Wednesday, July 6, 2011

In Brightest Day...

Finally getting around to posting this.

I (finally) saw the Green Lantern movie on Sunday...in an almost empty theater. Although the movie did make number one on its opening weekend, it was a weak number one. It is not doing nearly as well as Transformers or Thor.

Which is undeserved. The storyline actually has distinct similarities to Thor, but Hal's transformation and maturation makes sense. The romance...makes sense. On top of that, the special effects are fantastic (worth paying a little extra to see the 3D print, IMO). Mark Strong was a great Sinestro. Loved their Carol Ferris (check the dogfight near the start for a nice nod to canon). They did use synthespians, but unlike a recent Sanctuary episode, they didn't 'show'. (And Smallville, the finale of which I also finally got to watch, can't even properly hide their orange screen...but that's another rant). And while I was unsure of Ryan Reynolds, who didn't look much like my personal image of Jordan, he definitely had the role down.

So. Why didn't it do as well as it deserved?


One possible reason is that Green Lantern, although popular amongst comic fans, has never attained much fame outside the community...but then, neither has Thor. One reviewer went as far as to call him a 'third string' character. And, perhaps, DC made a mistake going with Hal Jordan rather than the younger Kyle Rayner. Then again, they undoubtedly wanted to tie in with the fall relaunch, which will see Hal in the ringwielding seat once more from what I know.

Sadly, though, I think the reason is much more basic. Genre. Is it a space opera...or a comic book? Green Lantern, ever since the introduction of Abin Sur and the Green Lantern Corps, has been both. (The original Green Lantern, Alan Scott, was quite a different character). Mainstream audiences do not like genre crossing. It makes people, I think, uncomfortable and uncertain of what to expect. In fact, the motley bag of previews shown with the movie showed that distributors had no clue what to do with it at all (Cowboys and Aliens being the only one remotely relevant, and I'll believe that movie's release when I see it).

It's a sad sign for those who like to bend the 'rules' of genre and play with concepts taken from different worlds and realms, I think. Hopefully it still did well enough for the planned sequel to be released.