Green Lantern (2011) Starring Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Mark Strong, Peter Sarsgaard, Geoffrey Rush Directed by: Martin Campbell.
2 years ago, a film was released which was met with such revile and disgust that one would think that it was akin to Pier Paolo Pasolini's 'Salo', or, a snuff movie for that matter. The film in question was X-Men Origins: Wolverine. As I stated, just about everybody hated this movie, and not just hated it, but blind rage would possess their souls and have them spew forth obscenities that would make even the devil himself cringe. I have spent months - no - 2 years defending myself as to "how the hell I can possibly like this steaming turd of a film". It's tough, but it is something though I will continue to do. I never thought a comic book film would ever again be so viciously maligned after 'Wolverine'... and then Green Lantern came along.
Now those who know me know I am not much of a comic book reader, in fact I read comics as often as Gary Busey is certified by the board of health as totally sane and completely chemical free - Never. However, that didn't stop me from wanting to see this film. It had a decent actor in the titular role, a very good (If slightly over hyped) director on board, and a decent supporting cast also. However, the trickles of discontent started to seep out, then the salivating jaws of hatred widened further... and all of a sudden a garish, ugly venom, was vomitted by the neo nazis (AKA Fanboys) and hence, Green Lantern started to (and continues to) cop a daily beating akin to that of a Thai drug runner receiving his daily wake up call in prison with a bamboo pole across his arse for his crimes - thankyou sir may I have another.
But I digress, why, has this film sparked such hate? Let's see, Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan? No. The look of the planet Oa or the Lanterns or the Guardians that inhabit it? Hell no, they were awesome. The lack of spark between actors Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively? Well there isn't much there, but then again, there was zip between Christian Bale and Maggie Gylenhaal in the film that fanboys all circle jerk over - The Dark Knight.
Let's see, was it Mark Strong as Sinestro? Not at all. Was it Geoffrey Rush's portrayal of Tomar-Re? Nope, was it... oh hell I give up WHAT IS THE PROBLEM HERE?
Oh it's the origin story. What's that you say? 105 minutes is not long enough? Sit the f**k down and listen up.
First of all, not every goddamn comic book film needs to be 2 and a half hours long like Batman Begins, Superman: The Movie, Superman Returns, Spider-Man 2 or The Dark Knight. First of all, with all of the above characters, they have a rich history and are ingrained into about 90 percent of the modern consciousness of everybody on the whole planet in one way or another, whether your knowledge of them is minimal or extensive, folks KNOW who they are.
Now here's the kicker, hardly ANYBODY knows who Green Lantern is? And as long as he has been around, he has been lodged far in the shadows of the other comic book characters I just mentioned. So, why have his first ever big screen, live action adaptation at only 105 mins instead of 150 mins? The answer is simple - Audiences these days are incredibly finicky!!
Let me give you an accurate rendition of a couple out on a date on a Friday or Saturday night, standing in the movie theatre foyer, unsure of what to see.
Hey, how about we see this Green Lantern, the trailer looks really good
I don't know, does it say how long it goes for?
MAN CHECKS HIS IPHONE APP
It says here 2 hours and 30 minutes
Forget it, too long, I don't know anything about Green Lantern anyway,
let's see something else that's shorter.
Green Lantern as a possible movie viewing experience is now abandoned.
However, twist the running time to what it is, and more importantly, what it SHOULD be at 105 minutes, now the film isn't too hard to sell. Think I am making this shit up about people whining a film is too long? Spend an evening on a weekend at your local movie theatre, I guarantee you you will hear that very same conversation being uttered.
So in essence, Green Lantern is not "too short" it is at the appropriate running time it should be for the first entry into the series, whether it's sequel(s) run longer remains to be seen - so quit ya whining.
Now, the origin story problems... Ummm where are they? What don't we like about it? It is told concisely, it doesn't play around with the origin story, so what did we expect, hmmm? More action? More scenes on Oa? More training required by Hal Jordan with Kilowog to help him alleviate his fear in order to become a Green Lantern? C'mon, you people are picking this film apart now beyond the point of constructive criticism, and entering into the realm of unabashed cynicism. As I have said all along to the detractors of this film, it's f**king Green Lantern - What did you expect, really?? Oh wait Stu, don't start them on that road again, I can hear them all arching their backs ready to scream a whole lotta repugnance into a microphone, Henry Rollins style.
As I have said earlier, I suffered enough through Wolverine, hell, I even copped it when I turned the tables late last year and proclaimed 'The Social Network' to be an average movie with flaws I found through some of it's editing choices. OH BOY did I cop it over that one, relentlessly I was hammered into the ground by folks who wouldn't give up until I submitted into their way of thinking - yo, you guys aren't Scientologists are ya? Just curious.
Truth be told, I really enjoyed this film, I went into it with absolutely no pre-conceived notions of anything, had I done that, I may just have found myself on the other side of the fence, waving my fist in unison with my displeased brothers about how Green Lantern 'sucked'.
And so it is I find myself fighting (once again) this time with Green Lantern. Will I ever back down and give in - f**k no, I am one determined bastard and will never be swayed by the thoughts of cinema's moral majority. I don't mind if a person doesn't like a film, I totally respect their opinion, but goddammit respect my right to like a film you don't without making me feel like I am in Salem in the 1700's.
Oh, and for the record. If you thought Green Lantern was 'horrible, boring, a waste of time/money', whatever then check out this link and give it a read. What is it? Well, it is the original 2006 script written by Robert Smigel, penned with Jack Black in mind to play Hal Jordan / Green Lantern - yes, you heard me, Jack Black as Hal Jordan / Green Lantern.
Go on, give it a read, I dare you to......
.........terrible isn't it? Now tell me again, just HOW bad is the 2011 version?
For Hunter's thoughts on Green Lantern, head on over to his website and give his review a read