The slew of good comic book movies ends with Jason Reynold’s latest
Summer has been filled with quality superhero thrills, ranging from the godly fights of Thor to the troubled mutants of the X-men: First Class. And Green Lantern can’t top either.
It had plenty going for it. I will go out of my way to watch any movie with Ryan Reynolds in it — something about his abundance of charisma on screen is always fun to watch.
Add that to talents of Martin Campbell, the director of the fantastic James Bond reboot Casino Royale, and put the setting in an imaginative universe of intergalactic struggles of good and evil and it sounds like something spectacular will emerge.
After seeing Green Lantern I’m wondering where that potential went. Instead of a superhero epic, we have a mess of a film that doesn’t hold up to the high standards of this year’s comic-book movies.
There are a number of things that are just bad about Green Lantern, but none are more to blame than the script.
Every performance in the film is one note, with the sole exception being Reynolds, whose struggle with the super-powered ring providing at least a little depth.
I guess the most telling thing about my experience with seeing Green Lantern was how people in the audience reacted to one of the two film’s villains, Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgard).
Every time Hammond came on camera, laughter erupted at how silly his character looked.
On the other end of the spectrum is Super 8, the latest thrill ride adventure from the increasingly impressive J.J. Abrams (Lost, Star Trek). The film feels like a throwback to the Steven Speilberg age of cinema that had young kids going on dangerous adventures that were as scary as they were fun. Considering that Speilberg is credited as a producer, it makes sense then that Super 8 ranks among one of the best of that genre and is easily one of the most fun movies of the summer.
As with most of Abrams work, to go into much of the plot would give away the mystery and surprise, but it is safe to say that when a train crashes in a small Ohio town, a small group of friends who are just trying to shoot their amateur zombie movie get caught up in an adventure that takes them into the heart of what is causing strange and deadly happenings in their town.
Despite having a drastically smaller budget than Green Lantern, the film uses its special effects to create a dense atmosphere and some thrilling moments of action.
Also unlike Lantern, the movie has a surprising amount of heart, creating a cast of kid characters that I found myself emotional invested in.
It all amounts to a film I can’t wait to see again and makes me a firm believer that Abrams is a star director.