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Green Lantern The Movie: A Second Look (And Why We Need A Sequel)

August 12th, 2012 by Christopher Williams 3 Comments

The work Geoff Johns has done on the Green Lantern has made me GL’s biggest fan. Resurrecting Hal Jordan, introducing the emotional spectrum and the other colored corps, Blackest Night; these really broadened the Green Lantern mythology and universe as a whole. These are the reasons why I latched onto his work.

When the movie was announced I went crazy! I sat in awe at the trailer on the big screen. I salivated in anticipation of seeing the Emerald Warrior come to life. X-Men First Class, Captain America, Thor; sure these were good movies (or in X-Men’s case GREAT movie) but what I was waiting for was Green Lantern in the summer of 2011. Then it came out, and that’s when things went downhill.

Critics hated it. Fans deplored it. All the negative press made me sick to my stomach, but I wasn’t gonna let that stop me from plopping down my money and putting on those 3D glasses. When it was all over I couldn’t help but feel a little empty inside. Sure the critics were right, but only from a movie critic standpoint. None of these guys were GL fans, just some old dudes writing for a paper.

Sure it wasn’t the best, but you know what? This movie did a lot of things right that the critics don’t think about, and it did a lot of things wrong. What was right? First off, they gave us the Green Lantern in all his glory. Not some lame more palatable version of GL, we got a very true to the comics version of him. The constructs were awesome, the world back on Oa was translated with success. We got the wisecracking and ego driven Hal Jordan we’ve come to know and love. This was one of the strongest points of the movie. Ryan Reynolds WAS Hal Jordan, to a tee.

Sinestro was also well written and even better brought to life by Mark Strong. He was every bit of the no nonsense, sometimes Spockian cold and calculating (yeah, I just coined the term Spockian, use it) GL that we knew him to be before he became the big baddie. The first 30 minutes had me thinking we were headed in the right direction.

Then came the actual story. Wow, what a let down. There was almost nothing there. The plot was so loose that it felt like it was held together with tape and chewing gum. We were treated to a Carol Ferris that showed almost no facial emotions as if Blake Lively was simply reading the script in front of the camera. Parallax looked, well…awful. A huge cloud? I mean come on! When he invaded Earth it looked as if a thunderstorm of acid rain was on its way. And the way they discarded poor Hector Hammond like he was just a throw away character to advance the plot a bit was a joke. I mean he’s a major player in the GL Universe and he got no respect in the script. Imagine a Superman movie where Lex Luthor is some idiot that was of no real consequence to Superman. How would that make Superman fans feel?

Now all that aside I’m willing to forgive Warners for that. I’m willing to give a GL movie a second chance. I NEED for this franchise to grab a foothold in the mainstream. I know, I’m a bit obsessed, I fully admit that. What do we need to do moving forward? How can we make this relationship work? First off, the writing. I know the writers came from the comic world and Geoff Johns produced it (don’t know how involved he was with it though), but we need a writer who knows GL AND knows his fans.

There’s only one man for the job, Geoff Johns himself. He’s the only man I would trust to pen a script that would stay true to the character while still delivering a great story. Johns actually started off in the movie industry interning and then working for Richard Donner, the man behind the original Superman movies. Johns has written for movies and TV so he’s no stranger to these mediums. I have full trust in him and I know that the story would be on point, critics be damned.

We need more of the Corps. Sure we spent some time on Oa and saw the Corps mount up in the movie’s last act, but it wasn’t enough. As great as Hal is, he’s always greater among his GL family. In fact once the movie headed back to Earth and Hal was on his own, that’s where things went really wrong and a bit boring too. We also need a story that’s almost ripped from the comics. There’s a plethora of gold to be mined there and it fell to the wayside. Introduce other lantern corps, give us the emotional spectrum. I swear Warners, we can handle it even if it seems a bit non-sensical to the public.

An article I read on Comic Book Resources suggested introducing other Justice League characters in small roles to build up to a JL movie. Remember Hawkeye in Thor? Nick Fury in Iron Man? That’s a great idea for this franchise. We all know the trinity of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. Give us a bit of Flash. GL and Flash are best friends in the comics and it would do well to give the Flash a little exposure before a full on Justice League movie. But more important than all that, give us a big bad Sinestro! We all saw him don the yellow ring at the end of the movie. This is a situation that MUST be fleshed out for a sequel. Could you imagine a Sinestro Corp coming to life to foil our GLs? Awesome!

I don’t know if this movie will ever happen. I don’t know if the public would give GL another chance. But if this movie came to pass i can guarantee $12 right here. Well, $24, my wife would kill me if I didn’t take her too. What do you guys think. Can this franchise be saved? Would you give Hal and company a second chance? What would you like to see done differently? Sound off the comments. I love interacting with you guys, it’s one reason why I do this.

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Christopher is self-billed as the World's Coolest Nerd (meaning he wears glasses and is clumsy, but he never earned good marks in school). He loves all things Star Wars and superhero related such as comics, books, cartoons and movies. He's a husband and father who somehow manages to keep up with his pastimes since his day job mainly consists of sitting around a store with not much to do. He's very outspoken and wants to share his opinions with the world, or at least his fellow nerds. You can follow him on Twitter @AUDone44.

  • Lyrian

    “I swear Warners, we can handle it even if it seems a bit non-sensical to the public.”

    Therein lies the problem. Only a certain amount can realistically be portrayed that isn’t going to be understood by the general public, otherwise the film will not have the appeal that the box office needs to secure financing.

    • Christopher Williams

      Totally agree. I thought that it was handled well in the GL movie. It could’ve been explained a bit better though. I guess that’s another point for the sequel. Explain the emotional spectrum in a way that doesn’t have mainstream audiences rolling their eyes. Maybe I should’ve wrote “I swear Warners, I can handle it.”

    • Christopher Williams

      Then again, No Country For Old Men had us believing that a guy finds 2 mill and a man dying of thirst at a drug deal gone wrong. Then return to the scene of the crime to give the man water not even thinking that someone might come looking for that 2 mill. Now if audiences can believe that situation is plausible, maybe a GL movie becomes more believable.

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