I don’t usually watch extended “sizzle reels” unless I’m at Comic-Con, as your regular two-and-a-half minute trailers already give away damn near the whole movie. But I was not very enthused by the Green Lantern trailer of a few months ago, and the buzz was that the new footage of the movie shown at WonderCon would dispel any fears one had about it. Warner Bros. has uploaded four of the nine minutes of WonderCon footage, which you can watch right here:
The verdict? This still isn’t a movie I’d pay to see were it not a major geek event. It doesn’t look quite as abysmal as the original trailer made it appear, and indeed some of the action setpieces look like they’ll be pretty decent. I was particularly fond of Abin Sur’s flight from whatever the hell that was near the beginning. But in my mind, the film has to overcome two hurdles, one of which could be easier than the other, both of which are fundamental.
One: Ryan Reynolds isn’t an actor of much substance. I’ve heard good things about Buried, and I’ve enjoyed him in Adventureland and Definitely, Maybe. Though he’s a charming screen presence, I’m not sure he has the weight to carry a superhero picture, especially one where he’s supposed to be playing an intergalactic law enforcement officer. This is the easier of the two hurdles to overcome, though, because we’ve still only seen largely out-of-context snippets of Reynolds quipping and reciting the Green Lantern oath, and for all I know, his performance in the finished film could be totally solid.
Two: the visuals are not extraordinary. Sure, some of the alien worlds we’ve glimpsed look impressive, but the film looks like it’s reaching the CGI saturation point. There are several moments in both the trailer and the new footage during which I began to wonder why they didn’t just make a cartoon or a video game instead. And whoever decided to make Hal’s suit entirely CG should be bitchslapped with a giant, power ring-formed open palm. It simply doesn’t look convincing, especially not the little mask he wears. I assume they’ll be working on the special effects right up until the film’s June 17 release date, and I hope the finished visuals will be an improvement over these.
Of the three big superhero movies coming out this year, of which the other two are Captain America: The First Avenger and Thor, Green Lantern remains the one I’m looking forward to least.