Marvel Comics have been the absolute ruler of the super hero movie world for the last few years. DC Comics, not wanting to be outdone by their age old rival, decided to take a break from releasing straight to DVD cartoon movies and put out another live action. The sad part is that where Marvel has made their favorite spandex-wearing heroes approachable to new audiences, DC decided to cater straight to their existing fan base with Green Lantern. This is good news for fans, but bad news for everyone else, especially the girlfriends of fans.
Green Lantern follows Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds, X-Men Origins: Wolverine), a man who had devoted his entire life to be exactly like Tom Cruise from Top Gun, straight down to the “whitie tighties.” His life reaches a new low when he destroys two robotic planes and gets fired by his ex-girlfriend Carol Ferris (Blake Lively, Gossip Girl). His life goes from difficult to wonderland when he’s taken in a big green bubble to a dying purple alien who gives him a ring that can make anything he wants appear. It takes him to the planet Oa where he is told that he is now part of an elite group of intergalactic police called the Green Lanterns. After some extremely xenophobic remarks about humans from his new teammates, he returns home to discover that Earth and most of the galaxy is being threatened by an evil entity named Paralax that he must to stop.
The film is most definitely a fan film since most of the story doesn’t make a whole ton of sense without the decades of comics detailing the background story. Though still not as bad as Marvel, plenty of characters pop in throughout the movie so that fans can say “Oh holy crap! It’s that one fish guy from comic number 443.” They’re peppered throughout the shots of Oa and the little earthlings Reynolds has to play with. Also typical of this genre, the ending is left wide open by a mid-credits scene for a sequel to follow in a couple years.
There was one subplot about one of Green Lantern’s infamous villains Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard, Orphan) being controlled by Paralax and gaining unrelated super powers. Then DC’s equivalent to Samuel L. Jackson’s character in all of Marvel’s productions shows up and hints at a secret organization. For fans this is great since they get to see long beloved characters done so well in exceptional casting choices and CGI. For non-fans though this makes the film feel cluttered, with too many minor characters to keep track of. This also creates the problem of trying to cover too much at once, making it so that even the main characters don’t get as much characterization as they deserve.
In the end, the fans get exactly what they want. Live action and Green Lantern fighting bad guys with cameos from all his little buddies and villains. It’s just too bad that non-fans outnumber the fans on this one.
Green Lantern is rated PG-13 for epic space battles and for seeing Reynolds in his undies.