice of either watching Green Lantern or sending text messages to my sister who was sitting right next to me and I chose to send text messages.
I also resorted to posting a few cryptic messages to twitter, with the hope that they would serve to remind me of what I was watching. Here they are:
Tweet #1: About to see Green Lantern. : ) — See, I didn’t start this film out with a bad attitude. I was looking forward to it.
Tweet #2: Old ppl always take forever buying tickets – What’s up with that? I would think they would be in a hurry seeing as how they’ve got less time to see a movie than I do. Just saying.
Tweet #3: We need a super hero named Red Herring – I sent this tweet just 15 minutes into the film but it shows that I had already picked up on the main problem with this film. There’s a lot going on but it all feels like it’s just been spit out by some script-o-matic sitting hidden behind the Hollywood sign. It just doesn’t ever really add up to anything beyond a sinking feeling of been there, done that.
Ryan Reynolds is haunted by flashbacks of his father dying. Why? Because Scriptwriting 101 says that the hero has to have some sort of self-doubt to overcome.
When we first see Ryan Reynolds, he’s lying in bed with a naked blonde. Who is she? What happens to her? Why does Reynolds, at no other point in the film, seem to be the type who would have a one night stand with some anonymous blonde?
Reynolds joins the Green Lantern Corp. when he gets a glowing green ring. All the other members of the Corp. doubt him because he’s human but then they say that the ring never makes a mistake. Okay, so if the ring is incapable of making a mistake and the ring chose Reynolds than why is everyone so convinced that Reynolds can’t cut it as the Green Lantern?
Seriously, it’s as if someone just wrote out a list of plot points and some anonymous script doctor just went down the list, checking off everything as he tossed it into the mix.
Plus, I think Red Herring would be a cool super hero. He could have the power of creating mass distraction and he could be the sidekick of my super heroine alter ego, Lady Verbose.
Tweet #4: Lol, cockpit is a funny word – I believe the exact line that inspired this tweet was something like: “And I still get into a cockpit occasionally.” It just made me laugh because cockpit is a funny word, largely because it’s a combination of cock and pit. Anyway, that is honestly the only line of dialogue that I actually remember from the film. As action and comic book movies tend to live and die on the basis of the quotable one-liner, that’s not a good sign.
Tweet #5: Green Lantern kinda bleh but Ryan Reynolds is mancandy – And you know what? He is. Green Lantern may have been forgettable but Ryan Reynolds made a likable hero and he brought some much-needed humor to the role. To be honest, as I look back at the various Green super hero movies, I can’t help but wonder how much better Green Hornet would have been if it had starred Ryan Reynolds as opposed to Seth Rogen. (I love you, Seth, but the super hero thing just isn’t for you.)
Also, Peter Sarsgaard did a pretty good job playing a surprisingly sympathetic villain. Both he and Reynolds deserved a better film.
Other than Sarsgaard and Reynolds, the cast was pretty forgettable but then again, it’s not like they really had much to work with. I have to be honest, though, that I am now officially bored with Tim Robbins. He shows up here playing yet another insensitive rich white guy. As usual, you don’t really buy him as the character because he’s just too obviously Tim Robbins.
Tweet 6: Lets not go to Camelot. Its a silly place. – I think this was inspired by all the scenes that were set on the home planet of the Green Lantern Corps. (That’s the group that Reynolds becomes a member of.) These scenes were obviously meant to inspire awe but they just felt silly. In the film’s defense, some of the special effects — particularly the evil entity known as Parallax — are impressive but, for almost every impressive special effect, there was another that just fell flat (which is never a good thing for a 3-D film).
Tweet #7: Sinestro is a silly name. — Sinestro, played by Mark Strong, is the leader of the Green Lantern Corp. And Sinestro is a really silly name.
Tweet #8: Why not just call him Eviltro? — Well, why not?