You’re probably hearing bad things about Green Lantern. It’s this summer’s internet punching bag that every cynical and jaded person on the internet is jumping on to try to look cool. Yet like many big summer blockbusters, Green Lantern will likely be critic proof; especially among fans of the character. While there are some relatively minor changes to the lore from the comic, Green Lantern is one of the most faithful comic-to-screen adaptations yet. Will that hurt it? Possibly, as the general public may be looking for a more “traditional” movie. But for comic fans wishing to see Green Lantern brought to life, the movie is a dream come true.
They actually don’t spend too much time on the back story of the Corps, despite what some bad reviews have said. Basically the short narration from Tomar-Re (Geoffrey Rush) that was in the 3D trailer is how they do it. It’s right at the beginning, and then the movie goes right into showing how Parallax is set free and Abin Sur ends up on Earth.
Also despite what you may have heard, the movie isn’t completely Earth-bound. There are two parts of the story going in. There’s Hal coping with becoming a Lantern on Earth with Hector Hammond coping with being infected with Parallax, while in space and on Oa; Sinestro is trying to stop Parallax while grilling the Guardians on what they know.
During those Sinestro scenes, he argues that the Guardians need to craft a yellow ring to harness the power of fear to “fight fear with fear” as he says. I guess most people went to the bathroom during that scene, as it completely explains the bit in the credits that nearly everyone was saying doesn’t fit with his character. Sinestro wanting the yellow power of fear manifests itself in a big way in the movie, and even at the end when he is congratulating Hal for using will to overcome fear; Mark Strong nails Sinestro perfectly with a slight snarl as if Sinestro can’t stomach the words he’s saying. If you realize all that, the credits scene makes perfect sense and is one of the most awesome parts of the entire movie.
Just as Ryan Reynolds is the perfect choice to play Deadpool, after seeing Green Lantern it’s not possible to say someone else could have pulled off Hal Jordan better. He gets all elements of Hal perfect. There’s the cocky pilot on Earth, the hero when he pulls Abin Sur from his ship, and the Lantern who’s not afraid to talk back to the Guardians and put them in their place. That Hal from the comics is right there on screen. And we surprisingly get to see him in the suit…a lot. Most likely because it was a CG suit, Hal spends a lot of time in the green; more so than we’ve really seen in most comic book movies.
The stuff on Oa is fantastic. I mean aside from actually seeing Oa in a super hero movie in a time when everything has to be grounded in reality, a good variety of the 3600 Lanterns are represented on screen. It’s so out there and embracing of the fantastical nature of comics that it would cause the fans of the Nolan-style reality-based comic book movies to die of shock. Tomar-Re and Kilowog are there and they’re actually on-screen in a live action Green Lantern movie teaching Hal about the Corps. You almost have to pinch yourself to believe that they actually put that on screen.
You want constructs? The movie has them. I remember a fear early on that they would limit the use of them to keep the movie more realistic, but that’s not true at all. Hal uses the ring and its constructs as you would expect, and there are some great ones he comes up with. And the effects are surprisingly pretty good. In fact the CG suit works so well you want to see it a lot, and as I said earlier; you do.
Changes from the comic are actually pretty minor. The origin of Parallax is one of the biggest, but the change was a necessary one to avoid an elaborate back story. Parallax is still imprisoned, but who he originally was and who imprisoned him is different. With the origin of Parallax they have in the movie, having him as a giant bug looking thing wouldn’t make sense; so those complaints are also pretty dumb and yet another reason for people to senselessly bash the movie.
The movie resembles Geoff John’s Secret Origin quite a lot, and there’s reason for it. Johns was all over the movie and really keeping an eye on it during production. It’s hard to blame him. Green Lantern is his baby. He’s spent the last nine years relaunching and turning the book into one of DC’s most popular, so for his hand to be seen all over the movie makes sense. There’s even an ad for Green Lantern comics at the end of the credits, and the largest book on the ad is Secret Origin.
Green Lantern may not get the love it deserves from the critics, but fans of the comic will want this on BluRay immediately after leaving the theater.