I’m a pretty big comic book nerd. I spend thousands of dollars on comic books and superhero-related merchandise each year, and have been collecting superhero stuff since, well… longer than my memory goes. So you’d think I’d love the current entertainment environment which gives us a handful of new superhero movies each year. Unfortunately, my fandom has actually only made me more critical of superhero movies–I hate most of them, like few, watch less than that more than once, and own none. Is it possible that one of my favorite franchises, Green Lantern, could end that trend and become one of my favorite movies? Judging by the new teaser trailer released, the answer is going to be a decisive “No”.
Uhh… Hunh. Let’s talk about this.
That’s Hal Jordan. He’s the main famous Green Lantern, and the main character of this movie (that will most likely be a series of movies).
He seems like he’s just Tony Start without the facial hair and money?
Well, the director sure seems to think so. Hal Jordan is indeed a ladies’ man in that he hates commitment, but the excessive charm and wit he displays in this trailer is totally uncharacteristic of Hal. To be blunt, Hal Jordan has the charisma of a cardboard cutout. Obviously the director feels Hal is more marketable as a witty funnyman, but that’s just not who Hal is. And unfortunately, Ryan Reynolds is no Robert Downey Jr. and doesn’t have the ability to pull off this role nearly as convincingly as RDJ does Tony Stark.
Hal says something in the trailer like “You need a man without fear. Well, I’m not that guy!” Is Hal a coward?
HELL NO! Hal Jordan’s most defining trait is that he is absolutely fearless and afraid of nothing. (Hal witnessed his greatest fear become reality as a child when his father died–since then, he fears nothing.) Whoever decided that Hal’s character arc in this movie should be him as a coward learning to overcome his fears should be shot, because that decision makes this whole movie seem like a bad fanfic by someone with no grasp on the protagonist’s character whatsoever.
Why is Green Lantern’s costume CG?
Because some directors don’t understand that the amount of CG in a movie is not directly proportional to its quality or how much money it brings in. There is no good reason for the Green Lantern to be CG, and having seen it on the big-screen with Harry Potter, it looks utterly ridiculous. They’ve got 7 months to make this iconic costume look better–let’s hope they do so.
What’s with the weird alien Green Lanterns in the movie?
There are Green Lanterns from every sector of the galaxy. Sometimes they look badass and deadly, and sometimes they look cute or humorous. I don’t expect they’ll include many of the latter in this movie. I’m glad to see Kilowog and Tomar-Re in the trailer, though their CG models don’t look very impressive or polished (yet). It is reassuring that they included the chicken-fish alien Tomar-Re in the movie at all, though, since his design isn’t exactly the most mainstream-acceptable.
That’s Hector Hammond. He’s a creepy stalker with a thing for Carol Ferris, Hal’s boss. I’m actually shocked to see him as the likely main villain of this movie, as he’s pretty much totally unmarketable for any kind of mainstream merchandising, and certainly not a popular villain with comic book fans either.
Wait, he’s the villain? But what about that pink guy with the tall forehead?
Since Green Lantern-gone-rogue and Hal’s former mentor Sinestro is by far the most well-known Green Lantern villain, it was assumed by many he’d be the villain of this movie. That’s possibly wrong, though, judging by the trailers. Sinestro is apparently either not going to be a villain at all in this movie, or may have some half-assed rushed villain arc towards the end of the movie, a la Venom in Spider-Man 3. I actually think the latter is what’s more likely, and it’s a prime reason I’m dreading this movie.
So… you think this movie is gonna flop, then?
Oh no. Absolutely not. It won’t flop. I expect it to make tons of money. I’m calling it now, though–this movie will suck and it will hurt the franchise as a whole. The writers/director are clearly going for a light, funny movie with tons of CG and special effects a la Iron Man instead of a serious, action-packed sci-fi movie like this should be. They’re perverting the core of what makes Green Lantern popular and different in order to make it more marketable to the mainstream, and I’m convinced that this movie will be underwhelming and unmemorable as a result. We’ll see if I’m right when this hits theaters on June 17th, 2011.