All right, here goes. This might be the very thing that pushes everyone over the edge to stop talking to me. But it’s something that, after today, I can no longer keep to myself.
I have to live my truth, no matter what it costs me.
Green Lantern is a pretty good movie, actually. It doesn’t deserve the scorn it received.
Released in 2011 and starring Ryan Reynolds, this is a fun piece of entertainment. After watching it again today at the request of the youngest padawan, I can plainly say that I enjoy it unapologetically.
Reynolds is far more restrained than he is in Deadpool, or even X-Men Origins: Wolverine. (As a side note: the former is not truly as great as its reputation, and the latter is not as bad as its own.) His comic instincts are still great, but it’s obvious that the director kept it turned down to a 7 or 8 instead of the typical “11.”
I like this level of Reynolds’ snark. It’s the same reason Just Friends works so well. He’s just as much of a smart aleck as he needs to be, instead of running roughshod over any semblance of emotional connection for a quick laugh.
The effects are overly ambitious, but I like ambitious effects. The production design is still very solid, and I like the tweaks they made to the technology to sell it as part of our “real world.” The supporting cast is strong, and sell their parts.
I said what I said.
Mainly, though, it’s just fun. It has that comic book energy that’s been slowly draining out of that genre of films ever since executives realized they could focus group them into money printing exercises.
Of course they wanted to make money with this. Of course they wanted to make this their Connected Universe jump off point.
The amazing thing is, this is a perfect jumping off point for a connected universe. You’re on a galactic scale from the beginning, and building a world that would accept a Superman, Wonder Woman, or even a Martian Manhunter.
There are parts that don’t work. I’m not presenting this as the modern era’s Superman (1978) or Batman (1989). But it does have the grand scale and world-changing stakes that those did, while also having a sense of humor about the natural absurdity of it all.
It’s possible, even, to see Man of Steel is a logical counterbalance to Green Lantern, and therefore a better puzzle piece than starting point. Man of Steel is also far from perfect, and has a bit too much self-seriousness about itself, but is clearly a part of this world.
If you were to watch both back to back, I imagine you could draw the line from Dour Superman could find his way toward sharing screentime with Green Lantern’s more whimsical sense. They could then both learn from each other how to balance it all out.
Heck, Green Lantern’s super-saturated color palette could also bleed a little into Superman’s washed-out hues. You see the two extremes next to each and discover the direction both need to take to meet in the middle.
I’m not trying to read too much into it. Again, Green Lantern is decidedly imperfect in a few key ways, not the least of which is too much plot crammed into a story that’s not robust enough to support it.
But it’s of a similar construction to 2008’s The Incredible Hulk. While that’s not as good as Green Lantern, it nonetheless has a similar flaw of trying to cram just too many producer demands into a single film. Green Lantern, however, at least has a more engaging ending and satisfying resolution.
I know what I risk by putting such a statement out there. I accept what is coming my way. But I’ll say it even more clearly this time.
I’d watch Green Lantern a hundred times again before I re-watch Iron Man 2 or even Thor: The Dark World. I could go even more controversial than that, but I think you get my point.
I know I’m not alone, too. Rally around me!