For those of you who listen to (or are familiar with) the Geek Show Podcast you might already have heard the term “big dumb fun.” It’s away of describing a movie that the critics hate, but regardless, a person can still like the film for some personal reason. I have a lot of “big dumb fun” movies in my dvd collection and, yeah, sometimes it really is fun to put on The Rock or Die Hard 4 and just enjoy them for what they are. Explosions, quick action, Maggie Q, and the occasional witty one-liner. These movies may not be grounded in reality but they go great with a night off, bowl of pop-corn, and bag of peanut M&M’s. So, going into see Green Lantern (and after hearing some dismal early reviews) I kind of expected that this would be one of my own Big Dumb Fun movies. After all, I like the star and films director. The film features Sinestro not as villain but as a Green Lantern, and most important of all, it’s fucking Green Lantern (period!). That’s all I really needed. Or so I thought. Now after having watched the film I’m actually kind of bummed out because I don’t know if (at the very least) I can accept this movie even as big dumb fun because it wasn’t fun.
I don’t know, maybe my expectation were to high. You see, at my core I’m a comic book geek. It’s the genre I’ve loved most through out my life and personally I view comics as viable mediums of entertainment even for adults. More so, I’m a Green Lantern geek. At the age of nine I bough my first Green Lantern comic (actually it was the first comic I had ever bought) at a garage sale and ever since I’ve been hooked. Not that I own every Green Lantern issue ever made since (there have been long stretches of my life where I didn’t collect comics), but when I do have access to a comic store I guarantee that it’s issues of Green Lantern or Green Lantern Corps that I’m picking up. Well, that and Hentai. So despite what the professional critics were saying I was still willing to forgive a lot and I was eagerly looking forward to this film.
The film adaptation stayed fairly close to the comic book in story structure. A dying alien (Abin Sur) crashes his spaceship on Earth and uses his emerald colored “power ring” to summon the bravest person on the planet and bestow upon him the duties of a Green Lantern. That is when Hal Jordan, a test pilot, is ripped away from his troublesome life and introduced to a galactic police force called the Green Lantern Corps. Despite a few minor changes here and there, all of that is in the film. Hal accepts the ring and is whisked away to OA, planet of the Green Lanterns, to begin his training as the corps first human lantern. Which was cool and I’m glad they kept all of that, but there was something so severely lacking in the execution of this story that I felt like I was being force fed visual cotton candy. Sure it was bright, colorful, and fluffy, but it had no substance.
It was almost as if the producers of this film shrugged off any chance to develop a likable hero and instead focused on ripping off the Marvel franchises’s Tony Stark, and then failed at even doing that. Where the Iron Man of those other films is an interesting, flawed, character who develops and changes with the audience, we are told in this film how Green Lantern is flawed through hackneyed flash backs and awkward moments with his family. It was a weird contradiction, because on the one hand Green Lantern (before he got the ring) had a life most of would trade his (or her?) left nut for, but then we were told that we’re to feel sorry for this guy who (despite being in amazing physical shape, getting to bang hot chicks, fly F-35 fighters, and acquiring a fucking magic power ring) is deep down just really afraid of everything. I don’t feel bad for this guy and I honestly don’t care about him. Then there was the way this movie rushed through every moment of his life to get him to the power ring. We got one minute of him being a near suicidal test pilot, then we’re quickly moved along to him having a heart to heart with his nephew, then flash bang he’s shaking hands with a purple alien and being shot off Wiley Coyote style to learn how to be a Green Lantern. While watching all this a part of me wanted to shout at the screen, “Slow the fuck down!” I mean to say, if your not going to enjoy telling the story of the origin of a character, then don’t fucking tell it. If you, the producers, are that eager to get Hal Jordan and the audience to OA and all it’s CGI glory, then just start the fucking movie on OA and save a buck or two. And even when they got Hal to OA (and beyond!) every part of the film still felt rushed and forced fed. Like, “hey look it’s Kilowog” then flash cut to a smoking hot Carol Ferris in low cut dress, “ohh boobies” then snap, flash, bang! Green CGI everywhere! Then an explosion or two before the “climatic” ending where Hal “Green Lantern” Jordan fights a smokey blob. No, not Larry Flint. Even the inclusion of an attractive female was totally pointless in this film. As if some executive during production leaned back in their chair and said, “y’know what would make this film shine? A nice vagina. Try and squeeze one in somewhere and then go bring me a mineral water, would’ja?”.
Sorry for the rant folks, but like most anything being offered to the public these days I can’t help but feel that this film is incredibly insulting to my intelligence. And I’m a dumb guy. Serious, I’ve got the high school transcripts and a fucking journalism degree to back up that claim, yet I still felt like the makers of Green Lantern were saying, “your so dumb you’ll eat our shit and smile between each bite.”
So, I didn’t like Green Lantern, but that’s not to say that you, the reader, won’t like it. Maybe my expectations for a good Green Lantern film were too high. Maybe this will be your own “big dumb fun” movie and I honestly hope that it will, but I don’t recommend paying theater prices to see it and I really don’t recommend seeing it in 3-D. I feel Green Lantern would be more enjoyable playing on a 2-D television at home with a big bowl of pop corn on your lap and chubby little girl friend curled up at your side.
One last, real quick rant directed at the films producers, then I’ll go away.
Where the fuck was Ch’p? You spent hundreds of millions of dollars on this flick and you couldn’t fit a fucking two second cameo of a space squirrel some where in there? What the fuck guys? You got the big bug dude and a guy who looked like giant aloe plant in there, but no Ch’p. That just hurt worst than anything else and dammit all if I can forgive it…