Hollywood is running a glut of superhero movies right now, and if you think it’s already overloaded, just wait until the Avengers movie comes out. But in the meantime, we’re getting the comic book backpages. Sure, “Superman” and “Batman” were naturals, and okay, “Spider-Man” and “The Incredible Hulk” proved their worth as popular 70’s TV shows, but along the way someone got greedy. We got a Catwoman spinoff directed by a guy with one name, Ghost Rider starring an entirely too old Nicolas Cage and some fake hair, and not one but two Punisher movies, only one of which had Thomas Jane. And let’s not forget that Daredevil starred both Ben Affleck and Colin Farrell (shudder – possibly the worst offense of all). But while we keep getting movies made about superheroes that barely anyone outside of a comic book convention has ever heard of, should we immediately write them off as quickly made cash grabs? I mean, the best part about last year’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine might just have been the five minutes Ryan Reynolds was onscreen as the relatively unknown “Deadpool.” It left you wondering, could Reynolds have the charisma to carry an entire movie about a comic book character that 90% of the populace has never even heard of? Well, wonder no more, as Green Lantern opens up next summer, and we’ve got our first glimpse at the trailer.
Reynolds plays Hal Jordan, a daring test pilot who flies by the seat of his pants both in and out of the cockpit, and Blake Lively plays his by-the-book partner who seems like she could be a real uppity one. After having to ditch a plane mid-air, it seems like Jordan’s life couldn’t get any worse, but then he finds an alien that crash landed to earth, who informs him that he has been chosen by a very special ring to join the Green Lantern Corps to protect the universe, and anything he can dream up in his mind, the ring makes happen; a very exclusive job for only the most fearless. After playing around with the ring for a bit, a very big-headed Peter Sarsgaard proves to be a threat to society, and a CGI suited Green Lantern must stop him from doing….something.
This movie has been getting buzz since it was announced Reynolds would be taking the role, rather than a much-expected Deadpool spinoff, and then over the summer, Entertainment Weekly released photos of the all-CGI suit that would be used in the film (that’s right, the entire suit has been painted on in post-production), that started debates about how real the entire thing could possibly be. But now we get the trailer, and by the looks of it, all five seconds, we don’t have any reason to complain about the suit….yet. In fact, we don’t have much to complain about at all. Reynolds seems his normal, charming self, and aside from a more sci-fi tale than your normal superhero movie, as we visit alien worlds and see alien versions of other Green Lanterns, the whole thing looks to be really well put together.
But, there is one gripe I have, and that’s in Blake Lively. She seems fine on “Gossip Girl”, and in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and she wasn’t the worst thing about this summer’s The Town, but acting next to Reynolds, who just seems like a natural in front of the camera, is proving Lively to be a liability in the couple seconds we see of her in the trailer. On top of that, we just have to question how the director is going to play the whole “anything I see in my mind, I can create” scenario, as the only real power we see so far is in the form of a giant cartoon fist knocking out three bad guys in a back alley. Will they take a knowing nod to the comic book art of the golden age, or is this going to get kiddie and campy real quick?
So, will it suck?
No. Reynolds has just been fun to watch, starting back in 2002 with his big-screen breakout with Van Wilder to the guy’s version of a chick-flick with 2008’s Definitely, Maybe. He’s relaxed, charming, and funny, and yes, we might just have a movie crush on him. So expect him to carry the movie, much like Robert Downey Jr. did with Iron Man. The major question comes in the form of the graphics – what will that suit look like in action, and how cartoony will the ring’s special powers actually be? From the looks of it, we aren’t worried, as the suit seems to come off with a surprising touch of reality, and that “giant punch” looks more like a clever in-joke for comic book fans, that will probably be played up minimally in the film. Summer seems far away, but from what we’re seeing, in our books, “green” means go.