“Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a spider can.”
Well, you know what “Spider-Man” did? Back in 2002 the success of that film started the “comic book super hero” movie craze. And now a decade later these movies are dominating theaters and making hundreds of millions of dollars for their studios.
Even though the main character is different (at least until the sequel), and the locations change, the storylines for all of these films are practically identical: Regular guy gets superpowers and ends-up having to defeat evil and save the day (and sometimes the Earth). And there’s always a girlfriend involved and usually a best friend/sidekick to provide some comic relief.
The third comic book film to be released in less than 3 months is “Green Lantern”. Ryan Reynolds plays Hal Jordan, who is chosen to become the first human Green Lantern, a group of 3600 alien creatures who live in a faraway galaxy and fight to keep the world safe.
Jordan is picked because he’s shown bravery as a test pilot, even though his father died in a plane crash. But, of course, he doesn’t believe he’s worthy to be a superhero, even though everyone around him does.
The first “Iron Man” did a good job in avoiding many of the typical comic/superhero elements. “Green Lantern” does not. There’s no originality in the story, the characters are uninteresting, and the action scenes are some of the worst I’ve seen in a big-budget, sci-fi movie. And one of these times a studio is going to come-up with a memorable, suspenseful, climatic ending to one of these films, but don’t expect it here.
As for Reynolds, there’s no charisma on screen either alone or in scenes with the girlfriend (Blake Lively). A few wisecracks are supposed to add some humor (doesn’t work). I will says that the make-up is quite good, both with the aliens and the scientist played by Peter Sarsgaard, who undergoes some interesting changes. The supporting cast includes some big names: Tim Robbins, Angela Bassett and Geoffrey Rush. All are wasted.
“Green Lantern” is rated PG-13 for intense sci-fi action, including some violent images. This is not a movie for little kids (though I saw several at the screening I attended. Parents – do your homework!). It’s appropriate for kids 10 and up but, outside of you fans who seem to love this genre and flock to see every comic book film that Hollywood turns out (which is why they keep making these films), everyone else would be better off turning this lantern off.
On The Official Kid Critic Report Card, “Green Lantern” gets a D-. No reason for you to spend any of your green to see this.
My plea to the studios: I know you make a ton of money off these comic book/superhero films so you’re going to keep making them, but please, could you try to come-up with scripts that include something ORIGINAL. Maybe the guy doesn’t have a girlfriend, or she leaves him at the beginning of the film because all of a sudden he can fly (as most women would). Or maybe the hero actually loses the big battle and evil wins. That wouldn’t make for a happy ending but I’d certainly be happy to see it.