Superhero movies based on Marvel comic-book characters seem to be ten-a-penny and constantly doing huge business at the worldwide Box Office, and with the DC Comics only real venture into movie adaptations being the undeniably excellent Batman franchise, it’d make sense their latest foray into film-world would be a big draw; it was however, The Green Lantern.
It’s difficult to describe just what a terrible film The Green Lantern is, and anyone who makes it successfully through the film’s runtime surely deserves a medal of some sort, because the plot; following a cocky pilot who suddenly inherits the powers of an ancient alien police force (known as The Green Lanterns) and is supposed to use it to single-handedly defend the entire universe (yes a single city, a country, or even the entire planet Earth, aren’t enough for The Lantern) from the biggest threat its ever faced (a suitably un-intimidating rain-cloud that resembles the bastard-child of Megamind and the rhino from James and the Giant Peach); is contrived, basically non-existent, pointless, and filled with wholly undeveloped characters that are so boring you aren’t even wishing to see them die, because you simply don’t care what’s happening.
Hal Jordan/The Green Lantern (Ryan Reynolds, Buried) is the most developed character of the film, though even he is nothing more than a 1-dimensional shell of a poster-boy hero that lacks any of the flaws which could make him endearing (he’s lost his dad as well but he doesn’t brood and obsess like Batman, he’s cocky but not one iota as funny as Tony Stark’s Iron Man, and doesn’t even have the desire to help like goody-two-shoes Captain America), and somehow while he has the power to do literally anything (because the ring he’s given allows him to create whatever he can imagine through the power of will), that only serves to make him even more boring; because if you can literally do anything, then can anything really threaten you?
Hal’s powers also make the film feel too unrealistic; I mean sure superhero films are never going to be as ultra-realistic as The Wire, but Batman is possible, Iron Man’s just about there (pushing it, but it could happen), and at least Thor was based on some sort of myth that works for the purposes of the story; and with the Lantern there’s no suspension of disbelief, because there’s nothing to keep you even mildly interested (ok a couple of the outer-space shots look fairly pretty, but they’re fleeting, and a simply drop of water in an ocean of shite); to the point that when a human does eventually succumb to the power of fear (the enemy of the ring; which as we know is powered by will *sigh*; over a full hour into the movie’s hour-and-a-half runtime) you’ve either left the film altogether (mentally or physically), are fighting the urge to fall asleep, or at best watching the clock and waiting for Hal to use his limitless powers to stop the indescribably naff bad-guy.
In fact this film is an utter disaster from start to finish, because even using a decent cast; with the likes of Ryan Reynolds, Tim Robbins (The Shawshank Redemption), Peter Sarsgaard (The Skeleton Key), Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes), and to a much lesser degree Blake Lively (The Town), plus the voices of Clancy Brown (Highlander), Geoffrey Rush (Pirates of the Caribbean), and Michael Clarke Duncan (The Green Mile), appearing; it’s not saved from the complete lack of character development, absence of a plot, a bad guy, or any decent special effects, that could have potentially saved it. The Green Lantern is a true train wreck of a movie, and one that should be avoided at all costs.
In terms of video quality The Green Lantern doesn’t actually score too badly, as it comes to DVD sporting average-to-good levels of detail, and great colour reproduction, though also suffers from a number of issues; including halos, some crushing, fleshtones that are too dialled up and not entirely natural looking, and what looks to be evidence of DNR; which ensure it’s not exactly a stellar release.
What does work however is The Green Lantern’s audio presentation; a 5.1 Dolby Digital mix that boasts perfectly crisp and clear dialogue throughout, a weighty and appropriate use of bass, plenty of ambience and effects to keep every channel busy, and a number of impressive effects (such as smooth pans) which make this soundtrack a real hit, and possibly the only thing keeping you awake during the hideous mess that is The Green Lantern.
The selection of special features (if you can call it a selection) is also nearly as dire as the film itself, and consists of merely a preview of the upcoming Green Lantern animated series, and the chance to read the first issue of the latest comic series to feature the Lantern; Justice League #1; a waste of time for most people, and only s stifling disappointment for even the hardiest Green Lantern fans.
The Bottom Line:
The Green Lantern is a superhero film about a superhero with seemingly limitless powers, so what’s not to like? Everything. The plot is non-existent, the idea is ludicrous, the characters are so 1-dimensional they’d actually look up to cardboard cutouts of themselves, the effects are lame, and even a decent cast-list can’t save The Green Lantern from itself; it really is that bad.
Picture quality is average, the sound is good, and the special features may as well be non-existent, but given how bad the film itself is, it wouldn’t matter if both the picture and audio were flawless, and if the special features were not only the funniest and most informative you’ve ever seen and even made you a cup of coffee while you watched them, because you still wouldn’t want to sit through the shambles that is The Green Lantern; a film that wouldn’t even be worth it if it paid of itself, because a film like this is nothing more than a substitute for waterboarding.