Bearing a Lantern

(With apologies to Piers Anthony on the title. I just reread a chunk of his Incarnations of Immortality series, and had it on the mind. Sadly, it took a lot less than five volumes to get tired of it this time. More like one and a half.)

In any event, a friend of mine and I caught Green Lantern on Friday. It was a little weird to me, too, because I'd never read Green Lantern growing up (I almost exclusively read Marvel titles). He was a fan, though, and I was curious, so we went.

I feel like a broken record with things I've been watching lately, though. The movie felt kind of... rushed, I guess. Unless the movie is a one-shot (which would shock me), why would you have a universe-destroying threat in the first movie? Where do you go from there?

I mean, yes, the answer is obviously Sinestro, but it doesn't seem like he'd be a bigger threat than Parallax. In fact, with the hoo-hah about how antithetical Will and Fear are, one would speculate that one very strong in Will would be correspondingly weak in Fear. One would think, also, that the yellow ring would lend itself to a completely different style of fighting than a green one would. Something tells me that the only difference will be the color of the special effects (although, as noted, I haven't seen the comic book).

Anyway, getting back to the point, having this level of threat more or less necessitated bringing in the whole Green Lantern Corps, which was neat, but didn't give Hal much time to learn his powers on his own. I would have much preferred to see him learning more than being taught.

This led to two things that weakened the movie. The familiar one is that it meant that Hal needed to learn responsibility overnight. While that's a little bit more feasible than learning enlightenment that quickly, it isn't by much. The other ramification is that it didn't leave a whole lot of time for the final battle. This meant defeating the enemy in a way that seemed a bit... improbable for a planet-devouring enemy. (Ignoring, of course, how badly off the perspective was in the shots in space at the end.)

It also meant that we didn't find out how Sinestro escaped from Parallax, which could have been important. It might have explained the push for the yellow ring, which made no sense given the story that came out immediately before that.

Another thing that had to be off, though it didn't occur to me until afterwards, if Hal's predecessor was the one who trapped Parallax initially, then he had to be one of the oldest of the Lanterns. It seems like, if he was that old, then he should have been sitting in the circle of elders, not still running around as an active Lantern.

Moving on, the movie was very good, visually, although don't bother seeing it in 3D. There was no depth added, which is sad, because this could (should) have been a good movie for showcasing 3D. If I had to guess, the 3D was done entirely in post-processing, and it just didn't look the same.

As far as acting, that was mostly good. Ryan Reynolds mostly did a good job, although there were a few scenes where he was being serious, and I couldn't take him seriously. I do wonder, though, if that's on me, for only seeing characters he'd played before. Mark Strong did a fantastic job as Sinestro, and Blake Lively was also good as Carol Ferris.

Overall, I guess you get exactly what you'd expect from this. Popcorn entertainment that's busy but shallow. Is it worth seeing? I'm not sure if I'd see it, knowing what I know now. I definitely wouldn't pay extra for the 3D, though.

Update: When I first wrote this, I was trying to remember what I'd seen Ryan Reynolds in. I glanced through his filmography at the time, but nothing jumped out at me. I had another occasion to look, though, and saw that I'd seen him in Definitely, Maybe; X-Men Origins: Wolverine; and The Proposal. I liked him in both romantic comedies, and I think it was mostly the latter from which I was remembering him. I really don't remember him from Wolverine at all.

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