Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, or so they say. These words could not be any more true when applied to the disaster of a Ryan Reynolds movie that now calls Netflix its home. Green Lantern, to some, unfortunately, represents the ugly of comic book movies. To those who just want to watch a movie and not compare, it may not be as bad as critics and DC fans may think.
Ryan Reynolds plays Hal Jordan like he plays many of his other previous or future characters, with the smug cockiness that either makes you a Ryan Reynolds fan or not. Jordan is a test pilot for Ferris Aircraft and is about to have his life drastically changed.
The Ryan Reynolds-led Green Lantern begins by telling the story of the Green Lantern Corps, an intergalactic police force created by the Guardians of the Universe. The universe was divided into 3,600 sectors with one Green Lantern per sector. Abin Sur (Temuera Morrison), a Green Lantern in the 2814 sector, defeats Parallax, sending him to rot in the Lost Sector on the planet Ryut.
In the present day, Parallax escapes, causing another showdown with Abin Sur. This time Parallax gains the upper hand, mortally wounding Abin Sur. The Green Lantern is able to escape and make his way to Earth, looking for a worthy successor to his power ring before he perishes. This is where he runs into Ryan Reynolds.
The ring chooses Hal (Ryan Reynolds), to which Abin Sur appoints him to be a Green Lantern. Hal takes the lantern, speaks the oath, and is then transported to Oa, the home planet of the Green Lantern Corps. Hal meets veteran Lantern’s Tomar-Re and Kilowog as well as Corp leader Sinestro (Mark Strong).
Sinestro has no use for Hal, thinking him to be unworthy, unfit, and scared. It isn’t all that surprising when you think about Ryan Reynolds and his attitude in the part. Hal, disillusioned by the training and Sinestro’s doubts, decides to quit, taking the power ring and lantern with him.
Back at home, we begin to see Hal’s daily life. His long-time love interest is Carol Ferris, played by Reynolds’ future wife Blake Lively. Carol is the vice president of Ferris Aircraft.
We are also introduced to scientist Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard). He is brought to a secret government facility by his father Senator Robert Hammond (Tim Robbins) to perform an autopsy on the alien body of Abin Sur. Keeping a close watch on the proceedings is Amanda Waller. Here Waller is played by Angela Bassett, but fans may better know her character as played by Viola Davis in the DC Suicide Squad films.
While conducting the autopsy, a piece of Parallax enters Hector’s body, giving him telekinetic and telepathic powers, but these come at the cost of his sanity. His first mission is to kill his father when he learns he was brought to the facility not because of his abilities but because of who his father is.
Hector’s attempt to take out his father is stopped by Hal, who uses his power ring to save the love of his life along with Waller. While battling Hector, Hal also finds out that Parallax is on his way to Earth. Hal is going to have to harness all of his Green Lantern abilities in order to stop Parallax and even then, that might not be enough.
Green Lantern was a big-budget undertaking for Warner Bros. and director Martin Campbell. The film, written by Greg Berlanti, Michael Green, Marc Guggenheim, and Michael Goldenberg, was given a mind-boggling $200 million budget, making it one of the more expensive films on record. Unfortunately for Warner’s, it only brought in $220 million at the box office.
Ryan Reynolds was not Warner’s first choice to play Hal Jordan. Jon Hamm was offered the role, but he smartly turned it down. Chris Pine, Sam Worthington, Bradley Cooper, Justin Timberlake, and Jared Leto were also considered, but eventually, Reynolds was chosen.
Conversely, Blake Lively was also not Campbell’s first choice to play Hal’s love interest. Keri Russell, Eva Green, Jennifer Garner, and Diane Kruger were all considered before Campbell went with Lively. This is where Reynolds and Lively first met, something they would turn into marriage two years later. So at least one part of the film was a success.
When the film was initially conceived, Campbell intended it to be the first of a trilogy. The ending of the film, (SPOILER ALERT) showing how Sinestro changes from green to yellow, was the set-up for where the second film would begin. But the poor box office and terrible reviews forced Warner Bros. to rethink their position and eventually cancel their plans.
While the film may not have been a positive for Ryan Reynolds’s movie career, it did wonders for his personal life. It has also done wonders for his social media status as he and his wife have enjoyed many moments of social media “fun” (at each other’s expense). The couple has three daughters.
Thankfully, Reynolds has been forgiven for what has been considered a big misstep in his career. He has made up for it time and again with his A-list status making turn as Wade Wilson/Deadpool. Reynolds has also brought audiences to the cineplex with films such as The Hitman’s Bodyguard and its sequel, Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard. Reynolds also has one of the more popular Netflix films with Michael Bay’s 6 Underground.
Currently, Ryan Reynolds has one of the top movies out with Free Guy. Up next is the highly anticipated and long-delayed Netflix film, Red Notice where Reynolds will star alongside Dwayne Johnson and Gal Gadot. Among Reynolds’s upcoming projects is Futha Mucka, an animated short series he will lend his voice to with his Hitman’s Bodyguard co-star Samuel L. Jackson. And of course, always on the horizon is Ryan Reynolds’s return to the MCU with Deadpool 3.
So, what do you think? Does Green Lantern deserve all the negative publicity? Can one watch it with zero expectations and come out enjoying it? The Ryan Reynolds film can be seen on Netflix. Let us know what you think.