The Green Lantern Is A Blockbuster Bust

gl 0231 The Green Lantern Is A Blockbuster Bust

Reynolds proves it’s not easy being green.

As summer garbage goes, The Green Lantern can’t go fast enough. Even in the brainless world of cinematic comic books gone bad, it’s as bad as it gets—a dumb, pointless, ugly, moronic and incomprehensible jumble of botched effects, technical blunders, and cluttered chaos. Oh yes. It is also—did I forget to mention?—boring.

I retain a certain fondness for Superman, Batman, Spider Man, and my favorite DC Comics superhero, Captain Marvel, who has mysteriously never been transposed to the screen. But of them all, the never-fail cure for insomnia, even for 10-year-olds who still buy Cracker Jack boxes searching for secret decoder rings, is the Green Lantern, deadlier and dopier than even the Green Hornet. Even to a hyperthyroidal, prepubescent geek, any attempt to relate something as simple as the premise for a plot must be downright defeating. Billions of years ago, a power race divided the universe into 3,000 sectors ruled by intergalactic peace keepers known as the Green Lantern Corps, who live on the planet Oa. The worst threat to the world was imprisoned on the Planet Ryut. This fiend is the Parallax, sort of an intergalactic Osama bin Laden who looks like a praying mantis with rabies. Parallax is now loose and declaring war on the planets, one sector at a time. Wouldn’t you know, this unspeakable enemy of mankind is headed for Earth, where the only person he can’t beat is supersonic F-35 Sabre jet pilot and gym-pumped Esquire cover boy Ryan Reynolds. It gets worse.

The dying Green Lantern warrior who comes to warn us hands over his green Buck Rogers ring to a goof-off with Coke bottle abs named Hal who points the ring at a target and—shazam!—there goes Afghanistan. Hal has competition (Peter Sarsgaard, trashing his career as a creepy wacko scientist, and Angela Bassett, whose specialty is examining purple aliens). He also has a sexy girlfriend (Blake Lively), the daughter of the demented aviation corporation owner (Tim Robbins) Hal works for. The Lanterns seek peace, order and justice. To join them is a big responsibility.  Mr. Reynolds, as Hal, scarcely has the time to pull himself away from his bench presses long enough to bother. The dialogue consists mostly of lectures about brain-eating bacteria, and the locations are identified as stuff like “The Edge of the Milky Way Galaxy.” It took four writers who shall remain nameless to think up lines like “We must harness the power of our enemies and fight fear with fear!” Or this favorite exchange: “Why are you glowing?” “Why is your skin green?” “What in the hell is with that mask?” At the screening I attended, the critics were laughing so loud I missed a few bon mots, but you get the picture. The director is Martin Campbell, who doesn’t.

Humans aren’t the strongest species, or the smartest, but we’re worth saving. As a Lantern, Hal is a hit when he rubs the ring and turns the film’s primary color of lime Jell-O, but he’s also a flop because he has the one thing no Lantern is allowed to have: human terror! If you care, this seemingly interminable rubble of bad technology and computerized escapades is devoted to Hal’s dilemma. Can he overcome fear and save the film industry from bloated budgets and fiscal apocalypse?  Surely it is time to save Ryan Reynolds from himself. Money says it all, but after he went to so much trouble a year ago to prove his acting prowess in Buried, the loafing and posing he does in The Green Lantern just seems like a lot of talent gone to seed.  Even as a prime example of rotten summer silliness, this is a paralyzing experience.

rreed@observer.com

THE GREEN LANTERN

Running time 105 minutes

Written by Greg Berlanti, Michael Green, Marc Guggenheim, Michael Goldenberg

Directed by Martin Campbell

Starring Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard

1/4

 

Comments

  1. Sascha says:

    This has to be the harshest and dumbest review I’ve ever read. IT IS A HARDSELL. Few outside the comics will enjoy it fully, but those who are already inside, hot damn it is GREAT!!! In brightest day… (PS: I’ve seen it and I cried like a fucking baby through the whole movie! Green Lantern has truly come to life!)

    1. bobbyg says:

      you’ve seen it? how? it’s not out yet?

      You work for the studio, and are saying you love it?

      that’s suspicious?

      1. Bebe says:

        It’s out in New Zealand :) 

  2. Dave says:

    Yea man, I cant take your review seriously. I get the impression that you have some sort of personal vendetta against Ryan Reynolds. You spend most of the review dissing him and the fact that he’s in good shape. Where’s the positive? Where’s the details to the plot? How was the acting? Scenery? Score? Very poorly written review, I hope this isn’t your day job.

    1. AbeVigoda says:

      If you can’t figure out what he thought of the acting, script and plot, maybe you need better reading comprehension.  He gives his opinion on all of these things in the 3rd paragraph.

  3. Mike Howes says:

    Um… Tim Robbins plays Hector Hammond’s Father… Not Carrol Ferris’s… I suddenly doubt the credibility here. 

    1. Nataniel Costard says:

      I couldn`t care less if he called the protagonist Mal Fordan, the important thig is what he thought and felt about the movie, wich is perfectly clear.

    2. Sonofspam says:

      was a wee bit confused about that one too.

  4. Tamsin Parker says:

    To call him a praying mantis with rabies would be an insult to a praying mantis with rabies. Parallax looks more like a giant evil dookie.

  5. Bill says:

    Dept of amplification: Captain Marvel WAS transferred to the screen as a 1941 12-part Republic serial. No plans to see The Green Lantern, but I’m guessing that Cap’n was at least a dozen times better than this latest FX effluvium.

  6. Tim Dunlap says:

    Remember when journalism was about getting facts right and giving them to
    people to form their own opinion? It’s hard to find credibility in a review
    when the critic can’t seem to get the facts right to start with. Here is a
    thought, pay attention to what your reviewing. It’s what your getting paid to
    do.

    1. Reviews aren’t journalism. It’s considered the same category of op/ed pieces which stands for (say it with me now): “opinion/editorial piece.” What you seem to be requesting – “getting facts right and giving them to people to form their own opinion” – wouldn’t be a review, it would be a summary. Quit being a whiny fanboy, grow some balls, and do what you suggest to the reviewer and know what you’re talking about before you open your mouth.

      1. Birdyoung says:

        How about you just go fuck yourself.

  7. Hagiazo43 says:

    Wow! Rex, why you tell us how you really feel?  You seem angry.  Sadly, my opinion (of the movie at least) may soon mirror yours.

    1. yes why is he so angry? he got to see the movie and get paid for it.

  8. Hagiazo43 says:

    i hate it when i post something right as i see an error.  Rex, why “don’t” you tell us how you really feel?

  9. Robert says:

    his opinion may be valid… for all i know this may be the worst movie ever made.  but any credibility he has is lost when he starts off his review by saying that he’s always found the character silly and boring.  why not find a reviewer that would approach it with an open mind?

  10. Skuzzy30 says:

    As inclined as I am to defend reviewers, this was clearly written with a lot of bias. Yes, reviews are subjective, but this is a personal vendetta with errors. It’s unprofessional. You don’t discuss anything about the merits of the movie beyond saying (1) the Green Lantern source material is dumb and boring (which you’re basing on childhood prejudice?) and (2) Ryan Reynolds annoys you not for bad acting, but for being a “cover boy” and “pumping iron” and….looking better than you? I sense you wrote this review before even seeing the film. Maybe you should appreciate the job you have and invest more energy in it.

  11. Ronald Ramos says:

    still watching it…GL is my favorite hero and if i gave Dragonball Z and the Chun Li movie a viewing I will dman give GL a chance…

  12. Scott says:

    Yeah, I don’t quite get this review. You’ve done a great job of telling us just how bad it is, but a terrible job of explaining why it’s bad. Sure there’s your description of half a dozen lines that you’re not too keen on, but what about the… acting, plot, cinematography, effects, score etc.

  13. Chrisaf1976 says:

    Rex has been reviewing superhero movies since Superman 1978 (He has a cameo appearance playing a film critic at the Daily Planet). I think he knows what he’s talking about here. Having seen the trailer for this piece of garbage of a film and seeing how bad Reynolds was in Wolverine Origins, I had low expectations. Rex – thanks for confirming them. I will avoid this movie like the plague and stick with the Geoff Johns written comics – Geoff: You should have written and directed this one!

    1. Fraaz says:

      You’re dumb. Not only do you listen to Rex Reed, but you think a comic
      book writer would make a better movie than an experienced director.

  14. Well Rex Reed regularly just goes out there to be controversial. Chalk this up with the Oldboy fiasco.

  15. Guest says:

    You lost all credibility when you said that your favorite character is Captain Marvel.  He is a terrible character.  “Shazzam”…seriously…I bet you liked Shaq O’Neil’s movie too.

  16. Yves Lendl says:

    you’re bad. what a review.

  17. Senior Peterson says:

    This is an awful review. Thanks for wasting my time because of your hatred for someone who makes more money than you or whatever your problem is. It is a MOVIE, so stop smacking because it is not up to par as some of the other superhero movies. Spiderman isn’t even DC comics.

    Also “sort of an intergalactic Osama bin Laden”? What the heck?

    “Surely it is time to save [Rex Reed] from himself.”, no?

  18. Gina says:

    “dumb, pointless, ugly, moronic, incomprehensible, boring.”
    Wow. Calm down.

  19. Fraazz says:

    You’re dumb. Not only do you listen to Rex Reed, but you think a comic book writer would make a better movie than an experienced director.

  20. Phodesh says:

    Quoting Mike Howes “Um… Tim Robbins plays Hector Hammond’s Father… Not Carol Ferris’s… I suddenly doubt the credibility here.” You know I am a HUGE comic book fan and I did not love it but it was not near as bad as this pompous arrogant @$$ states. It would be nice if these high appointed critics would read the original martial then go forward and destroy it. At least you would have more creditability to your review.