It is funny now, but growing up I was a much bigger DC comics fan than a Marvel fan. As a boy in the 60?s, I actually subscribed to Superman comics for a while, as well as Jimmy Olsen. I felt like I knew the DC family, Lois Lane, Jimmy, Perry White and the gang. Then I expanded to the Justice League of America with the Flash, Green Lantern, Batman and others, and even the Legion of Superheroes. The Marvel group was edgy and less mainstream at the time, and darker. Spiderman, the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, Iron Man, etc. I preferred the comfort of my world in Gotham City and Metropolis, not in Tony Stark’s world or Peter Parker’s, much less Captain America and the Avengers. However, when it comes to the movies, I have to say, the Marvel group has it all over the DC comics.
Iron Man was a great movie. So were the first two Spiderman movies. And despite the critics, I have enjoyed all of the X-Men movies. Not all have them have clicked (Daredevil), but for the most part, I think they have been superior to the DC flicks. The original Superman and Batman movies were fun, but campy. The new Batman franchise has improved, but it is still different from the Marvel genre. That brings us to the Green Lantern. The Green Lantern was one of my all time favorite DC characters growing up. I could run around quoting “In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight, let those who worship evil’s might, beware my power, Green Lantern’s light!” Although I must confess I wasn’t above donning a towel for a cape and being Superman or Batman, but my boyhood fantasies rarely revolved around being those characters. No, I wanted to be Green Lantern. In my mind, he was the best of the best. For that reason, I was wary of the movie. Bringing something from my imagination to the screen is always challenging. Few movies ever measure up to the books in my opinion. There are exceptions… Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter being two primary ones, even though they do have their flaws (Arwen in particular).
I wasn’t disappointed in the movie, but that’s because I didn’t have lofty expectations of it. It wasn’t on the par with Iron Man or others, but it wasn’t bad either. In fact, I probably liked it as well as Thor in many ways. It could have been better, but it could have been much worse. The special effects were spotty at best. Some were pretty good, but others were pretty bad too. There was no consistency in the delivery of the story visually.
The overall storyline of the movie was predictable from the beginning to the end. Guy becomes superhero, guy wonders why and what it means and how to do it, guy has a girl that isn’t really sold on him till he becomes superhero, guy struggles, guy saves the world, guy gets the girl. There wasn’t much deviation, imagination or anything else to the story. In fact, the “bad guy” was really awful. Not the human bad guy, he was tolerable, but the space bad guy, he was laughable. There was no development of tension leading up to the end of the universe or anything else. It just happened and was over quickly. In fact, Hal Jordan dispatched the evil creature so quickly and matter of factly that it left me wondering how all of those other 3,000+ Lanterns could have failed so miserably and been so “afraid”. I mean honestly, why couldn’t those other Lanterns have just tossed the bad guy into the sun and been done with it from the beginning? Surely 3,000 of them could have done so without breaking a sweat if one Hal Jordan could do it without much trouble. Sheesh.
Best part of the movie? When the Green Lantern appears to the girl and starts talking with that goofy superhero voice telling her he is glad she is ok, etc. She looks at him and says “Hal? I’ve known you my whole life. I’ve seen you naked. You really think I wouldn’t recognize you?” I LOL’ed.