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Green Lantern back to reviews
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Powerful and important movie [Some spoilers]
One of the things I was particularly impressed by was that they made the hero's character development explicitly essential to the plot. If Hal Jordan doesn't overcome his fear, Earth and the universe are doomed. And I particularly respected the way they had him overcome that fear. I've watched far too many anime where everything the hero accomplishes is done through Heroic Resolve. Resolve is essential in this story, but it's not enough. Hal Jordan has tried all his life to be the fearless hero he saw his father as, and his fear of commitment and success has beaten him every time. And finally, right before The Climax, he sits down with the people whom he loves and respects most in the world, and he confesses his fear and inadequacy, and they look him in the eye and tell him "You're not fearless, but you are courageous. Just like your father was." This is not some cheesy, one-size-fits-all "You can do it! We believe in you!" This is a personal statement of affirmation, based on long-term, intimate knowledge of the man behind the mask. If it hadn't been true, if it hadn't resonated and rung his soul like a giant gong, it wouldn't have worked.

And boy did it work. It changed the man on the most fundamental level. It made him fearless.

And fearlessness was exactly what was needed. In the ensuing battle, still ringing with the power of that soul-deep affirmation from the people who know him best, Hal Jordan shows us what fearlessness really looks like.

It couldn't have happened without the ones close to him. If Hal's sister had kept her mouth shut, if she'd stumbled over her words and failed to look him in the eye, if she'd distanced herself from him over the previous decades and prioritized other things over learning to understand her brother, Parallax would have shredded him and then everyone else. Hal Jordan is not the only hero in this movie.

This is why superhero movies are worth making and worth watching. If they're just flights of fancy, they're superfluous. But stories that teach us about the things that really matter: that is valuable.

That's why I liked Green Lantern.
It felt extremely generic to me, at least in the Earth scenes. On earth he's a pilot with daddy issues. Its been done and parodied. You may say that Green Lantern long preceeds those movies but this part of his character does not. Its a recent retcon.

And this isn't really Hal Jordan. Its a Hal/Kyle amalgam and it shows. He's supposedly bold to the point of recklessness in some scenes and afraid and self doubting in others. The character is whatever the scene calls for just like his ring.

Would it have killed them just once to put a truly confident male hero front and center in a superhero movie? This would have set Green Lantern apart and Hal Jordan is the character to do that with. There is something between arrogance and mealy mouthed angst that the last few decades of pop culture seems to want to deny.

Now, the space stuff was decent and almost worth the whole movie on it's own. I particularly liked that they gave Parallax a more coherent origin (note to Johns, if you're going to say that your parasite just congealed out of fear itself, its better to leave the entity's origins a mystery) as long as we've decided the Guardians can't be wise and hyperintelligent anymore we might as well make one of them become Parallax.

There is nothing powerful or important about this movie other than that it finally gave us Green Lantern on the big screen. The themes of this movie have been done over and over again and have been deconstructed, reconstructed, and more. They should have cast all that aside and embraced the sheer epicness of intergalactic space cops. That would have at least been serviceable.
comment #8311 gibberingtroper 27th Jun 11
He doesn't have a sister. That was his Love Interest.
comment #8715 GoldenAlex 18th Jul 11
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