June 18, 2011
Two margaritas and lowered expectations did the trick on this one, which was not the white-hot mess early reviews led me to believe it was. In fact, I’d put this in the same league as the two Hulk movies, which may sound like damning with faint praise, except that I quite liked both Hulk movies. (Waaaaaay better than Wolverine or Spider-Man 3.) Green Lantern had the same problem they did, which is that they all have much better movies hiding inside them, and if you can slog through the muddle, you can find the redeeming qualities.
- Epic starscapes, gee-whiz sense of wonder, first human among aliens, oh yeah I’m so there.
- Carol saves the day, which almost made up for her being a whiny dishrag the rest of the movie.
An aside: The US military has had women combat fighter pilots for a couple of decades now. There’ve been women pilots as long as there’ve been airplanes. So I can’t understand why, when there are so many real-life kick ass heroines around, Hollywood can’t seem to depict a convincing one in an action movie. Carol did not convince me. She was kick ass when the script needed her to be kick ass, weepy when the script needed her to be weepy, bitchy when the script needed to show that she was strong (dear Hollywood: bitchy does not equal strong), unconscious when the script needed her to be rescued…and she was wearing way too much mascara. I mentioned this to the ex-Navy woman in our group, who said, “Oh God I know!” LAY OFF THE FRAKKING MASCARA, HOLLYWOOD!
- Ahem. Anyway. I also actually liked Hal and the suit. Loved the Green Lantern Corps. Most of what I know about GL I got from the old Superfriends cartoon and the more recent Justice League cartoon, and this reminded me of both.
The Bad and the Ugly:
- This didn’t get within nine million light years of passing the Bechdel Test. Not that I expected it to, but after Thor and X-Men First Class both got passes (on technicalities if not in spirit), I was sort of hoping. But twas not to be.
- The film had a chance to depict villain Hector as a good man overcome by fear rather than a dweeb corrupted by power. We got the latter rather than the former, which I think would have been a lot more interesting.
- It’s missing a couple of really important scenes. *SPOILERS.* We went straight from brooding Hal to a big smackdown to noble Hal begging the Corps for help. I have no idea how Hal knew he had to go beat up Hector or why he changed his mind about being a GL. Then he comes back to Earth to find Hector holding Carol hostage, and we have absolutely no idea at all how Hector captured Carol. I like to think she put up a fight, but I have no clue, since in one scene she’s telling Hal she believes in him and the next time we see her she’s unconscious floating 20 feet off the ground. I *really* needed those holes filled in. As it was, there’s this twenty-minute section of the film that makes absolutely no sense. I’ll be curious to see if those scenes end up on the DVD extras. If they do, I’ll be royally pissed off. *END SPOILERS*
- And can we lose the frakking introductory voiceover already? Look, everybody in that theater knows what the Green Lantern Corps is and doesn’t need it explained, and I don’t need to be told how many goddamned sectors there are. Twice. Because I don’t care. And it doesn’t matter. Seriously. It doesn’t. The scene immediately after the voiceover? Showing Parallax blowing up aliens in space? That tells me absolutely everything I need to know to understand the rest of the story. Seriously. Plus, that would have been the awesomest start to a superhero movie ever. New rule: NO MORE INTRODUCTORY VOICE OVER NARRATIONS EXPLAINING THE MOVIE. STOP THAT NOW.
So yeah. There’s a good movie in here somewhere, fighting to get out. The epic struggle continues…