Reviews

Green Lantern

2

Ryan Reynolds won't light up your life...

Green Lantern review

“Are you ready to have your mind blown?” asks Ryan Reynolds in Green Lantern.

It’s a leading question that lays down the gauntlet for Martin Campbell’s belated intro to one of DC Comics’ second-tier crime-fighters. Put a line like that in your script and it practically requires you to be mind-blowing. Unfortunately, Lantern isn’t.

It’s instructional to compare and contrast with Kenneth Branagh’s Thor, the last attempt to alchemise a lesser-known property into box-office gold. That movie, you’ll remember, started off on Planet Earth, putting down roots before flashing back to fantastical Asgard.

Lantern, though, begins in outer space with a bewildering prologue that tries to convey a complex mythology in a few narrated minutes.

The universe, we’re told, is divided into 3,600 sectors, each protected by a guardian with a ring that gets its power from a lantern that gets its power from a big green reservoir of good vibes back on base planet Oa.

Green, apparently, is the colour of will, while yellow is the colour of fear. It’s also the colour of Parallax, a marauding cloud of space puke that goes around absorbing anyone who gets in its way.

Did you get all that? Good, because there’ll be a test later. As it happens, there’s also one for Hal Jordan (Reynolds), a cocksure test pilot whose job it is to trial hi-tech fighter jets.

Jetting into the stratosphere with wing-woman Carol (Blake Lively) he proceeds to destroy one of these costly toys (the film’s most exciting set-piece) and get himself shit-canned.

Not to worry, though, as he quickly obtains alternative employment as the first human Lantern, a role he inherits from dying alien Abin Sur (Temuera Morrison) after he crash-lands on Earth.

Thor, you’ll recall, was also a swaggering upstart brought low by hubris. Over the course of Branagh’s film, however, he learned enough maturity to re-acquire his powers.

Jordan, alas, is a bit of a tool who – bar an unlikely third-act conversion to noble warrior – stays a bit of a tool. He is, in short, a hard guy to root for, even when having his clock cleaned back on Oa by a rhino-like alien with the unfortunate name of Kilowog.

Oa, incidentally, is a deeply unimpressive realm: a vast CG screensaver that feels as false and phoney as Reynolds’ CG super-suit.

Parallax, too, fails to cut the mustard, even when made flesh in the form of a bulbous-headed Peter Sarsgaard.

The result is a film that’s all set-up and no pay-off: an origin story for a hero we don’t much care for with an elaborate lore we have zero interest in, toplined by a star who’s little more than a torso and a smirk.

Verdict:

In a summer stuffed with superheroes, this underwhelming offering will likely leave you jaded. How it could have used some of Thor’s charm and The Green Hornet’s chutzpah.  

Film Details

User Reviews

    • Gav83

      Jun 15th 2011, 0:41

      Shame. Though hardly surprising given the trailers, main bad guy and fookin hideous cgi mask, looked absolute pants.

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    • apo1978

      Jun 15th 2011, 0:42

      Not surprised. Always looked sh1t.

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    • rorschach

      Jun 15th 2011, 0:43

      I must say, that is one of the worst reviews I have ever read in my life. Ever.

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    • mbembet

      Jun 15th 2011, 1:29

      from the trailer i know this movie gonna be c**p.

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    • Monkeynuts30

      Jun 15th 2011, 5:40

      The trouble with poor old Green Lantern is the absolutely MASSIVE mythology behind it. Most superhero movies only have to contend with one character based in one world, but the appeal of the Green Lantern has always been the Green Lantern Corps itself. Add in the galactic scale, their relationship to the Guardians and the formation/discovery of the other Lantern Corps (Sinestro Corps, Blue Lanterns, Red Lanterns, Orange Lanterns and the dreaded Black Lanterns) and you've got a serious mythology. One that needs the writing and directing skills of a "Peter-Jacksonian " craftsman rather than the shoddy scribblings of Hollywood's current crop of hacks. Chris Nolan, and Sam Raimi before him, proved that you can do justice to the great comic book serials but only by treating the source material with serious respect and by telling a story; not by using it as a platform for lazy plots, bad CGI effects, out of place jokes and with an eye on a fast buck.

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    • ChrisWootton

      Jun 15th 2011, 9:34

      "toplined by a star who’s little more than a torso and a smirk." is this the same Ryan Reynolds that you have been worshipping for the last few years?.

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    • littleradge

      Jun 15th 2011, 11:22

      Since I've been looking forward to this movie for months, I was vaguely concerned throughout this review; then you said Green Hornet had "chutzpah". Really? Nah, I think I'll stay excited for this one.

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    • MrSilly

      Jun 15th 2011, 12:03

      Well, the superhero genre has been limp for quite some time. It's surprising that both Thor and Green Hornet have been mentioned, as both range from poor to mediocre, while most recently there was the bafflingly well-rated X-Men: First Class, the film where Professor X's mutant powers are activated by pressing an invisible button on his right temple.

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    • JDogg1982

      Jun 15th 2011, 12:42

      4

      I just finished watching this earlier and really enjoyed it. Definetly one of the better films out his year and 100 times better than Green Hornet and far better than last weeks X-Men. How this review can compare it to Thor is beyond me, as they are two completely different films and the review itself is utter c**p. Neiil Smith has bascicaly described the film and stuck 2 stars to the bottom. At least tell us why you think it's c**p!!

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    • jonnykerr13

      Jun 15th 2011, 13:47

      I'm really disappointed that everyone thinks this is s**t... But not surprised...

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    • nkutzler

      Jun 15th 2011, 14:06

      No redeeming factor? got it. That was to be expected.

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    • RobGordon

      Jun 15th 2011, 14:30

      2

      Film isn't great, but Reynolds was by far the best thing about it. If Total Film can name one actor who could've done a better job with THAT script then I'd like to hear it.

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    • Gunner1

      Jun 15th 2011, 15:28

      As Littleradge said, I think I'll stay excited for this one. I have the impression from people's reactions to the trailer that you'd have to be at least a marginal Green Lantern fan to really enjoy this one. I for one am very keen to see the film, as the trailer met most of my expectations (I used to collect Green Lantern about 15 years ago, and am pretty au fait with the storyline, which would probably be a bit too much mythos for those who aren't already fans) As for the comment about Hal Jordan being a tool for most of the movie - well, fact is in my opinion he was ALWAYS a tool in the comics, so that part of the characterisation sounds perfect. (hope they get Kilowog right though!)

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    • kipwinchester

      Jun 15th 2011, 16:51

      i laughed when they compared thor and this going on as if thor was something great when it was total c**p just like this neither of these films had any respect for the comic sorce it came from thor was watered down little kid c**p and lantern omg dont get me started on that mess

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    • fuzzydunlop1

      Jun 15th 2011, 22:32

      This a surprisingly shabby review, would've expected more from TF. Still gonna see it though. Someone has to stick up for DC!

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    • Hadouken76

      Jun 16th 2011, 0:17

      Next year DC will have the best rated comic book trilogy in movie history, I dont think they're too worried.

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    • ppdoone

      Jun 16th 2011, 0:20

      Yeah I think I'll wait until Friday and make my own mind up. Going on almost every major review of the last four years, this "movie magazine" is only good for independent and foreign language films. God bless your features team, the only thing that you've got going for you. I'll be back Friday. Toodles :)

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    • zozman

      Jun 16th 2011, 3:01

      I just read this "review" & all this proves to me is that i need to see this movie & not take the opinion of some hack. His criticisms with the story & characters are actually part of the characters origin & mythology. I havent seen the movie so i can't comment on how good it is, but having said that i know the character & know what to expect & will be in a far better position to form an opinon that doesnt make me look ignorant compaired to Mr Smith here. Its funny reading comments on these pages because I wonder what type of person has their opinion swayed on a movie that isnt even out yet & by a "review" that isnt even well articulated, im guessing people that are trolling or haters. I'm not raging, i'll go see the movie see for myself, people should form their own thoughts, I'm just glad i dont take random uneducated reviews too seriously :p All i can say now is i hope the movie is ok :p

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    • patches89

      Jun 16th 2011, 12:32

      4

      i thought the film was awesome so all the haters can go suck an egg

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    • patches89

      Jun 16th 2011, 12:32

      4

      i thought the film was awesome so all the haters can go suck an egg

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    • CaptainCrazy

      Jun 16th 2011, 19:37

      I'm going to check this film out as this review doesn't really say why it is c**p. Badly written.

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    • gerry026

      Jun 17th 2011, 12:18

      I'll stay excited anyway ... haven't seen GL on big screen before ... plus, for the record, Green Hornet did not have 'chutzpah', it had Rogen goshdarnit! :D

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    • moviegeek2000

      Jun 17th 2011, 23:43

      I couldn't agree more... This film left me completely cold! Director Campbell, never really seems to be in control of what's going on and instead he decides to cram the film with as much noise as possible hoping it might distract his audience from thinking that this is actually all a bit of a mess... He clearly feels uneasy with this universe and doesn't quite know what to make of it. The whole philosophical side is just ridiculous, the action scenes are too messy, the special effects underwhelming and the love story is so flat that it becomes redundant. The pace is completely off and for a film of this kind which last just under two hours, I found myself looking at my watch way too often. Do yourself a favor and go and watch LIFE IN A DAY this week-end instead. My FULL Review: wp.me/p19wJ2-lE

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    • pixyx3r

      Jun 18th 2011, 0:02

      I watched episodes of GL on DISHonline.com before I went to see the movie so that I would have a feel for the character and I’m glad I did. Even though I enjoyed the movie I still liked what a seen online a little bit more. Being that I work for DISH Network I hear a lot of different reviews about movies and shows but this is certainly one movie where the reviews seem to be all over the board.

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    • Talyseon

      Jun 18th 2011, 2:30

      4

      I am confused by the critics criteria for what makes a successful super hero movie: it had action, adventure, a cosmic level threat, a more life size menace, psychological examination of the hero, a touch of romance, and Awesome special effects. And it had Ryan Reynolds in a painted on costume. What more do they want? Check out my review: http://bit.ly/mf728O

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    • chikenpo

      Jun 19th 2011, 17:00

      Man oh man anybody who thought this film was pants must be blind stupid and dead from the neck up.The effects are stunning,ryan was perfect for the roll and the storyline great.So you negative morons go lay a rock,green lantern rocks.

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    • Deana

      Jun 19th 2011, 17:21

      5

      Green Lantern is unpretentious, probably even one of the most unpretentious superhero movies ever made. It embraces its inherent goofiness and excludes much of the angst and over-seriousness that we seen in other comic book movies like Batman and Spiderman. For the comic book fans, please ignore the bad and negative review about this film, just watch it and it worth to spent 10$ for buy a ticket and walt to the cinema. Check it at http://www.freebestmovies.net for my personal review

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    • thegreatiaino

      Jun 20th 2011, 0:12

      3

      The review's perhaps a little harsh, but this is far from being a great film. It's not bad, but plot wise, it's got absolutely nothing that's not been seen a million times before. It's like a superhero movie by numbers - ordinary guy gets super powers, guy has training montage to learn how to use powers, guy has self doubt over whether he has what it takes to be a hero, guy decides he does have what it takes, guy defeats bad guy, guy gets the girl. The action scenes are quite fun, but the masses and masses of CGI gets a bit tiresome. At times it feels like you're watching a cartoon. It's entertaining enough as a popcorn movie though. It pales in comparison to most other recent superhero movies though.

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    • CaptainCrazy

      Jun 20th 2011, 8:54

      4

      I saw this yesterday in 3D and now I feel like most reviewers were paid to give this a bad review. I went in completely expecting the worst and I actually had the most enjoyable 2 hours in a cinema this year. It was a great origin story with a lead who was clearly having the time of his life. The villian(s) needed to be a bit more of a threat though but this story was more about Hal Jordan, which is a breath of fresh air. Go and see it - like me you might be surprised.

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    • ppdoone

      Jun 20th 2011, 12:16

      4

      I can't understand why TF doesn't assign writers with some sort of background knowledge on the films they're about to review or even, in this case, someone that can write a decent argument as to why the film was bad. This movie to me is the best franchise launcher since Batman Begins. Now in saying that, it's nowhere near as good. I found the acting in GL a little hammy and I didn't see a lot of chemistry between Reynolds' Jordan and Lively's Ferris. The action scenes did seem to be a little lacking. With the titular hero's best friend at one point even questioning his choice of design in the helicopter scene. For those very minor cons, all which will be easily fixed for any potential sequels, there are a lot of pros. The origin build up was spectacular, from the opening monologue to the impressive world of Oa. The set up for any future sequels was well handled pertaining to the Sinestro/ Yellow Lantern corps. Reynolds was an excellent choice as the emerald knight in his transformation from irresponsible, arrogant hothead to heroic, arrogant hothead and showed that yes he can manage such a high profile role. The one thing that I personally would have liked to see would at least be a mention of other DC heroes, leaving the door open for a potentially awe inspiring JLA movie to compete with Marvel's expertly handled build-up to The Avengers.

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    • Pontificator

      Jun 20th 2011, 23:57

      4

      There is a fine line between a good movie and a great one – and this film flirted with that line but didn’t quite cross it. It couldn't decide if it wanted to be story driven or a summer blockbuster. And while trying to be a blend of both, became neither and left me feeling like there should have been more. It was a good time that had all the potential to be a great time...see my full review at The Boxed Office.

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    • StevePotter

      Jun 21st 2011, 23:44

      4

      I happen to like this movie, but to each his own, I guess. I have a FEW complaints: -Cliche story Arc -Parallax looks stupid -Hal Jordan's crappy looking mask. But other than that, I don't get the problem.

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    • DAO999

      Jun 22nd 2011, 0:13

      2

      The movie was entertaining. It was better then I thought it would be. Based on the reviews, I had low expectations. I would like to see them make another and improve on it. Hopefully, it makes enough for the studio to risk a making Lantern 2.

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    • DAO999

      Jun 22nd 2011, 0:15

      4

      Meant to give it 4 on my review.

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    • DAO999

      Jun 22nd 2011, 0:15

      4

      Meant to give it 4 on my review.

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    • peanutpie

      Jun 24th 2011, 19:29

      1

      I was also expecting the worse going into this movie. But my husband & I were both perplexed as to why the critics gave it such bad reviews. It was pretty fun, especially the GL training scenes. My husband is a GL fan, so I knew some of the backstory & was able to follow along just fine. The CGI was odd in a few spots, but overall decent. I didn't see it in 3D, so I'm not sure if that would help it or not. Only complaint was that Kilowog wasn't in it enough :)

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    • peanutpie

      Jun 24th 2011, 19:30

      5

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    • hogan

      Jun 26th 2011, 10:48

      5

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    • FBEKirk

      Jun 27th 2011, 13:28

      2

      Loved it....what's all this nonsense about the start being bewildering? It tells you all you need to know before getting on with telling a decent story....the main baddie is great, and a lot better than the "bigger, nastier" versions of the hero that most comic book films seem to have these days....The use of green and yellow has reminded me that these colours still exist after years of watching blue and orange films, where light seems to have been sucked out of as well....The 3D actually works and doesn't feel like it's been tacked on as an after-thought.... Anybody who hasn't seen this, ignore all the reviews...especially if you've ever read a Green Lantern comic...go see this and see the best comic book movie in years!

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    • FBEKirk

      Jun 27th 2011, 13:31

      4

      The bloody star rating system is more bewildering than the start of this movie...that was meant to be 4 stars in my rant above...

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    • FBMTheFooj

      Jun 27th 2011, 13:34

      5

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    • marosmenti

      Aug 25th 2011, 1:50

      3

      I consider this film to be an average action film, yet both the psychological and the philosophical aspects of it are worth analyzing. So I wrote a movie review of it based on the aforementioned criteria: http://marosmenti.blogspot.com/2011/08/green-lantern-movie-review.html

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    • MeanMachine

      Oct 24th 2011, 1:51

      Green Lantern was absolutely awesome! Ryan Reynolds not only delivered but made this movie great. I loved it and hope to see the sequel very soon. 10/10 from me. Best Super Hero movie of 2011 in my opinion.

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    • MeanMachine

      Oct 24th 2011, 1:51

      4

      Green Lantern was absolutely awesome! Ryan Reynolds not only delivered but made this movie great. I loved it and hope to see the sequel very soon. 10/10 from me. Best Super Hero movie of 2011 in my opinion.

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    • matt79hz

      Aug 12th 2012, 16:12

      The reviewer is an absolute s*****c. I registered just to say this. All he did was ruin the (simple) plot. The movie was quite entertaining. I've never read a green lantern comic, and know nothing of the character.... And I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, which is hard to say for a lot of Hollywood films.. the writer does not deserve his job, and needs to rediscover the definition of "review" .

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    • matt79hz

      Aug 12th 2012, 16:12

      s*****c was censored ?

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    • matt79hz

      Aug 12th 2012, 16:13

      Spas tic

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