Thursday, 16 June 2011

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Green Lantern 3D [Review]


Opinion: B-

What seems like a summer entertainment mix bag of sweet and salted popcorns turns sour as soon as Reynolds gets the ring. In an attempt to maintain a fairly engaging pace to stay the audience with the film, it opts for several touch-and-go without much depth in the screenplay and its written characters. Lacklustre screenwriting coupled with an average cast performance makes this a disappointing CGI-saturated visual array by Martin Campbell into the DC comic film adaptation.



In a universe as vast as it is mysterious, an elite, powerful force has existed for centuries. Protectors of peace and justice, they are called the Green Lantern Corps. Warriors sworn to keep intergalactic order, each Green Lantern wears a ring that grants him the ability to create anything his mind can imagine. But when a new enemy called Parallax threatens to destroy the balance of power in the Universe, their fate and the fate of Earth lie in the hands of their newest recruit, the first human ever selected: Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds).

Hal is a gifted and cocky test pilot, but the Green Lanterns have little respect for humans, who have never harnessed the infinite powers of the ring before. But Hal's humanity is one weapon no member of the Corps has ever had, and if - with willpower, determination and the encouragement of fellow pilot and childhood sweetheart Carol Ferris (Blake Lively) - Hal can quickly master his new powers and find the courage to overcome his fears, he may prove to be not only the key to defeating Parallax... he will save the Earth and all of mankind from certain destruction.


There is a high reliance on visual aesthetics in Green Lantern, which is really eye-poppingly prominent. Firstly, of course, it's the overly-used CGI and special effects that coated this film so thick that it feels like a visual effects extravaganza. Possibly in aim of adding value to the production to the best that money can purchase, sometimes I feel that more isn't necessarily better.

Take the luminous green skintight suit that all the Green Lanterns have on them for instance, it feels a little out of place visually and somewhat too blatant. Especially on Reynolds, the human, doesn't quite match up. It's like distasteful slimy jello smeared all over him. However, it's arguably excusable for the other Lanterns of alien race (that is constructed entirely on CGI).

It appears that various species represent each planet, which loudly screams Star Wars.

Massive use of space canvas dotted with glittering stars, planets and other astronomical entities do add towards the intergalactic affair taking place. Together with a colourful rendition of the Green Lantern Corp's home planet Oa, the visual team squeezes value out of the production budget further. Thankfully, there's a desirable post-converted 3D depth to numerous digital scenes that adds on to the experience. It's also a delightful bonus that it doesn't suffer from the dimness that it's known for.

Our male and female protagonists are also visual enhancement tools - eye candies.

Reynolds' ripped torso should get the ladies 'abs'-olutely excited while the lovely Lively is often casted in suggestive fitting secretary outfits to tease the male audience's imagination. Speaking of imagination, the main strength of a Green Lantern is the ability to craft and wield anything that their minds can generate. It's a wonderful proposition to the potentials of that Green Lantern trait, allowing a Lantern to be creative artists.

However, whatever Reynolds forms out of his imagination is anything but.

Even the film admits to that as we see scenes where supporting characters question the act of Reynolds. "Seriously Hal, a race track?", "Can you please remove the mask?"

Without a solid script that further develops the key characters in detail, it's hard to actually take this film seriously. It isn't all cons for this film though. Aside from a few admirable core virtues that the film bases itself upon and wishes to relay to its audience (will and fear are both equally strong sources of strength and power, one has got to be wary of which he/she chooses to embrace), I have to admit that the pacing is vastly improved. This gives a seamless (but probably mindless) ride throughout the little less than two hours runtime.

Perhaps Campbell (of Casino Royale fame) isn't imaginative enough for a comic adaptation project.

Reynolds gives a few random doses of his cynicism amidst a who-gives-a-damn attitude that might induce occasional laughter. It really isn't his best so far, as compared to say, last year's controversial Buried. While we've seen better Lively performance elsewhere (i.e. The Town), Peter Sarsgaard's performance adds sufficient intrigue and credible lurking menace as what seems to be an under-written antagonist (again, what's wrong with the screenplay team of four?) who suffers from uninspiring villain make-over.

Film veterans who have seen enough blockbusters and comic-turned-feature projects, you might find this to be a lacklustre one-too-many. For those looking to be thrilled by the summer fiesta visual effects and eye candies, this might be a considerable option best enjoyed with...

Popcorns and hotdogs. Wait, throw in a coke and nachos as well.

I'm just kidding, just lower expectations will do (guess I got mine up too high).


(PS: Do stay behind for a preview glimpse of what's to come in the sequel!)


11 comments:

  1. Early reviews indicate this gonna be another superhero movie that will be praised by critics. This summer already sounds like a great success for comic adaptation films.

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  2. Hey Jaccstev, that's exactly what I heard as well! But I try to lower my expectations just in case I got them too high and end up not as satisfied. I'll check out your review of it later this week :)

    Thanks alot!

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  3. I'm ready! I am a big DC fan. Looking forward to a big screen treatment for Green Lantern. Wish they'd do a JLA movie, but DC has already stated that will never happen.

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  4. @Alex A JLA film sounds awesome, yeah but a couple of years down the road when they've used up almost all of their DC heroes they might reconsider. Haha!

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  5. Not a huge DC fan, but I'll check out this one for sure, despite the poor feedback it received so far. You gave it a B-, so it can't be that bad, can it? :)

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  6. Haven't watch it yet. :) Yeah, many people had high expectations over this film.

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  7. @Nebular It has received a lot of really bad comments by several critics, so it'll be a risk I guess. There's some who thought it wasn't that bad on the bright side though. :)

    @JEMSEN Will be checking it out if you do catch it! :) Thanks JEMSEN!

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  8. Excellent review! I see what you're saying, but I thought this only had two problems, really, the writing and the overly short length. Other than that everything else worked for me. The visuals blended nicely and Aw man, I liked the costume. :) The acting was incredible considering the material they were given to work with. I was hooked and wanted this to be much much longer. Something like Green Lantern should have gone over 2 hours considering the complex mythology. I think it's been undeservedly trashed considering some of the other films out there like Hangover II.

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  9. @Melissa Points sustained, on second thought, your suggestion on how it could have been longer might have helped. And after you brought up Hangover II, yeah I guess I'll have to reflect a little just on that. Haha.

    Nice to hear your opinion of Green Lantern, thanks for the share! It'll help a lot when recommending this film, I'll share your views and mine and then let my friends decide better :D

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  10. Thanks! I like your reviews here. They're balanced and thoughtful and always honest. It's why I try to come back as often as possible. :)

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  11. I like the 3D marketing trailer of this movie but I got disappointed when I saw the movie itself. It's not that good because it the antagonist isn't that compelling.

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