It would have been nice to round my list of 2011 movies off to 50, but I only saw 48. Slacker.
Like last year, I’m going to break them into categories by how much I enjoyed them, covering one category each day all week. Unlike last year, I’m not going to force 10 movies into each category, so some – like today – will only have one and some – like Wednesday – will have much more. Fortunately, I only really hated one movie this year.
48. Green Lantern
I try to find something I like in every movie and usually I succeed. And if I’m truthful with myself, there were things I liked in Green Lantern. I don’t know that Ryan Reynolds is a great Hal Jordan, but I always like him, so having him in the movie is a good thing. Mark Strong made an awesome Sinestro and was probably the best thing about the movie.
The problem is that I didn’t grow up with Green Lantern (probably because he wasn’t on The Super Friends), so I don’t have opinions about him now. The space police angle has a lot of potential, but I’ve never felt the ring and – perhaps unfairly – always picture Green Lantern using giant, green hands to do his dirty work for him. Frankly, I’ve always seen Green Lantern as sillier than most people see Aquaman. When I’ve read about him in Justice League comics, I’ve tended to re-imagine the effects of his ring so that it’s less goofy. Mostly, I imagine it as a generator for a telekinetic force, because moving and manipulating things is how Green Lantern typically uses it.
Because of all this, I needed this movie to pull its own weight in turning me into a Green Lantern fan and it didn’t do that. The flaws of the movie were so well-covered over the summer that I don’t feel like anyone needs me to rehash them here, but this was always a movie that was going to start from behind for me and it never gave me a reason to change my mind about it or its main character.
The reason I hate it instead of just disliking it is because I want superhero movies to be awesome and there’s no excuse for bad ones anymore. The makers of Green Lantern had every opportunity to observe what folks were doing with Batman and the Marvel films and create something that could at least get close to that bar. It ticks me off that they didn’t even seem to try.