Premiering this weekend on HBO was one of last year’s quartet of big budget superhero movies, Warner Brothers’ and DC’s “Green Lantern”. Starring Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Mark Strong and Peter Sarsgaard, the movie underperformed at the box office and was derided by critics (it sits at 27% on Rotten Tomatoes).
It was also one of my very earliest reviews, and I enthusiastically sang its praises.
Now that nine months have passed, public consensus has been arrived at, and I’ve had a chance to re-watch it, have I downgraded my opinion?
In spite of it’s less than stellar Box Office performance to date, Aiden Redmond of Moviephone is reporting that the executives at Warner Brothers are still moving forward with a planned Green Lantern Sequel. I’ll believe it for real when it moves into production – they were saying the same sort of thing at this point in time when “Superman Returns to Crush His Fans Hearts” was under-performing.
Still, it’s better than hearing its dead in the water, which is what everyone kind of thought after the film got skewered by critics (not me, :)) and opened weakly (for its budget).
Ok. First off, I have to admit. I’m not the most unbiased reviewer in the world, here. Everyone who knows me knows I’m a huge comic book nerd. So it’s totally possible that someone who doesn’t know who Tomar Re is going in to this – and thus doesn’t have a minor nerdgasm when he shows up – might not like this movie as much as I did.
But in this day and age, do non-fans really need to be versed in the lore going in? Even if you’ve never read a comic book in your life, don’t you know who Green Lantern is? And even if you didn’t, didn’t the marketing campaign tell you enough?
Green Lantern is the quintessential Super Hero Movie. And by now, we should all know what we’re getting when we go to a super hero movie. Superhero movies are uncomplicated affairs. It’s Good Guy vs. Bad Guy. If its an origin story, you get the added bonus level of how the Good Guy got their powers. In this case, a dude gets an alien ring that gives him super powers, flies to the sourceworld to learn how to use it, and then he fights villains. It isn’t “Inception”. It wasn’t meant to be.
So the question then becomes, was it a GOOD superhero movie? And the answer is, resoundingly, YES. One of the best.