Sometimes movies get unfairly maligned as the media narrative takes over and the idea that something is terrible snowballs uncontrollably. Waterworld, for example, is not as bad as others would have you believe. Yes, it is a bad film certainly but is not quite the abomination it is suggested. The same can be said of John Carter, where it is more boring than awful, of which I have written here.
But sometimes the criticism, the slagging off, the unrelenting vitriol is completely and utterly deserved. For every now and again a movie arises with absolutely no redeeming features (normally featuring Michael Bay in some capacity). One such monstrosity is Green Lantern.
God, where to begin?
Let’s start with the frivolous, the CGI. It is terrible, some of the worst I have ever seen. Somehow it manages to completely avoid all the advances made in the past 10 years and is a mixture of cartoon and completely disconnected from the actual things. Then there is the green screen, oh boy! Ryan Reynolds floating head over a terrible CGI body for significant portions of the film looks like it is being projected like in the Wizard of Oz. There is no sense that they are in any way connected.
The script ventures between boring and stupid, with only a couple of lines which approach a level of respectability. The screenplay is just a bunch of stuff and has been correctly characterised by people as “rich guy gets more”. Despite there being two hours of the thing the protagonist does not undergo any major developments. There is one apparent character flaw, but this turns out to be ultimately a strength and is encouraged in every other species, despite the fact they’ve been doing this literally forever.
The acting is pretty rubbish. Appearing in front of masses of green screen to talk to people in silly costumes saying banal and stilted lines cannot be easy. Even so, it should be better than this. The only person who comes out with any kind of credibility (and I use that term loosely) is Peter Sarsgaard as Hector Hammond, a scientist who becomes infected with bad alien energy. He manages to perform the psychological breakdown well, though his character (like all the others) is essentially pointless.
There is also the increasingly tired, yet seemingly obligatory “superhero tries to actuate powers” scene. Here, as in Spiderman, it is played for laughs. The only difference being in Spiderman, people actually laughed. Here it is just pitiful. Not least because he was given clear instructions to “place the ring on the lantern”, which takes him forever to figure out, as opposed to say, being the first thing he did.
The whole thing just rambles on looking increasingly ridiculous and pointless until you get to the end and realise that in fact it was indeed ridicules and pointless.
Sometimes it is better to ignore people and make your own mistakes. But sometimes, those words of warning are well heeded.