Thursday, June 23, 2011

Things I’ve noticed: It’s not that easy being green

So here I am a week later, and am trying to put together how I felt about the film Green Lantern. Here’s what the movie had in its favour, space travel, aliens, a rich back story, Ryan Reynolds, and the fact that I saw the poster for it in the film I Am Legend four years ago.

In a summer filled with Super hero films (so far I’ve seen Thor, X-Men: First Class, and Green Lantern – next month I’ll be checking out Captain America: The First Avenger), it is really easy to compare the film to its contemporaries. So lets do that.

Compared to Thor, Green Lantern wasn’t quite as funny, or epic in scale. Sure there was this whole alien corps of Green Lanterns, but with the exception of three of them no member of the corps did anything but cheer or die. I did like the villain character of Hector Hammond more than I liked Loki (from Thor), but by the end of the film I felt the character had been under-utilized. I realize that Thor and Green Lantern have two very different tones (one leaning towards SF and the other towards Fantasy), but I felt more connected to the characters in the one from Marvel.

Compared the film to X-Men: First Class is significantly trickier as the Mutant titles has four films worth of back story to draw upon and therefore doesn’t have to explain everything that is going on as it happens. As a film, I liked X-Men First Class a lot due to its pairing of a superhero movie with a film in a historical setting. I did keep hoping throughout Green Lantern that there would be a Superman or Batman reference, but to be fair I kept hoping for the same thing with X-Men: First Class, which had references to the other X-Films but nothing about the larger Marvel Universe.

Personally, I’ve never been much of a Green Lantern fan – the character is cool and all but in terms of DC Comics I always preferred Batman (or more honestly, pretty much anything in their Vertigo line). The character seemed cool, and a Green Lantern-themed article in the onion was the funniest thing I read in 2002, but overall, except for his appearances in Justice League comics I have very little knowledge of the character and back story.

I felt the film hit me with a lot in one movie, three major villains, super powers, an intergalactic corps of policemen, and throughout I wondered if some of these things could have been saved for later films. The movie was fun, I enjoyed myself while watching the film but it didn’t really stand out in any way for me. I’m sure my kids will end up owning it, and if they make a sequel I’ll go see it (I’ve always felt that most Superhero films do better as sequels), but other than saying it was a good film, and I do recommend seeing it on the big screen.

I honestly believe the overall problem comes from the fact that lately there are (sorry fellow fanboys) too many big budget superhero films out there. The ones I’m most excited for these days are the Marvel Avengers-based ones, as each film not only stands on their own, but is also building towards something.

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