And what of the other BIG event this weekend? GREEN LANTERN is the movie that will either justify the creation of a whole universe of DC superheroes (akin to Disney’s Marvel-verse) or….well, it won’t. Thus far, reviews are…unfavorable, with a 24% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. . Despite this, the movie is tracking very well with young men and should easily open at #1.
When a helicopter is about to crash into a fancy outdoor ball, he saves the day by converting the chopper into a vintage car and rolling it down a green-light runway. (It seems like a lot of effort; Superman would have just swatted the thing away with his fist.) Hal, however, doesn’t use this pictogram ability that often, so there remains something a little vague about him. Mostly, he stands around in his shiny, pulsating, emerald-green muscle suit, all dressed up with no place to go.
It’s that bad dialogue and narration that often keeps the movie from delivering. For all the cool visual set pieces and cool CG constructs created by Green Lantern, and a few clever inventions for the movie like having Abin Sur’s ring pull Hal to the crash site, there’s some long-winded speech about how humans are worthy of the Guardians’ attention that immediately sends it crashing back down to earth. And then back on earth, you have a choice between a stale romance or a weak villain.
It’s 10 minutes before a human character appears on-screen in Green Lantern, a personality-free franchise-launcher that builds toward a quaint, if explosive, argument in favor of the nebulous quality of “humanity.”
At least for some members of the public, Green Lantern will prompt the question of how many more comics-based superheroes with awesome powers and responsibilities we really need. Dramatically tart in certain scenes but more often just spinning its wheels doing variations on similar moments from previous episodes in the lives of likewise endowed relatives in the DC and Marvel universes, Warner Bros.’ attempt to launch a major new fantasy action hero franchise serves up all the requisite elements with enough self-deprecating humor to suggest it doesn’t take itself too seriously. But familiarity may begin to breed creeping signs of contempt, if not in immediate negative box office results then in a general fatigue with such enterprises that’s bound to set in sooner or later.
Although GREEN LANTERN will do well with the fanbase, it still has to earn back its estimated budget of $300 million.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.