Saturday, July 9, 2011

Green Lantern

Green Lantern:
Well, Atleast It Was Still Better Than
Superman Returns... Kinda.

I believe it was the great Adam West who, while wearing his iconic guise as 1960s Batman, said "Somedays, You just can't get rid of a bomb..", a sort of tongue in cheek nod to what many Hollywood higher-ups believed of the idea of taking Batman from the small screen to the big screen, and though this line would go on to define one of the greatest camp films of all time, in a less fun way, it also defines the way that nearly every movie based on a DC Comics character that has followed that lovely bit of camp history, and yes all you hardcore comic nerds out there, I said "nearly every" because Superman and Superman II, as well as the Nolan Batman films and Watchmen are infact, brilliant films. For some reason, which no one can really figure out, all the things that DC Comics Animation division gets right, DC Comic's movie division gets wrong, well unless its Batman, its frustrating really, watching the constant build up and build up and almost Icarisian fall from the top of the box office to relative obscurity outside of its core fandom. As some of you either already know, or can judge by my statement, Green Lantern is no exception to the list of non-Batman related DC Comics bombs, which is sad, because visually, this film is beautiful, but, a bomb is a bomb no matter how you look at it.

Green Lantern tries to mash together the classic origin of Hal Jordan with a more recent, more confusing retcon that didn't really play over all that well in the comic books, and someone for whatever reason felt it would be a good idea to add to the movie, you know, because stuff tried in a comic book that is almost universally panned, works so well in the movies. The story starts millions of years before the Earth was formed on a planet called Oa, where we meet The Guardians Of The Universe, who are using the essence of willpower, which is for some reason green, to create an intergalactic police force to help them in their peace keeping efforts, this force would be called The Green Lantern Corps. The Lantern Corps split the universe into 3600 sectors, sending one Corps. member to each sector, each member is equiped with a power ring that allows them to do incredible things, and a lantern for which to recharge the ring, they are expected to travel between all the planets in their sector, doing whatever needs to be done for the lantern corps. Its very military that way, assuming you aren't already asleep at this point.

Apparently, not long after this, one of the elder Lanterns, Abin Sur, fought, and then imprisoned a being known as Parallax, a creature made of complete and utter fear, locking him away in the "lost sector" known as Sector 666. If your brain hasn't exploded yet, or if you gone to get popcorn or ice cream or whatever the hell it is they serve at movie theaters where you are and just didn't care about that first part, its ok, it'll be explained again in a second, because surprise! In a twist of story that only M. Night Shyamalan could have figured on, Parallax escapes! And his list of things to do once he breaks out of Lantern prison is as follows 1) Get an Arch Deluxe and some McNuggets at Space McDonalds, 2) Trash a Space McDonalds because even they don't have The Arch Deluxe anymore. 3) Settle for a Baconator at Space Wendy's out of frustration and self hate. 4) Find and destroy Abin Sur for locking him away in the not Phantom Zone. 5) Bang Abin Sur's wife cuz he's been in the not phantom zone for a long time and feels he deserves to be her post death of her husband bang after all those years of him avoiding having to kneel before Zod.

After leaving Abin Sur for dead on a small unimportant mudball called Earth and rushing to the awaiting bedroom of a grief stricken recently widowed Mrs. Abin Sur, Parallax didn't check his work, and though near death, Adin Sur, like megatron at the end of act one of the 1986 Transformers movie, still functions, however instead of being tossed out of Astrotrain to float through space till found and reformatted by a giant robotic Orson Welles, Adin's ring searches the planet for a replacement, knowing that it can not repair the wounds to Abin's body, because like they said in the lost sector, when Parallax shanks you, you stay shanked. Apparently the ring settles on hot shot test pilot and all around one dimensional douchebag Hal Jordan, I'm kind of assuming the ring is broken at this point, or because the ring is the only person that really liked Two Guys A Girl And A Pizza Place, or it secretly hates itself, or all of us. After the ring transports Jordan to where Abin lies dying, where he's explained why he's there, and what his fate is to be, Jordan, possibly being drunk on Red Bull, Prozac and Corona Light, or angry cuz his missed his last GTL, he accepts ownership of the ring and the lantern and told to speak the oath to make it official, later back at his douchepad, Hal, in what is probably the only funny scene in the film, tries many different ideas of what the oath could be, hoping to activate the ring, after the ring gets bored with him being stupid about it, it puts him in a trance and he recites the iconic Oath Of The Green Lantern Corps; In Brightest Day, In Darkest Night, No Evil Can Escape My Might, Beware My Power GReen Lantern's Light! ..... apparently the evil that let this script make it to film escaped your might, so you're 0 and 1 already there Sport Billy. Oh also at this point we discover that a small bit of Parallax's DNA has infected a scientist working for the secret alien investigation branch of the US Government, and is slowly taking him over, you know, because the film needs a villain at this point because Sinestro hasn't made his heel turn yet... oopsie, spoiler there as if any of you care at this point in the film.

After reciting the oath, Hal decides to do what his marvel comics counterpart Iron Man would do on a night ends in a y, which is go to a bar and get drunk, because the best way to celebrate meeting your first dying purple alien is to get kriggity kriggity krunk up in this mug and make it rain for your now dead purple homie. And a night of getting toe up from the floo' up isn't completel with out a fight or some kind as an ender, when Hal goes to punch one of the guys trying to get all up in his grill, the ring forms a giant green hand and knocks out the rapscallion trying to get Hal to fight with him faster then Mike Tyson in Mike Tyson's Punch-out. Hal, puzzled, really drunk, and partly believing he's just gotten his Duchess of Queensbery rules on, runs home, where he can sleep off his booze and brag to the internet about his fisticuffs action. At this point, Hal is magic ring'd away to the planet of Oa, the home of the Green Lantern Corps, where he's put through Lantern Bootcamp, and no, I am not leaving out stuff for comedy's sake, it seriously happens this fast in the film. He's put through Lantern Bootcamp and impresses most of the corps members who mostly believe humans are lower primate lifeforms, below the intelligence level or refinement deserving of a lantern. The Lanterns are kind of a mix of the Marines and the Heaven's Gate cult if you haven't figured it out yet, the Guardians even look like little Marshall Applewhite clones, oh and also the green lanterns are dicks. One person Hal doesn't impress with his stupid human tricks is Lantern answer to D.H Hartman, Sinestro, who's so dickish that his nose even looks like one. Sinestro hates humans, I'd assume because his mom is one and he hates them for it, or maybe he's just racist or something, anyway he objects to Hal being a lantern and has a girly hissy fit about it, right there infront of everyone, you know, cuz thats how the leader of a universe wide multi race law enforcement organization should behave., like a whiny bitch. Eventually, that leads to fight between the two, a fight thats so bromantic it would give the late Paul Lynde sexual arousal, complete with a very phallic scene of Ryan Reynolds with a very phallic looking giant machine gun, looking very phallic, for serious, this scene would be on a dvd looping it on Charles Nelson Riley's porn collection.

As you'd guess, this fight leads to a mutual respect between the two, but it also leads to Sinestro deciding that the only way they can defeat the now done banging Abin Sur's widow Parallax, is the create a ring out of the same stuff Parallax is made from, because you know, becoming the all powerful murder being is always the way to beat it. Once its crafted, the guardians prepare for the invasion of Oa, Hal, who Sinestro still doesn't really a'cotton too, is furious to discover they plan on making their stand against Parallax on his eventual return to Oa, with everyone believing Earth should be sacrificed for the good of the rest of the universe in order to stop the dreaded sort of vaguely explained creature thingie. Hal, forgetting that everyone apparently hates humans, is outraged at this and asks for help in defending his home world, and the rest of the lantern corps, ignore him and he storms off to defend earth alone, you know, cuz thats what heroes do. The final battle happens and as I'm sure you can figure out by now, the power of the one ring is greater then the power of an all powerful being of pure fear or whatever the hell he is, and Hal, taking a page from the preachings of Mr. T, tosses Parallax into the sun, because nothing can survive the heat of the sun, though i'm really not sure if Parallax is alive or not, so, yeah. In the end, Hal passes out only to be saved by Sinestro and afew of the other corps members, who bring him back to Oa where everyone now loves him and humans, claiming he's a true lantern now, and giving him control over earth. In the end, they show Sinestro don the yellow ring made of whatever Parallax was, implying his soon to be heel turn which would probably be the plot of a second film, had this film not bombed at the box office.

So its not really a question of if the movie is worth seeing or not, its a question of, just how much mashed together half baked half understood ideas can you take at one time on film? If you're like me, and is aware of the source material, and among the masses who were outraged at the entire retcon of the entire Parallax thing, see in the comics, Hal's hometown of Coast City is decimated by some massive event and the Guardians forbid Hal from using his ring's power to save the city, not even the family and friends he had there, saying they died nobly and with honor, there is no reason to bring them back to life, Hal becomes enraged, breaks into the vault where the unused power rings are kept and steals all but one which had fallen out of his hands in the raid, becomes insane with power and becomes Parallax, leading to a new Green Lantern, one people actually liked, in preparation for this film, the whole story of Parallax was retcon'd to something very vague and very confusing and alot like what he is in the film, and Hal is "freed" of his essence, which allows him to be the Green Lantern again, which REALLY pissed the fanbase off, it really doesn't surprise me that the whole involvement of Parallax was kept secret till the last minute given the uproar it has caused among the fans, and is infact the reason this film didn't match numbers with giant comic to movie adaptions like Iron Man and X-Men First Class, which is what DC was hoping to do with this film, lay the groundwork to have a shared movieverse like what Marvel's doing, and sadly, much like with Superman Returns, which really was just 2 hours of Superman doing general dickery and being a deadbeat dad, it just failed in the most horrible way. Even taking the comic book knowledge out of the situation, and my sarcastic write up aside, the film just isn't that good, its rushed, its confused, it feels like there are giant chunks missing that should give us abit more of a clue as to whats going on at any given time, and also, the CGI looks wrong, it looks like someone took the engine used to make Avatar, and then cell shaded it to give it "depth", and then ofcourse ran it through a 3D filter, which really made things worse, there was less need for 3D in this film then there was in Yogi Bear, and if you've suffered through that 90 car crack up of a bad film, you'll know that it didn't need 3D at all, you know, like most films these days. So if you're just a die hard comic book adaptation fan, or you just have two hours and a free movie pass you wanna kill, or because deep down you hate yourself, then go see Green Lantern, but if you're one of those people that actually enjoys their time at the movies, and doesn't like to have them wasted by just horrible horrible stuff, go see something else. But thats my two cents...

If you're still interested, here is the trailer....



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