Guilty Pleasures: Green Lantern

By Felix Quinonez Jr.

September 18, 2012

If they were falling in love on set, why did they have such terrible chemistry?

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Let’s face it, whether we’re talking about movies, music, books or whatever, we all think we have great taste. Because we only see things from our own perspectives, we usually use our personal tastes as a way to judge quality.

But even so, we all have our guilty pleasures. I’m talking about that song you stop humming when someone walks into the room. Or maybe it’s that movie you claim your significant other dragged you to. Whatever the case, we all have guilty pleasures and that includes me, of course. With this column I’m going to try to encourage people to stop being embarrassed for liking things they normally wouldn’t or that aren’t considered cool. I’m going to do this by celebrating movies that are my personal guilty pleasures.

As an avid comic book nerd, I remember being young and wishing my favorite characters would one day hit the big screen in a REAL movie. I used to read Wizard magazine and devour any casting and development news…so you can imagine how much I love this current comic book movie craze. (A LOT)

Studios have been turning to comic books in search of a blockbuster for over a decade now. But this past summer is going to be hard to top. We had two of the most anticipated comic book movies (The Dark Knight Rises, Avengers) and a reboot one of the most successful franchises. (The Amazing Spider-Man) Needless to say, expectations were high and, in my opinion, these movies definitely delivered the goods. Looking back on it, this year’s summer might go down as the high mark of the genre. Because of this it is easy to forget how good last year’s summer movie batch was.


Going into the summer 0f 2011, it seemed like we were getting the B-level movies out of the way, as if we were being given something to tide us over until the big boys came out the next year. On paper it seemed like it would be a mild summer for comic book movies. Three of the movies were based on characters that, while popular to fanboys, were not generally well known amongst the mainstream crowds. (Thor, Captain America, Green Lantern) The fourth one was a reboot/prequel to a franchise that started out hot but had cooled off considerably. (X-Men: First Class) But then something crazy happened…the movies were actually REALLY good. (Well three of them were) The movies were genuinely exciting, had great performances, and were way better than they had any right to be. Well, like I said three of them were…which leaves us Green Lantern. No matter what, there always has to be a weak one in the bunch, and that’s exactly what Green Lantern was. While the other three excelled, this movie went in the exact opposite direction. Most people were surprised by how good the other three were but with Green Lantern…well, it was the exact opposite.

Green Lantern, directed by Martin Campbell and starring Ryan Reynolds definitely had potential but I’m not even going to try to deny the fact that it was ultimately a disappointment. There is definitely a lot wrong with the movie so I might as well start at the beginning.

Acknowledging that Green Lantern is not the most recognizable of characters, the movie starts by trying to get some exposition out of the way. Millions of years before the Earth was formed, a group of beings called the Guardians of the Universe used the green essence of willpower to create an intergalactic police force called the Green Lantern Corps. They split the universe into 3,600 sectors, with one Green Lantern per sector. It’s completely understandable that they would try to bring the viewers up to speed but they do it so listlessly. It’s not a good sign when you find yourself already yawning and staring at your watch at the beginning of the movie. And that’s one of the major problems. It seems like every other scene you have to sit through chunks of exposition that’s as exciting as listening to someone read a phonebook.

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