Friday, 1 July 2011

GREEN LANTERN

So, yesterday I went to see "Green Lantern", the latest DC comics superhero movie, starring Ryan Reynolds in the lead role, with Blake Lively as his Lois Lane (although she does seem remarkably more intelligent than Lois Lane did, but I've only ever seen the Superman tv show with Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher, and I hate Teri Hatcher).

Now, I don't want anyone reading this to think I just hate all films, but...no, wait, I wrote nice things about "Bridesmaids." I think. Anyway, I don't hate all films, but I was pretty unimpressed with "Green Lantern." No, unimpressed is the wrong word. I was bored. Really bored. I couldn't even enjoy the 'exciting' action sequences because the rest of it had bored me so deeply. And I like superhero movies, I do. Christopher Nolan's Batman series (not technically a superhero, but whatever), "Iron Man," "Spiderman," and even...well, I can't think of any others off the top of my head, but I don't hate the genre. I missed "Thor" but fully intend to see it on DVD, and I'm even going to see "Captain America" (although that may be entirely due to the presence of Richard Armitage.) X-MEN! That's the other series I like, even if they're mutants rather than superheroes.

"Green Lantern" is different to these in a very specific way, which I identified while staring blankly at the screen while a voiceover told me lots of things I couldn't care less about. "Spiderman" begins when Peter Parker gets bitten by the radioactive spider, "Iron Man" begins when Tony Stark is taken captive and builds the special suit, "Batman" begins when Bruce Wayne realises he has lots of money to burn and even more time on his hands. What I'm saying is that the stories in these films starts with the characters' introduction to this new world/idea/whatever. "Green Lantern" doesn't. It has several millenia of backstory to trawl through before Hal Jordan gets a magic ring, and, quite frankly, it is unessential to the story and utterly boring to sit through. My brother disagrees, he thought the film was brilliant and he knew all the backstory crap before he went in (so he should have been even more bored than I was.)

What's interesting, though, is that in direct contrast to the info-dump of superhero-alien-backstory, there is a distinct lack of backstory concerning the human characters in the film, the ones to whom we are presumably supposed to relate. Sure, everyone picked up on the fact that the two leads slept together at some unspecified time in the past, but how did they meet? They keep saying they've known each other since they were children, but how? Why? (Thinking back, Hal's father may have been the star pilot for Lois Lane's dad's plane company, but I don't think it was said outright.) And then they introduce the mini-villain (who is being controlled by the mega-villain), and claim that he's known them both since childhood as well! And at the beginning, Hal goes to his nephew's birthday party, and engages in conversation with three adults who are presumably family members, though they are never identified.

I'm not a Ryan Reynolds fan either. I decided that yesterday. I liked him in "The Proposal," but I think Sandra Bullock's genius must have been rubbing off on him, because I wasn't overly impressed with this one. I also don't believe that those muscles he has when the aliens are studying him (though funnily enough they let him keep his underwear on) are his. I just don't.

I didn't enjoy the film. I think a sequel (which is already being discussed despite a poor box office performance) would be better, because it wouldn't be bogged down with so much unnecessary detail and could really get into the story, although of course they'll have to recap it constantly, so maybe it will be just as bad. It was just...ugh, it was just so dull. I can't even think about it anymore.

No, actually, one more thing. The special effects were pretty good, I actually thought the mega-villain creeping over the city was incredibly good. Very impressive. What I don't understand is how they can do something as brilliant as that, but they can't make it look like Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively are actually standing on a rooftop. Seriously, the green screen at that point was so bad, I'm assuming they'd blown the budget and had to make a hash of that scene.

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