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Green Lantern: Where it Went Wrong
Green Lantern is one of the most popular DC comic book heroes and has somehow never been adapted to the big screen until now. It isn't surprising to see studios trying to adapt Green Lantern now considering the success of Christopher Nolan's Batman and the upcoming Zach Snyder's Man of Steel which Nolan is also apart of. Tackling the project however is a separate issue, this adaptation written by Michael Goldenberg (2003 Peter Pan, and Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix) and directed Martin Campbell (GoldenEye, Casino Royale, Edge of Darkness) suffers from a corny and rushed script. The only redeeming quality of the film is Ryan Reynolds charm, even though he is miscast in the role of Hal Jordan because of how likable he is manages to do a decent job in the role. It's hard to say that Reynolds can carry a franchise this big but we've seen worse actors carry franchises (Shia Lebeouf from Transformers). The biggest problem with this film is just how corny it is. It would have received higher reviews if it were made back in the start of the comic book film craze. It's amazing how rushed the film was to in terms of pacing, such as how Hal Jordan seems completely unfazed about meeting an alien from another planet give him a ring that grants anything your mind thinks of come to life. Even more so he seems perfectly fine with the revelation of a whole colony of alien Green Lantern's on a planet named Oa and the fact that they are about to enter a war with a fear entity named Parallax.
The other problem with this film is the villain Parallax. Villains in previous comic book films like the Dark Knight, X-Men First Class and even Thor of more recent memory had great villains that you could connect with and see their side. While Parallax is just a big huge brown cloud that goes from planet to planet seemingly eating it, they later tell you that he was once a Guardian from Oa that turned to fear to try to control it and become stronger but the fear overcame him. The other villain Hector Hammond was shown to be a completely unnecessary beacon to Parallax. Hammond could have been a better villain in this film considering he had a connection to the leads of the film, Hal Jordan and Carol Ferris, due to the history that we are lead to believe that they have. Hammond has some sort of creepy infatuation with Carol and is jealous of Hal's relationship to her. It is insinuated that they do have some sort of history maybe as friends but it is never explored. If the writers spent more time with the three of them, it could have led to a better conflict at the end of the movie.
The casting of Mark Strong as Sinestro is one of the brightest points of the entire movie, even though he has a fairly small role. The scenes he is in however are all very good, he is completely believable in the role and commands it very well. The scenes in which he trains Hal in the art of combat as a Green Lantern are well done as it shows his character's distaste for humans and Hal being a Green Lantern, especially considering Abin Sur (the Green Lantern that gave Hal his ring) was his mentor. While it was a bit surprising to see him create a yellow ring in this film setting up the sequel, it may have been necessary, and yes the sequel is already in development.
Considering the bad reviews this film received it is surprising that they would start planning a sequel so soon but it does make sense. If they were to give the character a reboot, it would end up costing the studio more money then opposed to creating a sequel. In creating a sequel, they have all the props ready to go and they don't need to tinker with anything to get the suit right or the special effects. Also if they can get a better script for the second film it will more then likely make for a better film, especially seeing that Sinestro is the likely villain. Having Sinestro as the villain can make for some good story lines seeing as how he was Hal's mentor. Another aspect of future Green Lantern films is the Carol Ferris character. Carol in the comics becomes a villain named Star Sapphire. Blake Lively, who portrayed Carol Ferris, has expressed interest in pursuing that turn in her character. In any case either, the sequel can't be much worse than the corny and rushed first film. Every super hero film has had a great hero with an equally great villain, hopefully this sequel will have just that.