Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Green Lantern Movie Review

As much as I love a good Superhero movie (I haven’t found one yet I would walk out of the theater on) there certainly are a lot of them to compare to this year.  As movie ticket prices continue to climb with each new improvement movie theaters are installing to keep moviegoers coming I must say something must give.  Many families cannot afford to go to every movie that releases let alone every one they would like to see and that creates more competition for these blockbusters.  The worst thing for a movie now is a critic’s review before the movie releases in the theater and this movie had its bad rap so much so Warner Bros. invested an extra million on the special effects to make Green Lantern’s suit better looking.  Not only that but the advertising budget was small in comparison to other big superhero movies and the combination did not fare well.  With that said, I came into the theater expecting to see something much more dismal than what appeared.

Don’t get me wrong though; the show definitely had its problems.  I read a reviewer’s opinion that said (paraphrased) just like G.I. Joe was a fun movie Green Lantern was just as fun.  I think with any superhero film there are two ways to approach them: one way is a serious look at the character’s struggle and present a realistic look at being a superhero and the other is a light hearted action packed fight against good and evil.  I think the writers tried to do both here and neither was done very well.  The romance between Carol and Hal was dismal and Hal’s transformation from good to better was not very enigmatic.  I found the light hearted way in which Hal delivers his old one-two to the bad guys to be silly and unimaginative.  I would have preferred him being portrayed as more clever than childish with his imagination.  

My favorite parts of the movie were when Peter Sarsgaard was on screen because he did a brilliant job with Hector Hammond.  I was horrifically disappointed in Tim Robbnis which luckily Mark Strong made up for with his complex portrayal of Thaal Sinestro.  I love how he was so cocky and strong headed.  It was so easy to see how he could become the infamous villain Sinestro.  Blake Lively was unforgettable and Angela Bassett seemed ineffectual as Dr. Waller.  Ryan Reynolds was fashionably himself for this role which remarkably fit well in my opinion however many critics site him for playing himself which comes across as unoriginal.   The truth is he has the star power for a successful run and yet fits the character at the same time.

The idea that is presented is that “will” is more powerful than “fear” but the actual way Hal overcomes fear as The Green Lantern is much different than any of his brethren expected.  Now what made up for all of the aforementioned shortcomings is the concept of Green Lantern ultimately representing good being absolute and uncompromising.    I believe in this idea as truth and I serve it as a guiding principle in my life so this made this movie very special to me for that reason.  We all have the power to make decisions and whether they are right or wrong the power is the same.  The Green Lantern harnesses the “willpower” of all beings in the universe.  The one who wears the ring must partner with that will in order to harness its power by making the choice to overcome fear and control one’s impulses to the greater good of all.  Hal didn’t possess a lack of fear the way his predecessors did which is why they questioned him but his DESIRE to do good was why he was chosen.  This is what makes him unique because he would have to examine the difference between his motives, deciding what is selfish or selfless whereas the other Lantern carriers started to take for granted their ability to discern.  This is where pride crept in for the Green Lantern Intergalactic Corps who harnessed the power of the yellow matter which is powered by fear because they discerned the best way to preserve themselves was to fight fear with fear.  There is an unspoken relationship of desire and fear in this movie that makes this subconscious teaching so interesting.  Hal defeats Parallax not because he has no fear but because his desire to believe in good always winning over evil gave him the strength and “will” to sacrifice himself (which was his fear of death) if need be and defeat Parallax.  In the end, the greatest virtue that won out was selflessness; selflessness is a combination of courage, strength and justice.  

There are opportunities for us to examine the difference between selfish and selfless acts everyday and choose between them.  For some the line has moved so much there is no difference, and yet others see the difference but it is less visible every day.  Following uncompromising truth in the midst of opposition requires selflessness to do the right thing regardless of the consequences to ourselves.  I would like to think that I am moving that line closer to truth and righteousness more every day and as I do the right thing because it is the right thing to do becomes more clear and it is easier to choose to do it.