5 Random Thoughts about the awful “Green Lantern”

17Apr12

Yeah, I saw it. I guess I truly am a DC guy as opposed to a Marvel guy. Given the choice to see a so-so superhero movie from either line, I chose the DC version. Even though “Green Lantern” has received worse reviews and I was more interested to see “Thor”… there we go. There were many bad points of this collection of scenes stitched together to resemble a movie, and here are the few SPOILER FILLED moments that have managed to stick in my my memory:

1.) Bad Story Structure. You’re never invested in anything going on, and it even seems like the movie is disinterested in itself. Early on we get a lengthy flashback to the tragic (and unintentionally funny) death of Hal Jordan’s father. It seems it will haunt him for all his days… until the second half of the movie. I can’t be 100% sure, but I’m pretty certain that Hal completely forgot about the supposed central event in his life. Granted, he had space cop stuff to worry about, but come on, movie.

Another good example of bad story structure is in the scene-to-scene movement of the film. I’d almost guess “Lantern” was heavily re-edited, but even if that were the case, it seems like many of the scenes could come at any moment of the film and not affect the story whatsoever. It seems like every scene starts from emotional scratch, with nothing from the prior scene dripping into the next. Not that you have to (or should) do this with every scene, but every now and then it’s nice to have a scene end with someone saying, “There’s no way anyone will escape from that super-max prison” followed by a scene with someone breaking out of that same prison. It can be overly-cute, but it can also serve to make things feel cohesive. Without cohesion, the result is the intangible feeling of “Huh?’ the audience gets by the end of the first act.

2.) It Should Have Just Ripped Off “The Last Starfighter.” The types of stories they’re trying to tell are remarkably similar: hot shot human learns that he is a “chosen one” of sorts and gets recruited to join a space battle he had no idea even existed. After rejecting the call initially, he finds out he’s the only one who can help save the fleet/corps/etc., he does so, gets the girl and we applaud. “Lantern” seemed to have followed a few different, unrelated movies. It begins kind of with “Superman IV,” then goes to “Top Gun,” then a little of “Spider-man” and a general shmere of every superhero movie ever made.

3.) “No Fear” Kind Of. If I understood the movie correctly, the ring chose Hal Jordan because he was without fear, but he actually feels fear, but he can recognize his feeling fear, and that’s what ends up making him fearless. Or at least he’s strong-willed.

4.) CGI Gone Nutso. If I see one more use of digital/fake lens flare, I’m going to digitally barf. It’s the kind of thing where CGI technicians are charged to make things look “realistic,” and they seem to believe that A.) people will believe we are watching a man in a green suit flying through outer space and B.) we WANT to believe it. Trust me: we actually don’t. We don’t care, so why are you going nuts working to put lens flare — the result of using a REAL CAMERA to shoot toward a light source (in this case, the Sun) — into a shot is, in my classy opinion, dumb-ass.

5.) I Miss White Gloves/Hate White Eyes. Completely trivial, but it really bugged me. The Carmine Infantino look was beautiful in its simplicity, and part of it worked with the black-lined green suit against white gloves. The white gloves let you see the green ring. An all digital costume with no white gloves let you see, well, an all digital costume. Then there’s the back-door traditional choice to make Hal Jordan’s eyes white out when he’s in the Lantern mask. It’s sort of like how in the comics, he would have just white dots for eyes… except that was in print, and this is an actual human being. White eyes only worked for Marilyn Manson, and only one at a time. It helps to let your audience know that they’re looking at humans. But “Green Lantern” isn’t about helping the audience.

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One Response to “5 Random Thoughts about the awful “Green Lantern””


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