There are things Ryan Reynolds and company totally got right. There was some nice humor, the racetrack construct was pretty cool, and the ending action scene was really well done. It is a fun Summer, popcorn movie. I don’t really feel it was terrible and I guess I’m not saying skip it. Please don’t. But I’m going to be unfair in my expectations and voice what I’m really trying to get to. “Its not Ironman and it should have been.”
DC has had so much success and failure with the Superman and Batman franchises. For the most part they are considered sure-fire, bankable and profitable ventures that will be pursued in film for years. We know that DC can hang with Marvel as long as they make decent films using the “World’s Finest” characters. But why can’t DC break out of that mold? Why can’t Flash or Wonder Woman, Legion of Super-Heroes or The Secret Six get a break?
Marvel has had success across their entire super-hero line. Ever since Marvel hit with X-men... we’ve had a barrage of mostly profitable and well made “House of Ideas” films. Here is a random list... and it doesn’t matter if you liked them or not... they put a strong spotlight on Marvel as a company and a Brand. Fantastic Four (One & 2), Hulk, 2 Punisher movies, Daredevil, Spider-Man (1,2,&3), X-men (Too many to name), and beginning a few years ago we got the Marvel Universe in film form with Ironman, Incredible Hulk, Ironman 2, Thor and up next...Captain America. Eventually to team up and set the long awaited, highly anticipated, juggernaut of a Summer blockbuster: The Avengers. It has been like having sequels... but still getting individual stories. Pure movie gold! What’s DC’s answer? This Green Lantern movie and more Superman & Batman, and then?
Green Lantern has been a huge success for the comics line at DC. I’m sure since “The Sinestro Corps War”, it has been a top 5 DC book on sales and popularity charts. Created by DC’s top talents and having story impact that shapes the DC Universe as a whole. I feel the success of the book is what caused Hollywood to notice the film possibilities. It had Coast City Super-Hero, street level, home grown tales to be told and of course, it had a massive cosmic scope as well. I just don’t feel like it took advantage of their situation. It was missing that it factor. That thing that made it "cool". I don't know what that magic "it" is. But it was missing. They had a chance to make a dent, to steal the spotlight, to really stand out in Brightest Day! The impact of Green Lantern to film needed to be bigger and deeper. Show the core of the DCU and maybe have a giant hand creating the Universe. Really push the envelope. Instead it was alright and visually superficial. It was just okay. And this is the template, the mind set for the Justice League? Warner Brothers… don't you know… even if its stealing a concept, THE AVENGERS movie is going to BANK! No question. Nerd movie of the year, Maybe the decade! As a huge DC fan, I can live with you stealing a concept, like having a shared Universe in order to get a bankable, believable, well written Justice League. Use this idea and start with Henry Cavill's Superman. Have him cross paths with GL or Hawk Woman or whoever. No more real estate villains to take on the Man of Steel. Build a world of characters to match Marvel's. Please!
My expectations were probably too high. DC is behind... and I thought Green Lantern was their attempt to throw their hat in the ring. I thought GL was going to be DC’s Ironman. Its not. But I just realized what Green Lantern really is. Its Blade. Think about it. Outside of most nerds, Blade was pretty obscure. He made a few appearances in the Spider-Man cartoon in the 90s. (Even though Green Lantern and Ironman were about the same level of obscurity... but you get my point.) Then that Wesley Snipes movie hit and BAM! Marvel got hot. Maybe I shouldn’t be so pessimistic about what Green Lantern’s impact is just yet. I’d say Green Lantern is as good as the original Blade? Possibly better? Maybe this is just getting the ball rolling and we are on the cusp of a new dawn for films for DC? Maybe.