After forty years, I finally got to see a live action Green Lantern movie. It was okay. Better than I anticipated. But it’s no Thor.
For me, my introduction to Green Lantern was at about age 5 — the first comic book I ever purchased. Green Lantern/Green Arrow. Fighting space criminals on the moon. As the years went by, I occasionally read Green Lantern comics, but I didn’t enjoy them as much as Superman or the Avengers or many others. No, it was the concept of Green Lantern I always liked — that willpower and courage made a hero. That, and that there were a bunch of Green Lanterns out their whupping evil ass from one end of the Universe to another.
So I was pretty hyped to see this movie. I may even have gone a little overboard by buying my kids Green Lantern power rings (and masks) to take to the movie. And I may have even wore a green shirt to show my appreciation that there was finally a live action movie.
So how was it?
First off, leave the glowing power rings in the car. Yes, it was adorable that my 5 year old wore her mask and ring through the whole movie. In fact, she was able to fit her 3D glasses over her mask. But when she turned that ring on part way through the movie, it lit up like a smartphone. I had to quickly cover it with my hand until it went back out. It was like a green flashlight.
Secondly, my five year old was bored during the movie. She told me so. Several times. So much for my theory that Green Lantern was going to be like Fantastic Four — an okay movie that appeals to kids more than adults. And she wasn’t the only one bored — I caught myself glancing at my watch in one part.
But that’s not to say the movie isn’t awesome, at least in parts. It’s a very fast-paced movie — in parts. It’s got great 3D; they really took advantage of the 3D effect, even more than Thor. But all the wonderful eye candy of Green Lantern come to life was ruined on multiple occasions by long sections of talkey talking boringness. Maybe they put that drama in for film critics?
Do I want to see romance in an action movie? No. I’m not a teenage boy who stares longingly at the busty images of Wonder Woman in the comics. I’m a dad with kids. I’ve seen enough bosoms to keep me happy. I want some ass kicking, and maybe some laughs.
Which brings up Ryan Reynolds as Green Lantern. Like Michael Keaton and Robert Downey, Jr., I just didn’t think he was the right guy for the job. I was wrong. He did a fantastic job. That is, I liked his Hal Jordan. I don’t know if he was 100% comic book accurate, but I enjoyed it.
The special effects? Kick. ass. Every bit as good as Thor. The space scenes were more epic in scope than Star Wars, in my opinion. Of Course, Star Wars doesn’t have multiple Jedi flying through space in formation, so it’s not really a fair comparison. I hope the next flick spends way more time in space.
Did the movie have lame parts? Aside from the talking? Well, yes; what movie doesn’t? It’s called filler. Hollywood is so obsessed with their beloved, cookie cutter structure that every movie must have, so Green Lantern has filler.
Is it kid friendly? Well… not as much as Thor. More than Iron Man, but just barely. The first shot we see of Hal Jordan has him waking up with some floozy. I guess this is just Hollywood trying to brainwash our kids into thinking sleeping around is okay. Me, I prefer the hand kiss of Thor. Sex should stay in the bedroom, or R-rated movies.
Green Lantern’s ho isn’t the only inappropriate bit of screen time sure to make a parent cringe. There’s the trailer for the Horrible Bosses movie coming out, with sex and scantily clad Jennifer Aniston. I think the MPAA has lost their damned minds if they think that preview was appropriate for all ages.
All in all, I think that the blu-ray Green Lantern will be one of my favorites. I’ll be able to skip the saucy trailers and fast forward through the brief debauchery and long, boring drama in the movie.
For anyone thinking of taking your kids, you’ve got to ask yourself if the awesome 3D is worth exposing them to the flashes of adultery, or if maybe you ought to just wait for DVD as well.