Green Lantern Anxiety
Yesterday I talked a bit about how much I enjoyed Thor and how much I’m looking forward to X-Men: First Class and Captain America: The First Avenger later this summer. While I’m thinking about such things, it seems worthwhile to note that I am trepidatious and a little anxious about the upcoming Green Lantern movie.
Some might see this as a “Marvel vs. DC” thing, and it is fair to say that I’ve always been more of a Marvel fan than a DC one. But Green Lantern has always been one of my favorite super heroes … I really WANT to like this film … and the more I see about it, the less excited I’m becoming.
Even from a fan’s perspective, GL is fraught with pitfalls–not the least of which being WHICH Lantern to use. Hal Jordan seemed the obvious choice to me (I’m a Hal guy through and through), but very strong cases could (and have been) made for Kyle Rayner, John Stewart, Alan Scott, and even Guy Gardner. Then, once the choice was made, the difficulty of bringing ANY of those characters to life becomes apparent.
Now, I haven’t seen the film yet (obviously), so I won’t presume to be able to answer the question of how good a job they’ve done of interpreting Hal Jordan. But I will say that the previews are not filling me with confidence. It seems very much as though they’ve taken Hal’s background and general look and infused them with Kyle’s basic personality … and I can totally understand (though NOT agree with) the reasoning for doing so. Hal is a boy scout … Kyle is a more complex character. But in the small doses they’ve shown us in the previews, it seems dissonant — the test pilot with confidence problems.
Then there’s the matter of how computer-generated everything looks. Again, this is an artifact of the fact that commercials have to be made BEFORE all the effects are finished being processed. What we see on the screen is certainly going to be even more polished than what we see in the ads. But we do have a pretty good idea of the direction that the filmmakers are going with the look, and it all looks really … umm … fake — from the CGI uniform to the CGI landscapes to the CGI creatures. They don’t look bad by any means, but they don’t seem to be part of OUR world. They seem like they come from a FULLY animated movie. They don’t seem to merge well with the flesh-and-blood actors and practical sets.
And then there’s what we can tell about the story itself. It seems to be an origin story … and a save-the-world story … and a lear-that-the-universe-is-bigger-than-we-thought story … and maybe even an unexpected-betrayal-by-a-trusted-friend story. And if it’s more than one-and-a-half of those, it’s TOO MUCH story for one movie. But, again, there’s no way to know ahead of time if those are REAL problems or just mistaken suppositions I’m making on my own.
So I’m definitely going to see Green Lantern when it comes out. But right now I’m more than a little nervous that it will not be the success I’ve always WANTED a GL movie to be. In fact, I’m kind of afraid that it will be flat out bad. And, based solely on previews and ads, I’m expecting it to be the worst of the comic-book-based movies that come out this summer.
I hope I’m wrong.