By Broadcasting Brain
The world got its first two-minute dose of emerald CGI this week with the debut of the full-length trailer of the upcoming Green Lantern movie, which stars Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan/Green Lantern [Check out the trailer: Watch Now: Trailer For ‘Green Lantern’ Starring Ryan Reynolds Is Here].
After seeing this first trailer, I’m sufficiently moved to give you Geeks a piece of my Oan-powered mind. My ring is fully charged.
But first, two things:
First: I have been a DC fanboy for over 30 years and Green Lantern was always one of my favorite concepts and characters, right up there with the Legion of Super-Heroes and Superman himself. Seeing this footage, as good or as bad as it is, is a dream come true for me, so there will likely be some positive bias in this article no matter how hard I try. Fair warning.
Second: Of course there are spoilers in this post, so don’t read if you don’t want to lose the element of surprise.
Brightest Day – The Good
DC, the producers, and the director are staying reasonably close to the mythos. The characters, names, and places are pretty much all there, assuming that Hal hangs out in Coast City like he has in the comics. The effects, while not Avatar quality, are decent based on what we’ve seen so far. Sinestro, Kilowog, and Abin Sur look reasonable, although we know they’re made of special effects. Well, Abin Sur does look a bit like a pink unmasked Darth Vader, but… OK.
I love the fact that we get to see Oa (as bleak as it seems) and other members of the Green Lantern Corps. The cosmic aspect of this movie is a delight and helps set it apart from the inevitable comparisons to Iron Man. It will be interesting to see if we look at the Green Lantern Corps in a similar light as its closest cultural analog: the Jedi Knights.
The costumes: At first I was really turned off by the EW photo of Ryan Reynolds in all his CGI glory. The costumes look much better to me in the trailer because there’s more of the classic black mixed in, although the lines on the suit just look… weird. But they are more good than not and there are no Bat-nipples, although I really miss the white gloves. Oh, and Reynolds really looks like Ben Stiller while in uniform, as others have mentioned.
The action shots of Hal flying and using the ring look really good so far, although the shot where Hal drop kicks someone while flying in costume seems a bit lame.
Blackest Night – The Bad
Blake Lively as Carol Ferris — not working for me so far, especially in the scene where she chastises Hal for being late. Her overt enunciation and overall youthfulness are strikes against her. She does not seem like a tough businesswoman to me. I realize that it’s early in both their (hers and Hal’s) careers, so I may be looking at this the wrong way. Ten or fifteen years ago, Catherine Zeta-Jones could have kicked butt in this part, plus she would have made an awesome Star Sapphire, IMHO. But it’s 2010 so let’s not worry about that. I’ll try to keep an open mind, but I think they could have done better.
The power ring and power battery look like toys… sorry. I have the same problem with Thor’s hammer in the previews of that movie that I’ve seen so far.
Tomar Re – looks weird, even weirder than he normally does. Unappealingly weird.
The Guardians have yet to decide: Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan
Ryan Reynolds is not Hal Jordan, at least not the version of the character that we’ve come to know and love over the years. Hal Jordan should be built like a quarterback: Ryan Reynolds is built like a dancer or a gymnast. There’s still a lot of fan love for the idea of Nathan Fillion playing Hal. I could have seen Chris Pine in this role, too, if he brought some of the Captain Kirk swagger and attitude to this. For that matter, maybe Chris Evans could do it, too. Ryan Reynolds is a bit too goofy to pull off a classic Hal Jordan.
Having said all that: Reynolds could still pull off a decent Green Lantern, if you allow the following stipulation: the character in the movie is really a combination of Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner. Allow me to explain.
In the early days, Hal was literally depicted in the comics as a man without fear, even as a teenager. Later on, he was tempered by his time as the host of both Parallax and the Spectre, when fear got the best of him. After Hal’s “rebirth,” he still had innate confidence that showed that he had mastered his fears.
Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan has the same relationship to fear that Kyle Rayner did: he looks scared but he manages to get the job done and then matures into the role. Ryan Reynolds, as Hal Jordan, is a bit of a nervous, messy wreck of a human full of self-doubt and tinged with regret, at least in what I’ve seen so far. Hal Jordan, in the comics, was a cocky ne’er do well before he got the ring, but he never lacked for self-confidence.
I honestly believe that they are calling this character Hal Jordan, but they’ve grafted Kyle Rayner’s personality onto Hal’s body. Fine, so be it. In fact, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. The whole bit about overcoming fear gives Reynolds a chance to add some emotional depth to the character that could make it more appealing to a movie audience. Let’s face it: overcoming fear is a more powerful story than a smartass pilot getting his cockiness beaten out of him.
But I will be ticked off if we find out that this Hal Jordan is a part-time artist. That would be too much of a giveaway.
Hopes and dreams
I desperately hope we’ll see references to Arisia, Salaak, Ch’p, and some of the other weird GLs (please, please, please drop a Mogo reference!), plus Guy Gardner, John Stewart, and Kyle Rayner. It would be awesome if there’s an Alan Scott reference in there, too. And Ganthet, of course.
I think this could still be a good film as long as you set your expectations accordingly.
Over to you: What did you think of the trailer? And am I crazy for bringing Kyle Rayner into the mix?