Blatant Insubordination: Uh oh, is Green Lantern Going to Suck?
***”Blatant Insubordination” is a regular column published at Primary Ignition by Rob Siebert, editor and Fanboy Wonder. The views expressed here are his, and do not reflect those of the staff of Primary Ignition.***
Have you seen the Green Lantern trailer yet? If you haven’t, click here and then come back.
So what’d you think?
If your answer was “Not Impressed,” it would seem you’re part of a vocal section of the populace, if not the majority. That’s a bad thing, because for a lot of the fanboys/trolls out there, not impressed = failure. After checking the blogosphere and the tweetosphere, I’m seeing a lot of “the suit looks bad” and “looks like a cheesy CGI flick.”
It’s not like any of us have much to condemn at this point, though. What do we have to work with? A few photos and a trailer that’s two minutes and change. Still, the nature of fanboys is that when they deem something unworthy, it’s officially boycotted. I didn’t think X-Men: The Last Stand was such a cinematic travesty, but because the majority rules, it’s now been by and large deemed a disaster.
I have an acquaintance who for months has predicted this movie will be a creative failure. My interpretation of his argument is that the film really isn’t bringing anything new to the table, and it’s going to be a typical origin story. When I told him the filmmakers were sticking pretty closely to Hal Jordan’s comic book origin, he countered that they could have tweaked it to make it a more interesting movie. I’m not sure he’s completely right, but he’s not completely wrong.
Throw in the fact that a lot of fans don’t like Ryan Reynolds’ presence in this film, or the costume he wears, and the folks at DC Entertainment are looking at a pretty hefty gamble with Green Lantern. Make no mistake about it, they need this film to be at least a moderate success in order to create interest in future DC superhero movies like The Flash, Zack Snyder’s Superman film, and any other non-Batman films they come out with in the near future.
To be honest, I’m surprised a Green Lantern movie got green-lit before Wonder Woman or Flash. I love Green Lantern, but I’m not sure how easy it will be for average Joes and casual moviegoers to take him seriously. Remember, this character creates giant green constructs using his power ring. Remember that big green fist you saw in the trailer? That’s what they’ll look like. In the comics, we’ve seen the various Green Lanterns create a lot of wild, wacky things. In a movie, that will likely either be extremely cool or extremely corny. It’s important that when Hal Jordan creates that kind of stuff, it’s not unintentionally funny. Personally, that one shot didn’t give me a great indicator either way. I’m a little nervous about that…
I’m also concerned about how average Joes are going to perceive Sinestro, not because of the way he looks or acts, but simply because he’s called Sinestro. I was talking to co-founder Justin Polak about this last night, and he jokingly said something to the effect of: “Gee, I wonder if the guy named Sinestro is going to become a bad guy?” Heck, he’s even got that thin mustache that cartoony villain characters love to twirl. One can only hope he doesn’t tie Carol Ferris to some train tracks…
For fans, Ryan Reynolds was a controversial choice for the Hal Jordan character. From a studio standpoint, Reynolds makes perfect sense. Most average Joes aren’t familiar with Green Lantern, so they cast Reynolds to sell the film with his comedic timing and good looks. But I think his inclusion irks a lot of fans, specifically men who feel threatened by the man with the chiseled abs who was recently named People‘s Sexiest Man Alive. We didn’t get that vibe (at least not to this extent) from Tobey Maguire, Robert Downey Jr., Hugh Jackman or Christian Bale. I’m sensing a general feeling that Reynolds isn’t worthy of this role. That’s not necessarily true, but sometimes perception becomes reality.
The way Reynolds handles the comedy in Green Lantern is also very important. He needs to play Hal Jordan as a free spirit, but he IS NOT Van Wilder. If we get Van Wilder, the fanboys (myself included) are going to balk at the film. Lines like “Let’s get these pants off and fly some planes” don’t exactly have my confidence soaring either.
And oh yes, the suit. Boy have we heard a lot about that suit. I myself like it, if for no other reason than it’s different. The idea is that the costume is a product of the energy that comes from the power ring. So it makes sense that it wouldn’t look like a Superman or Spider-Man costume. I think the fans just need time to get used to it. It’s obviously very easy to scoff at something this different. But a lot of fans have initially rolled their eyes at a lot of things that later turned out to be fantastic, including Heath Ledger being cast as The Joker.
Blake Lively hasn’t gotten a lot of love since this trailer came out, mostly because her lines sound flat as a flounder. Granted, we didn’t see much of her, so we really can’t judge her performance as Carol Ferris based on the trailer. In most interpretations of Hal Jordan’s origin story, Carol is portrayed as a hard-nosed boss, who happens to have a soft spot for this hot shot pilot. Lively was obviously playing up the tougher aspect of the character, but she still seemed very wooden. In all honesty, I’ve never seen Blake Lively perform, so I can’t judge her based on that little clip alone. But she’s going to have to do a lot better than that to win me over.
As much as I hate to be this way, my final verdict on the trailer is simply: Inconclusive. My appetite for Green Lantern isn’t any wetter than it was before, but I don’t have any solid reasons to think this movie is going to suck. For DC’s sake, it had better not. The Green Lantern franchise isn’t like that of Spider-Man or Superman or Hulk. If this movie is a creative flop, it might be another two decades before GL gets another chance.
C’mon Hal, you can do it. Don’t let us down…
Front page image from screencrave.com.