Its pretty simple idea, an old story. A magic lamp that grants wishes. At the core,that is what the Green Lantern story is. Alladin. Sure the details have changed, the ring, the Corps, the Guardians, but in the end, the Lantern and it’s power is something we all have wanted. The ability to take what we picture on our minds and make it real.
For the uninitiated, Green Lantern is a DC Comics character that first appeared in 1940. Unlike DC’s most well known properties (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman) there have been several versions and characters to carry the name and ring of the Green Lantern. This film is based on Hal Jordan, the second (and most well known) version of the character that first appeared in 1959 during the dawn of DC’s Silver Age, and follows the updated version of his classic origin.
Was it a bad movie? No. But it wasn’t what you would expect if Warner Brothers and DC are serious about keeping up with their Marvel-ous competition, then this was a misstep out of the box. It was by no means “Batman and Robin” or “Batman Forever” but it’s no “Dark Knight” either. Performances were all serviceable. Ryan Renyolds has that charm you expect from Ladies’ Man Hal Jordan, and is often not given credit for his acting ability. He is charming, yet damaged. Blake Lively was a pleasant surprise as love interest/future Star Sapphire Carol Ferris.
I felt it was bad decision to start off Earth, with the narration. I would rather have jumped right into Hal’s story, with more time spent on the Carol/Hal dynamic and more time developing the story of Hal’s relationship with his brothers and the memory of his father. Hector Hammond should/could have been a much stronger villain and just a creepy stalker type. Also disappointing was Parallax, both as a character, and how it was realized on screen. Angela Bassett was wasted, as was the potential of the character of Amanda Waller. Waller is DC’s Nick Fury. She could be used to help create a shared DC film universe, but I have no idea why the character I saw in this movie would one day run the Suicide Squad.
Can DC and Warner Brothers rally, and create a film franchise to rival the Marvel/Paramount shared universe? Sure, but DC Entertainment president Geoff Johns needs to step up. Warner Brothers has never fully understood what they have, or what to do with their characters, other than Batman, and often develop their franchises with marketing in mind, not the stories. They seemed to still think that it’s kids that are buying and reading comics (Does anyone from WB even go to Comic Con?) DC Entertainment and Mr. Johns are there to help them develop the properties, so it is their responsibility to make sure those characters are used properly. Here’s hoping that they get better, and they don’t just throw out the baby with the bathwater.