I've been a casual fan of Green Lantern for many years. I picked the title up off and on throughout the nineties and since Geoff Johns took over the book with Green Lantern: Rebirth in 2004, I've been a regular buyer. In fact, I can't give Johns enough credit for revitalizing the entire Green Lantern mythology and in the process, crafting a long run that builds on itself in a really satisfying way. I'd say that some of the best mainstream comics from the last 15 years come from this run.
So when Warner/DC Entertainment got around to doing the movie, they seemed to make some smart moves. The writers apparently drew heavily from Geoff Johns run, down to some of the storylines and character design - and they even put Johns on the film as an executive producer. They cast Ryan Reynolds, who should fit the role of a cocky test pilot like a glove, and they gave the director's chair to Martin Campbell - a man who TWICE revitalized the James Bond series.
I've been amped about this film for well over a year. I really liked the trailers too. Much like how the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter geeks lost their minds at how "everything looks how it's supposed to look" I went nuts for the glimpses of Oa, Kilowog and Parallax in the trailers.
And as I type this, Green Lantern sits on Rotten Tomatoes at 23%.
To put that in perspective - the so-so Thor has a 77% and even Mr. Poppers Penguins is at 45%
For now, trying to build up denial by rationalizing that a lot of reviews have buyers remorse about praising comic book films like Watchmen - which was visually powerful, but a bit too uneven and didn't hold up to repeated viewings - or Iron Man 2, which was a mess once the afterglow of Downey's performance wore off. Director Favreau did his best, but the film was too busy tying into future Marvel films to tell an interesting subject on its own. And there's the possibility that with Green Lantern being the third comic book movie this year, the market is just over-saturated.
All good rationalizations.... but 23%? Maybe Parallax is creeping into my subconscious, but I'm definitely feeling some fear. (That one was for the Green Lantern geeks!)
Wait! 82% of the audience liked it - compared to Thor's 80%! Is there a Blue Lantern Corps ring in the area or am I feeling some hope? (Again, that was also for the GL geeks... possibly that one was too arcane.)
Warner Brothers, you need this thing to fly. Please don't let it suck.
Feel free to sound off about this film in the comments. I'll be seeing the movie this weekend and likely will be posting about it soon after.