Monday, 20 June 2011

Green Lantern - Fun B-movie bobbins!

On Wednesday night I caught the ‘special’ screening of the Green Lantern in Leicester Square. Warner Brother’s weren’t doing a UK premiere, a worryingly ominous sign, but when you have a mate, who often cuts the hair of movie industry big-wigs, it’s kind of rude to pass up on the offer of free tickets, even when the red carpet isn’t dished out. Still, who wants to fucking touch me?

I actually owe this particular mate many a favour (the premiere’s of Alexander, King Kong and Lady in the Water to be specific), which worries me slightly. You see he’s Italian, or more precisely Sicilian, and if you’ve seen plenty of movies involving Sicilian’s then I really need to watch out that I don’t get in too deep (or get a sense of perspective). I’m expecting a call any day now where these favours are all cashed in at once and the next thing you know I’m in the middle of ‘saloon wars’. It’s midnight at my mates place of work and I’m charged with making the body of another local hairdresser ‘cutting’ in on his business disappear. Car boots and a large hole in the middle of Epping Forest compulsory! It’s either that or a tenner a month to keep him company on DC Universe Online…

So, the Green Hornet! I went in with fairly low expectations thinking it was likely to be a complete disaster. The trailers looked fairly ‘meh’ which was only confirmed by the fact this was to be a special screening. Memories of sitting painfully through Mission to Mars resurfaced, which almost made me scream for mercy and leg it, except the cinema gave us free beer, a good thing seeing as such a bonus encapsulated my motto (‘I like beer’), meaning my get out clause had been vanquished. I’d have to stay for the whole shindig. Luckily, it was actually kinda fun, albeit in a thoroughly forgetful way. I haven’t had the time to re-watch under non-beer induced conditions to see if this played a significant factor in my decision-making abilities, so you’ll just have to go with me on this one.

Sure the film has numerous, obvious flaws as exposed by the trailer – the bird from Gossip Girl is woefully miscast (a fighter pilot, really?) and completely wooden, the score is total shite, some of the CGI is spectacularly wanky (the scene with the helicopter - oh deary, dear) and the big bad is a little bit wafty (albeit pretty scary for a 12A). Yet it's saved by Reynolds being Reynolds (y’know slightly goofy, but semi-serious), a few good chuckles to be had along the way, Mark Strong really getting it, Tim Robbins hamming it up a good 'un, some decent action (albeit infrequent and spectacularly short) and a universe that is rather compelling (I'm new to the Green Lantern so the backstory of their order was pretty intriguing).

It was certainly watchable and fun, in a poorly made bobbins that somehow just works kind of way and it’s not an awful movie by any stretch. But a B-movie superhero that edges towards a magnificently bad sci-fi flick is not what Warner Bros were, presumably, aiming for either, particularly when placed against the pantheon of other superhero flicks doing the rounds. Against the likes of Daredevil and Elektra (seriously shit movie-making) it stands out, but other than that it just doesn’t have the originality, style or action credentials to bother the likes of Nolan’s Batman, Spidey, Ironman, etc. With the conversion success rate Marvel seem to be having, it’s just building to the body of evidence that explains why Marvel are made of win and success compared to DC being composed of suck and fail (Krypto the Wonder Dog, anybody?) Indeed, considering the amount of money Warner Brothers have thrown the Green Lantern’s way, perhaps ‘watchable’, ‘fun’ and ‘B-movie’ isn’t quite the justification they require…

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