DVD Review: Green Lantern

A movie review article by: Jason Sacks

Holy crap this is a bad movie. But you don't need me to tell you that. Read any website that publishes reviews of movies and the best review you'll find is amazingly tepid. There's a whole lot of "yeah, if you turn off your mind and just enjoy the spectacle, you'll find it somewhat inoffensive" and a whole bunch of "Ryan Reynolds is sure handsome" and not much in between.

But it really doesn't matter what I say about this movie, does it, dear reader? Chances are that you're either like me or like my friends who wrote the original review of this movie on our site: either you saw Green Lantern in theatres and kind of regretted your decision, or you're going to watch the DVD or on Netflix, maybe get drunk with friends and make fun of the movie as you watch it, and then move on with your life.

I mean, I read all the review of this all-time stinker, just like you, and I knew I had to see it. It's kind of part of the code of comic book fans. We have to see these movies, if only to be able to keep up with the conversations at conventions or message boards. If we don't see these movies we never know what's going on.

So with that in mind, let me give you a few of my favorite talking points about the movie, and maybe you'll enjoy thinking about them while you watch this flick. Oh, and please be warned that there are some SPOILERS below, if that matters to you.

Hal Jordan's Amazing Douchebaggery

During most of the movie, Hal Jordan acts like the biggest douchebag this side of Sterling Mallory Archer. Maybe the most egregious example of Hal's douchebaggery comes during the extremely pointless scene where Hal and his girlfriend Carol get in an aerial dogfight with some drone planes. We're supposed to believe that Carol is as great a pilot as Hal, but he wastes her skills with some hotheaded and pointless maneuvers, then defeats the drones by breaking the rules.

We find out that Hal crashed a multi-million dollar plane, that the crash has caused the loss of "half the jobs in the state" (though the jobs apparently inexplicably are back in time for a party later in the movie) and even failed in what it was intended to achieve. So what was Hal's reaction? Did he feel bad? Did he apologize for his failure and eat some crow? No, instead Hal decides, Archer style, to brag of his victory and sound like the aggrieved party in the events.

Yeah: douchebag. The movie's full of scenes like that.

Incredibly Underwhelming Villains.

The best super-hero movies have awesomely evil villains. Think Magneto in the X-Men movies, Loki in Thor and the Red Skulll in Captain America. But Green Lantern gives us… a nerdy guy with a testicle shaped head with uncertain powers – he reads minds sometimes but not other times – huh? Was there anything at all compelling about the character of Hector Hammond? Peter Sarsgaard is decent in the role though he doesn't get the chance to chew as much scenery as I'd like. But who the hell thought that Hector freaking Hammond was an impressive villain?

But even worse than Hector is the incredibly uninspiring villain of Parallax, the giant octopus-shaped evil space cloud. I know I've had recurring nightmares since my childhood about giant octopus-shaped space clouds, but I'm weird that way. Everything about Parallax is underwhelming and boring – there's no resonance to the being, its threat is amorphous, it’s completely unclear why it chooses to attack Earth and not Oa; it's just there as a generic stupid threat that Hal Jordan, world-class douchebag, has to defeat.

The Directionless Plot.

The plot of this movie has no momentum to it all. Just the opposite, in fact. The plot of this movie is a directionless collection of pointless scenes that somehow add up to less than the sum of their parts. Worst of all, the movie never decides exactly what it wants to be about. Is it trying to be Top Gun 2? Is it trying to be about Hal and his education in becoming a hero? Is it about Hal trying to be a hero on Earth?

This movie kind of wants to be all of those things and none of them. It seems unable to decide on any of its options, so it chooses them all. So we get a touch of everything and get satisfaction on nothing. Maybe worst of all, we never get any sort of sense of Hal's training as a Green Lantern – he has one lesson and then walks away like a petulant douchebag – so when he had to defeat the giant octopus-shaped evil space cloud all on his own, we have no idea of how he gained the skills.

Ridiculous Amounts of Mediocre CGI.

I have a pretty good TV and love to watch Blu-ray movies on my PS3. So I hoped that at the very least when watching this movie that I'd be able to have a good time enjoy the CGI in this movie. Instead, I found myself completely overwhelmed by the CGI, unable to really clearly mentally get my mind around all the scenes in the movie. Thinking about the movie now, I'm still confused trying to make sense of the scenes on Oa.

I suppose that this movie is trying to be a bit of a riff on Avatar, bringing amazing alien species to the movie screen and trying to create some sort of amazing alchemical magic. But instead all the CGI is overwhelming. Between the bug-shaped Green Lantern and all the odd-colored aliens and giant octopus-shaped evil space cloud and glowing uniforms and maybe even the amazing body of Blake Lively, nothing in this movie seems real, or interesting, or worth watching. My eyes honestly got tired of seeing all the unreality.

Yeah, this is a really awful movie. It's even worse than I'd heard it was, and I'm sure you'll find it the same. Set your standards low, get a case of Rolling Rock, invite your friends over and plan to enjoy the movie that might be even worse than X-Men 3.

Buy It 10/14 on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack with UltraViolet Digital Copy or Download to Own 

Community Discussion