Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Green Lantern

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Green Lantern - 4 out of 5

"In brightest day, in blackest night
No evil shall escape my sight.
Let those who worship evil's might
Beware my power...Green Lantern's light!"

I'm a big fan of Green Lantern and, in case you were wondering, I didn't need to Wikipedia that oath--I know it by heart!

"Now this is a ring with power in it, Sauron."

I've been a fan of GL for a long time now--I'm also a big fan of The Hulk and Green Arrow, so, it seems, I definitely have a type when it comes to superheroes and that type is green. There's always been something about the man who wields the emerald power of Will that has spoken to me. First off, he wears a bad-ass ring that gives him the ability to manifest anything he thinks off--and it can make him fly, who doesn't want to fly? Then, to make the Green Lantern even more interesting, he's basically a intergalactic police officer out to stop evil and protect the innocent all the while hanging out with aliens. Unlike other heroes who think globally and act locally, GL acts on a galactic level--protecting all who are threatened by those things dark and sinister.

I told my girlfriend when we get married, this has to be my wedding band.

So, when it was announced that they were going to do a Green Lantern adaptation, I was stoked! I was even more excited when I found out that it would involve Hal Jordan, my favorite Lantern. Now don't get me wrong, Alan Scott started it all, Kyle Rayner is an alright Lantern, John Stewart is a bad-ass when he wears the ring and Guy Gardner is just a tool but Hal has always been the man for me--I don't know if it is because he's the first Lantern I was exposed to or what but he is, and always will be, the top Lantern in my book.

"Allow me to shed some light on the situation...I'll go now."

After the initial announcement of the film, I kept a close eye on the hub-bub on the internet for any juicy tidbits of news that would come out about the film. The first real news came in the form of who would play Jordan and a relief that can only be equal to hearing "you are NOT the father" on Maury Povich came over me when I heard that the man who's portrayal of Deadpool made the Wolverine movie interesting (at least for the first 20 minutes); Ryan Reynolds, would play the man who wears the ring. Why was this a relief? Because Bradley Cooper from The Hangover and Justin Timberlake were also up for the role. Cooper is funny and talented but I can't see him as Jordan and as far as Timberlake...well, let's just say I don't want one of my favorite heroes to sound like a wannabe gansta, more effeminate Michael Jackson dancing in space and using the ring to bring sexy back.

Seriously, they wanted this ass to play Hal Jordan?!?

With Reynolds in place, I was set to see the movie and I was NOT disappointed...although the critics were.

Here's what a GL nerd I am...this is me performing stand up in one of my Green Lantern shirts. Just ignore Jimmy Buffett in the background.

If you're not familiar with the Green Lantern or the story of the film, it's about a test pilot who is chosen by a powerful ring--a ring worn by the guardians of the galaxy, The Green Lantern Corp.--and ends up becoming one of the most powerful members. The film takes bits and pieces from the comics and creates an updated version of Hal's origin and pits him against the being created by the yellow power of Fear; Parallax. (This being was altered from the comic books but if you're not a geek like I am, you would never know) One of the biggest aspects of the comic books (and something I believe they nailed in the movie) is the all-around fantastic nature that is the Green Lantern.

If you look like this, it's hard to not be evil.

The Corp. itself is made up entirely of non-human aliens (and then Hal goes and breaks the status quo) and the constructs that the Lanterns create can be whimsical, comical and all-around awesome. These two facts alone makes bringing the man in green to the screen a difficult task because the filmmakers are always riding a razor-thin line that could easily get out of control and, the next thing you know, we have another Daredevil or Catwoman on our hands. However, it is my opinion, that the filmmakers were successful and created a Green Lantern film that captures the spirit of the comic books.

Insert generic headache joke here.

Now, I'll admit I'm bias because I enjoy the Green Lantern so much that they could have made a much worse film and I still would have enjoyed it--unless they put the guy who has yet to learn he can't beat box; Justin Timberlake, in it. Ryan Reynolds really captured the arrogant but flawed character of Jordan fantastically. Mark Strong as Sinestro was just awesome! And the cast they got to play the digitally created characters is fist-pumpingly tremendous. Geoffrey Rush as the bird/fish-like Lantern called Tomar-Re and Michael Clarke Duncan perfectly cast as one of my favorite Lanterns; Kilowog, are two examples of why this movie knew what it was doing. Finally, the man who does the voice of Mr. Krabs on SpongeBob providing an excellent voice for the super-being Parallax--that's right, The Kurgan himself; Clancy Brown. This cast, even without the fact the film is an adaptation of one of my favorite comic characters, would have been enough to get me to see this movie. Hell, with this cast, the movie could have been about a farting contest and I probably would have seen it--especially since Tim Robbins (the man I will forever be jealous of because he's nailed Susan Sarandon) also has a role.

"Hi, I'm Clancy Brown and I'm cooler than you."

With the story of Hal Jordan and his entry into the Corp. being something that is just amazingly fantastic and out-of-this-world, special effects that can live up to that standard are, without a doubt, needed and I believe they succeeded. CG characters like Kilowog look and feel like their 1-D counterparts had ripped their way out of the comic pages and came to life. More importantly was the filmmakers decision to make the trademark Green Lantern costume completely computer generated and not the usual "just make it leather instead of spandex" approach that we now see dominate the world of comic adaptations. Much like how Dr. Manhattan was created on Watchmen, the creators of Green Lantern used motion-capture technology to make Hal Jordan's suit look and feel more alien and alive. This effect makes Jordan appear larger-than-life as the ring is coursing energy constantly through the suit. The effect really sells the alien nature of the power Jordan wields.

Now, I don't want you to think I'm going to sit here and blow Will manifested smoke up your ass and say that Green Lantern is perfect because it's not. The only real complaint I had about it was it does run low on the action department. While the action sequences it gives you are created and a blast to watch, the reality is, there is not a lot of them. However, I'm quick to glance over this complaint when I remember the film is an origin story--and origin stories for comic book heroes are never easy to tell as the filmmakers are put in a difficult situation of running the risk of putting too much backstory in to satisfy the comic nerds like me or putting in too little to make average Joe and Jane movie goer happy--or the kind of people who ridicule me for reading the comics yet they are shelling out 20 bucks to see said comic adapted on to the big, bright shiny screen.

"I'm sorry Kilowog but did you eat shit for lunch."

Despite how badly the critics panned Green Lantern, I enjoyed myself. While some aspects of the film could have improved (like more action), the reality is, it could have been much, much, MUCH worse (like having a former member of N*sync in the film). Adapting Green Lantern into a film isn't an easy task because not only is the story very out-there, you also have rabid, die-hard fans like myself foaming at the mouth to see the man come to life. But, when the credits rolled (and we got teased with seeing Sinestro fall from grace and give into the power of Fear), I was very happy with the end result and can only hope a sequel will be produced.

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