Tuesday, 23 November 2010
In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night...
By now, if you're reading this particular blog, chances are you've seen the Green Lantern movie trailer. I've watched it a few times now, and thought it only right that I chime in with my two cents, given he's one of my favourite characters. The thing is, the more I watch it, the less I like it, and it's not down to any one story element or character issue that the trailer raises, but rather, the look of the film.
Now, I'm not one of those who thinks that effects are the be all and end all of a movie. Far from it. I can quite happily sit through a film with only average effects if the storyline keeps me hooked. Or a shit film with shit effects if it's one of those shit films which is also AWESOME!!!! But I digress. The problem is, the effects in Green Lantern, as they are right now, look awful. The alien characters, many of whom could've been done as prosthetics, seem to have been augmented with CGI, and it looks wrong. I understand the need for Kilowog to be a CGI creation. I mean, look at him.
But why do it with Abin Sur or Sinestro when some pink face paint would work just as well?
It doesn't make sense. The ring effects also look wrong, though I understand that's harder to nail down as everyone will have a different idea about how these should look in action. That said, the Justice League cartoon got it pretty right, so maybe the production team should look here for inspiration?
The worst part though is the costume. When the initial pictures were released, it looked bad. We knew all along the Green Lantern uniform was going to be a CGI creation. For some reason. And the pictures didn't inspire confidence. I chose to give it the benefit of the doubt though. Perhaps, in motion, it might look quite good? It doesn't. I get what they're trying to do. The uniform is a creation of the ring, so they've tried to make it look like it's made of energy. But it's really not working. The Green Lantern uniform is, for my money, one of the best superhero costumes out there. To see it ruined like this, creating one of the worst looking superhero costumes on film since the Batsuit gained nipples... It doesn't bode well.
What I will defend, however, is Ryan Reynold's portrayal of Hal Jordan. A lot of people are complaining that he's playing him as too cocky and light hearted, but ya know what, Hal Jordan is cocky and light hearted! He's a devil may care test pilot with a huge streak of arrogance running through him. There have been comparisons with the Iron Man film, with some people saying that this is the tone the producers are going for. Ignoring the tone of the films themselves, it's actually quite apt to compare Hal Jordan with Tony Stark. Hal may not have Tony's millions, and was never as big a prick as Stark was when he started out, but he does share Stark's immense levels of self belief and eye for the ladies. Hal has mellowed in recent years in the comics (which, given events, is only natural), but as far as the trailer shows us, Ryan Reynolds performance is pretty perfect for the younger, inexperienced and, importantly, fearless Hal Jordan who first became Green Lantern.
The trailer hasn't shown us much of the villains to judge their performances, or given away a huge amount of the storyline, so we don't have much to go on, but to be honest, I'm a little worried about this. The aforementioned tone, yes, does seem to have been influenced by Iron Man, which, despite the character similarities, just won't work for Green Lantern. And those effects... They need to be cleaned up if they want people to believe them. They have time to do so, but I can't help but think it's not going to be enough.
Fingers crossed, this will all turn out okay. The involvement of Geoff Johns, who has written some of the best Green Lantern comics ever, is reason to think they might pull this off, as is the fact that it's directed by Martin Campbell, who so successfully revitalised Bond in Casino Royale. But for now, we're just going to have to wait and see whether the Green Lantern film is cinemas Brightest Day, or its Blackest Night.