A fighter pilot with a bad attitude (Ryan Reynolds) gets abducted by aliens who give him the power to create anything he can imagine. So he obviously couldn’t imagine a decent story.
We’ve reviewed a lot of bad movies and box office flops on Screen Goblin, many of which end up being entertaining for all the wrong reasons. Green Lantern fails even to achieve that badge of honour. It’s not unrelentingly eye-popping like Valerian or Gods of Egypt. The inter-personal drama is not as hilariously bad as Valerian or Jupiter Ascending. It’s not funny in any way. It’s just absolutely, stultifyingly boring.
It’s a film so bad that DC abandoned their plans to build a cinematic universe around it. Ryan Reynolds, whose career shouldn’t have recovered, obviously can’t be bothered to stop and think how a human might behave in the situations he’s in. And he’s not helped by the unnatural dialogue and lack of opportunities to make Hal Jordan into an actual character.
Director Martin Campbell discovers, as Zack Snyder did several years later, that green is not a cool colour for a modern film. It looks artificial and tacky and the apparitions made of green light just look terrible. The biggest disappointment is that the endless possibilities opened up by Lantern’s superpower are not explored.
The biggest problem is that that there’s nothing underlying the cookie cutter plot. No character development or theme. This means it needs to be fun and entertaining, but it is neither. It is one of the worst films I’ve ever seen, not because it’s the most terribly made, but because it is the most uninteresting, uninspiring and uninvolving film ever. There is simply nothing to enjoy. The Lantern isn’t impossible to make into a good modern superhero movie the way Superman is. This film is just creatively bankrupt. In a sense the Latern is a metaphor for film making: you’re only as good as your imagination.