This is one of those gigs where, reviewing it after many already have, I find judgment has been done for me. Green Lantern, I am told reliably, is at best disappointing, at worst a green glowing turd. I mean, look at this one. That guy is furious.
So should I be joining the rest of the internet at the far end of the hyperbole spectrum? Could I claim to like it just to get attention?
In Brightest Day
Well, I can convincingly claim to not hate it. Perhaps inevitably, after all that online venom, there was no way it was going to be as bad as everyone said. Not even if “Green Lantern” ended up referring to Ryan Reynolds’ nose after an explosive sneeze.
I’m in a better position than some reviewers, as I have a liking for Reynolds stemming from some magnificent swearing he unleashed during the otherwise-abominable Blade Trinity. This isn’t his finest hour, even he seems to find the character a bit bland, but he still seems to relish the cool or funny parts.
And if you just want to see people overcoming their doubt and zapping monsters, I think it’s diverting enough on that level. Some components, such as the Parallax special effect and Peter Saarsgard as Hector Hammond, are even genuinely impressive.
In Blackest Night
You might have noticed I was trying to be positive there. Now, here are some things that don’t work: the sudden, jarring resolution to Hal Jordan’s heroic journey; most special effects that aren’t Parallax, especially the videogame-looking alien landscapes; the tedious amount of time our hero spends moping rather than doing anything impressive or heroic…
The big problem, though, even if you accept it as fun enough space-zapping (and I still think it is): it doesn’t really enthuse me about the whole Green Lantern thing, whereas I came out of X-Men: First Class wanting to consume more X-Men stories. And if it can’t get me going, someone who already owns Green Lantern comics, how is it going to excite people who have no idea who the hell he is?
In short, then, I didn’t think this was a gleaming diarrhoeic remnant, but nor did it seem the franchise-starting event that the studio might have wanted. And in a summer crammed with superhero movies like Thor, the afore-mentioned X-Men and upcoming Captain America, this looks like being the runt of the litter.