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Ten Word or Less Review: Green Lantern makes audience blue with boredom.

What is it with this movie and giant foreheads?  Half the characters have been given either prosthetic extensions to increase their head size or bad cases of poof hair to create the illusion of enormous noggins.  The bad guy has a giant, mutated forehead, the alien overlords have giant foreheads, space cop Sinestro has a giant, purple forehead.  It’s as if the entire movie is some kind of subversive tribute to the aliens of This Island Earth.  This is just one strange quibble in a movie loaded with quibbles.  Quibbles is too nice a word for this junk.  Quibbles sound cute.  Nothing in this movie is cute.  Green Lantern is a movie which is bloated with crap yet feels like a void, expensive but cheap, loaded with extravagant CGI but boring to look at.  In short, it’s a huge pooch screwing wearing a digital green superhero uniform.

Lantern looks to have been crafted on the oft held Hollywood assumption that the audience watching it wants their movies dumb, dull and noisy.  In an age when superheroes and their corresponding movies occasionally become more progressive and complex, to see such an egregious regression in ambition is unfortunate.  Filmmakers have a large catalog of superhero movies to reference for do’s and dont’s by now but Green Lantern feels like it was made by people who haven’t watched or paid attention any of them.  Lantern’s largest deficiency is a total void of originality.  The entire enterprise feels like a Frankenstein creation with the brain a forgotten part.  Pieces of different superhero arcs are pasted onto its rickety skeleton of an over told origin story.  Iron Man’s snark, Superman’s limitless abilities, Batman’s dead parent baggage, an evil cloud thing that never works as a proper villain but they keep putting it in movies, are all wrapped up in a green CGI uniform which looks more expensive than impressive.

The casting of movies like this are always a big deal to nerds everywhere and this time the casting is lousy.  Hollywood keeps trying to make Ryan Reynolds a legit movie star but he’s only good for snappy comebacks and walking around in his tighty whities for the ladies.  He doesn’t have enough gravity as a performer and working from a screenplay as flat and dictated by committee as this one, four credited writers, makes things hopeless.  Peter Sarsgaard is slumming it as the large craniumed villain Hector Hammond, a bad guy whose nefarious nature is telegraphed to the audience immediately because he has a large, balding head, ugly mustache and was rejected by a girl when he was 11.  All a recipe for genocidal tendencies in anyone’s comic book concoction.  He eventually winds up in a wheelchair because his head gets bloated and warped and we all know how terrifying large headed, wheelchair bound quadriplegics can be.  Blake Lively plays the generic, sexy superhero girlfriend.  That’s the name I kept hearing people call her.  Tim Robbins shows up to overplay everything and look silly in tall hair.  Mark Strong makes a good Sinestro but once again we’re distracted by the fact that we have another character with a large forehead.  If you stacked all the enormous foreheads in this movie side by side you could repel Mongolian invaders.

Not so much directed as assembled in a computer by Martin Campbell, Green Lantern is not only unoriginal but painfully inert.  There are special effects all over the place but actual action sequences are sparse, unimpressive and occasionally embarrassing.  A helicopter begins to careen wildly out of control and an entire audience stands frozen with fixation as if it’s some kind of firework to gawk at.  Running away from the likelihood of decapitation and dismemberment doesn’t enter anyone’s mind.  And for having the ability to materialize anything he can out of thin air, Hal Jordan can’t muster up much to impress us.  Guns, swords and jets make up his arsenal of imagination, though that sequence of helicopter blindness culminates in a sidesplitting use of giant Hot Wheel tracks.  If the rest of the film had had that kind of unhinged use of imagination/stupidity it may have amounted to something worth watching.

Costing as much as the space program and winning no legion of sequel anticipating fans, Green Lantern stands as one of the bigger franchise wipe outs in a while.  I guess it and Jonah Hex can hang out on the WB lot, smoke cigarettes and talk about what almost was.  Captain America and Thor stand to the side thanking the movie gods this was not them.  It’s a silly, dimwitted, poorly executed exercise which was doomed and outdated the minute someone yelled action.  Watching it is like watching mountains of money burn away for an idiotic cause that no one cares the slightest bit about.  Should the likes of other DC stalwarts make it to the screen in future years, Flash or Wonder Woman perhaps, whoever helms them would be wise to watch Green Lantern and do nothing which remotely resembles it.


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