Green Lantern is a simplistic Saturday morning cartoon with a 200 million dollar budget and lots… I mean lots... of flashy CGI. I enjoyed it for all its silliness; it is the perfect movie to go shut down your brain at for about two hours. But you really, really have to try and shut it down fully, because Green Latern has the weakest, most hole riddled, plot of any movie I have seen this summer, including Transformers Dark or The Moon. Otherwise you might end up comparing the Green Lantern Corps to some fascist paramilitary organization.
So… once again, the battle of good versus evil rages across some cinematic universe. The “good” side is led by the Green Lantern Corps, a peacekeeping force created by an ancient race of aliens, who have divided the universe into sections like a chessboard. Meanwhile the Evil (yes, like in Dr. Evil so evil it has to be capitalized) side is led by Parallax, an Evil alien with the power of fear. It is up to Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds), a mere puny little human, to stop such Evil. And the plot doesn’t get any more complex than that.
For the most part all characters are cartoon cutouts stuck in immobile, unemotional, one-dimensional development. There is a good guy, Hal Jordan, our hero; his girl, Carol Ferris (Blake Lively), whose job is to look pretty and not much else; her father, Carl Ferris (Jay O. Sanders), who plays the part of the greedy corporate tycoon; a nerdy friend (Taika Waititi); and Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard), who is the most inconsistent character to have ever been written for the screen. I can’t even begin to fathom what were his motivations, or what was his relation to the rest of the characters besides being the creep that goes evil only to bring the true Evil upon Earth.
When Evil rises again, the Green Lantern Corps recruit Hal Jordan to help them stop it. The movie is in serious need of a montage where Hal trains with the rest of the Green Lantern Corps; it feels like he was with them for half a day before he was ready to kick Parallax’s butt into oblivion. The film could also have shown some of the other Green Lanterns in action as well. Why, when you have a whole army to spare, would you place all the responsibility on the new guy? See, these are the type of questions that pop up in your brain when you fail to shut it off.
But, for what it is worth, I did enjoy Green Lantern at a very basic movie going level. I also happened to see it in 3D and I will admit that the colors remained bright and the image crisp. However, in the scene where thousands of terrified humans run away from Parallax towards the camera, the 3D caused a really odd effect and made all their movements jumpy like in an old Charlie Chaplin movie. Was this intentional? Who knows?
Ok, and now for the deep question intended for the Green Lantern fans. Supposedly Green is the color of will, will is our innate ability to choose. God gave us free will, and we enjoy the power of will. So if the ring chooses you and you have no choice but to become a Green Lantern afterwards isn’t the ring obstructing the power of will? In a sense Parallax who chose to forge a yellow ring of fear, demonstrated more will than any of the Green Lanterns. Or am I really wrong here, and should just not worry about it?