Saturday, November 10, 2012

Fixing Movies: Green Lantern

I may be one of this movies only true defenders.  I think it was one of the best movies that came out last year.  Or at least it was one of the most fun movies that I saw.

But I do recognize that it has some flaws.  And I think that if these flaws were addressed early enough, there wouldn't have been as much backlash against it.
So here are my thoughts on how to fix Green Lantern (in no particular order).

1.  Re-Design Parallax: The main bad guy is a giant, cosmic fear entity.  But instead he looks like a cartoon space-squid.  In the comics, he has more of an insect look, which would have been better at instilling fear.  I know that they had to make an abstract emotion embodied in a physical presence, but because Parallax is so essential to the story, he needed a major re-design.

2.  Start with young Hal Jordan.  The director's cut of Green Lantern begins with Hal as a child watching the death of his father at Ferris Air.  It also introduces most of the principles, including Carol, Hector, Sen. Hammond, etc.  Early on this establishes the relationships between all of the characters and creates an instant connection to the reckless Hal.  We understand the trauma and fear he feels.

3.  Extend Hal's training:  I don't mean that the sequence on Oa where Hal learns the tricks to becoming a GL should be extended in terms of screen time.  But when Kilowog shows up they engage in a training montage that takes place entirely on that small platform.  With the magic of CGI, you could have had all of the training elements, but made it appear as if it was occurring over days, even weeks, instead of months.  This would lead to a pleasing variety.  For example, instead of Kilowog creating an artificial sun, they could have flown into orbit near a real one.  This would give us a chance to really explore these alien worlds.  This is what they did in the comic, "Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn."  By doing this, would feel as though Hal had been truly put through the ringer and was about to wash out.  But with the sequence as is, its as if he tried being  GL for a day and then quit.

4.  Spend more time with the other GL's.  The story was already long, but there are so many varied and interesting personalities in the Green Lantern Corps.  One of the critiques of the movie was the the GL's seemed kind of fascistic with their uniforms and chanting.  But the variety of species could have led to some nice character texture.  Instead, the abundant alien cameos feel more like a modern Star Wars Cantina scene.

5.  Recast Carol Ferris:  I have nothing against Blake Lively, but she was wrong for the part.  Like Katie Holmes in Batman Begins, she always felt like she was a kid trying play an adult.  Carol should be strong, shrewd, and smart.  She needs to be Hal's equal in every way.

6.  Give a bit more history on the Green Lantern Corps.  While you don't want to have too large a prologue, it is important to understand whey the GLC is necessary in the universe.  Why are they fighting?  Who are they fighting?  When did the Guardians create them?  Like the set-up in The Lord of the Rings, this would help viewers understand the role that the GLs play in this universe.

7.  Don't make the Guardians CGI.  I know that computer animation has come a long way, but it did not work out that well with the Guardians.  They looked a little too much like animation.  I think the effect they were going for were small, but powerful beings like Yoda.  Instead, you had a little too much Jar Jar.

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