Yesterday evening, after leaving Philly Comicon and having something to eat, I took a cab to a theater showing “Green Lantern,” which opened today, and caught an 8:20 show, not in 3D. While I haven’t read any reviews yet, I see on Facebook that some critics are panning it, but I thought it was a fine superhero movie and enjoyed it thoroughly. It didn’t have the emotional impact for me that the first Christopher Reeve Superman movie did, that’s still my favorite comics-to-film experience, but I’d put it up there with the Spider-Man movies as fun and exciting adaptations of characters I like. Ryan Reynolds was fine in the lead role, in fact I thought he brought more to Hal Jordan as a character than I usually see in the comics, where Hal tends to be rather bland for me. The rest of the cast did fine as well, with Blake Lively doing well as Carol Ferris, and Mark Strong impressive as Sinestro (not yet turned evil, but still rather prickly).
Visually, I thought everything worked well. I like the costume in the film better than I thought I would from seeing photos, I think it’s a fine update, and the effects were good throughout. Good enough that I rarely stopped to think about them, just accepted them, which is probably the best thing you can say. Nothing mindblowingly new or unusual, but well done and well integrated. The scenes on Oa were quite cool. The filmmakers even managed to make the Guardians impressive by hiding their short bodies under very long red robes, and keeping them sitting on their council seats nearly all the time. The other Corps members with speaking parts were Abin Sur, Tomar Re and Kilowog, all done well, mostly CGI though, which allowed Sinestro to out-act them, as he was largely in makeup and not CGI. Digital characters are getting better, but still can’t quite act as well as real people in my opinion.
The storyline drew from the comics at times, enough to make this longtime fan happy, but changed things where it made sense for a film. Hector Hammond’s backstory is quite different from the comics, for instance, but he ends up filling much the same role as in the comics, with the added twist of a connection to Parallax, the essence of fear. Parallax is the main villain/evil force in the film, and handled in a way that ties all the elements of Hal Jordan’s story together well, though played differently from the comics. There was plenty of action, and also time for Hal to find out about his new role, travel to Oa, get some training there, and have some fun with his new powers before things get too serious. And in the early part of the film, Hal’s backstory is handled well, too. Finally, at the end, during the credits, there’s a nice topper setting up a sequel that you should stay for, if you go.
Oh, and as a logo guy, I have to give a thumbs up to the movie logo seen above. Much more interesting than the usual superhero film logo, it draws elements from some of the comics versions by designers Alex Jay and Daniel Gelon without being real close to either. Nice job.
Forget the other reviews, if you’re a Green Lantern fan, or just a fan of superhero films in general, you’ll enjoy this one. Recommended!