Box Office Bombs: Green Lantern

Failed Critics Podcast host and secret superhero, Steve Norman, is taking on his most dangerous mission to date…

Green Lantern Ryan ReynoldsIn one of the darkest corners of the internet there is a list. A list so dangerous to the world of cinema that Hollywood have hidden it away, much like the Ark of the Covenant at the end of Raiders.

The list contains the biggest box office failures of all time. Through my extensive list of contacts and a combination of brown envelopes changing hands and top executives being slept with I have unearthed this damning list. (okay, it’s actually on Wikipedia). It is my intention to watch and review these flops for you.

Green Lantern – 2011. Losses $105,000,000.

Ryan Reynolds stars in this big budget origin story of Green Lantern Hal Jordan. One from the DC Comics stable and a member of the justice league (more on that later). The problem is that while the Green Lantern has a pretty impressive power (here’s a ring, put it on, imagine stuff, it happens) the film still feels boring. It just plods along for just under two hours.

In the film an alien crashes to Earth and before he dies passes his ring and lantern to Hal, a fighter pilot who, rather unsurprisingly, is a maverick and plays by his rules and no-one else’s. He then has to prove himself to the Green Lantern Corps. To save his planet and maybe the galaxy. I’m unsure of the latter, I wasn’t paying much attention. Definitely Earth though.

The film has three problems:

Firstly, Ryan Reynolds is just bland. Now usually I like Reynolds. He isn’t fantastic by any means but he was charismatic and likeable in the sitcom ‘Two Guys, a Girl and…’ which was a decent watch sandwiched in between Hang Time and Saved by the Bell on Trouble. He has also put in good turns in the likes of Buried and a couple of OK but forgettable films. In Lantern he doesn’t get going. He lacks the wit or coolness of Robert Downey Junior’s Iron Man or the character depth of Christian Bale’s Batman.

He isn’t helped by a boring plot or poor dialogue though.The bad guy isn’t menacing enough, or scary enough, or both. You get the idea that he is a formidable foe that has been a problem for millennia but when you see him on screen, hear his backstory and have his plot revealed you’re all a bit ‘so what’. The enemy needs to really hammer home threat of danger, harm and destruction he or she poses and this one fails.

And finally, the effects look dated even though the film is barely 18 months old. A new film simply cannot get away with this.

Overall a poor film and instantly forgettable, especially considering the volume of superhero movies being released. This certainly ranks somewhere toward the bottom.

It does ask the question about where this film ties in with the Justice League movie announced for a few years time. Reynolds is undoubtedly a box office pull but the Green Lantern franchise has been tarnished with this poor effort. It leaves the studio with a dilemma; should they include Reynolds as the Green Lantern or should they reboot the character either before or after the Justice League movie is released?

5 thoughts on “Box Office Bombs: Green Lantern”

  1. I can see where you’re coming from, even though I quite like Green Lantern.

    Most people of our generation would associate John Stewart with the Green Lantern moniker because he was the guy used in the Justice League cartoons. Thing is, Geoff Johns, the big cheese at DC, has a thing for the older/original heroes. He was responsible for resurrecting Hal in the comics. So any GL in the movies would be, I imagine, Hal Jordan. And therefore it would probably make sense to get Reynolds on board for it. He’d definitely be up for it I imagine and as you say, he’s a box office draw.

  2. I think it was a great movie for all of us loving superhero-movies and sic-fi alike. I suppose it’s exactly this which decides if you like it or hate it, if you are narrow minded or love the adventure.
    I’m not surprised though that it flopped. The world is full of simple people who prefer everyday drama like Woody Allen. I thank God that not everybody are of that mindset.

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