10 February, 2012

What I Watched Last Month…

In fact, what I watched in…
August 2011

Green Lantern. (at the movies)

This was bad. Really bad. What a hodgepodge, incoherent, boring mess. With other comics adaptions raising the bar so high — even some of the not so great ones — there really is no excuse for this sort of writing in such a big budget movie. I can't believe they were able to make something that should have been awesome, epic and with great heart so boring and tedious instead.
My biggest problem (and maybe I'm wrong, since I'm not the biggest GL scholar) is the getting of Hal Jordan's character so essentially wrong. In this movie Hal's a frightened man, letting his daddy issues get the better of him, while he does stupid, dangerous things, seemingly acting irresponsibly. My understanding of the character is not that he must use courage to overcome his petty fears, but that he's genuinely courageous without a second thought. And not in a foolhardy way like he is in this film, but in a thoughtful, smart, self-sacrificing way.
The writers here often fell into the trap of presenting exposition out of nowhere, very clumsily, including telling us a lot about characters instead of showing us. It would have been great for Sinestro's character's journey, for example, if we had seen more of his frustration with his lack of power, despair at losing Abin Sur, and desire to fix it, instead of being left with an empty husk of little-to-no discernible motivation. His changing to the evil protagonist for the sequel will bear little weight as a consequence.
The biggest downfall in this regard though, was the force-feeding of the audience the whole Green Lantern Corps lore before the opening credits, which felt awfully like the opening introduction of an eighties TV action show. Surely the audience and story would have been much better served learning these things more naturally through Hal's own journey of discovery. Instead this was boring, confusing, counter-productive, and emotionless.
I don't know what Geoff Johns' run on the GL comic is like, having never read it, but if I were him, I wouldn't be proud of putting my name on this as an executive producer.

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