Movie critics have spared few barbs in reviewing this summer’s Green Lantern release. Rotten Tomatoes called the film “noisy, overproduced, and thinly written.” The Guardian laments it as “a big, baggy, flavourless extravaganza.” EW’s Owen Gleiberman – whom I usually love – came closest to positivity when he reported, “Green Lantern can be fun as spectacle (which is why kids may go for it), yet the whole movie is eye candy, and not much more.”
To all of which I say, with professional respect for each reviewer as a valuable voice in his field, “Phooey.”
I’m not asserting that the movie is on a par with The Dark Knight or that it has no flaws. For purist devotees to the art and history of film it may yield no resonance, and for critics who hate on popcorn flicks, there’s plenty of fodder for judgment. There are a few awkward transitions and underdeveloped characters as well as an over-reliance on special effects to carry some of the scenes. But, begging your pardon, that’s just not the point.
Green Lantern the character has always represented the power and onus of creative will. He was hand-selected from the nearly seven billion people on earth as uniquely equipped to wield this power and overcome fear (ever the greatest foe, in one form or another). Anyone who has ever struggled to bring a dream from inception to reality can attest that there’s no exaggerating the fierceness of this battle.
Green Lantern the movie does a good job of depicting our hero as the epitome of personal growth and “the war of art.” Granted, my deck was stacked in its favor going in, as this has been a subject of great scrutiny for me over the past weeks. Nonetheless, I believe anyone who has been on a similar path will find encouragement in this story to press on. I particularly dare you not to get chills when, in the depths of his darkest battle, GL/Hal begins to speak the Green Lantern oath to himself, like it’s the 23rd Psalm. Beautiful.
Here, for your enjoyment, are my favorite quotes from the movie and/or GL mythology. I always highly recommend going to the source material before the adaptation where possible, so if you have time, track down some Green Lantern comics locally or online. As always, let me know what you think!
- I could always use my ring to create the money, or to make myself a plane. But I need to show that my will-power works on more than just the ring. That I can use it to reshape my world, to make the life I want.
You can’t foresee all the consequences of your actions — But that’s no excuse to do nothing.
Sooner or later you have to turn and face it– you made a mistake! Welcome to the human race, pal. It’s your choice: If you let it, it will destroy you. But if you do let it, remember you had a choice… you just picked the easiest way.
No matter how bad things get, something good is out there, just over the horizon…
In brightest day, in blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight
Let those who worship evil’s might,
Beware my power: [insert your name here]’s light!