Warner Bros. has just revealed their DC Cinematic Universe, and against all odds, Green Lantern’s scored a solo flick. Scheduled for 2019, quite a bit aways, we know next to nothing about this film. It this an entire reboot? A sequel to Ryan Reynold’s messy attempt? Nobody knows, but for what it’s worth, I say we give Reynolds another shot.
I know, I know… That’s a pretty dangerous statement to make. Between the cringe worthy race-track scene and the instantly outdated CGI, 2011’s Green Lantern was torture. It transformed one of the most beloved space sagas into a Sam Raimi pastiche. Borrowing heavily from that director’s Spider-Man films, with a few poorly mixed Nolan elements, Green Lantern was just… off. Really off.
Sure, Ryan Reynolds was a mediocre Hal Jordan, but he wasn’t the source of the problem. Hell, I’d even say Reynolds was the right man for the job. Considering the upward trajectory of his fame (which started its decline soon after), and his comedy chops, Reynolds was a safe bet for Hal. Like Chris Evans in Captain America or Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk. Of course those two Marvel thespians better exemplify their respective heroes, but they’re examples of convenient casting.
Ryan Reynolds is a fine Green Lantern. A decent Lantern, at the very least.
The true problem with the GL flick was the putrid combination of awful writing and lackluster direction. His father’s death, that laughable romance, the complete bastardization of Parallax… all of these classic elements of the Green Lantern series were not only poorly adapted, but horribly scripted. Mix in Green Lantern’s strangely pathetic attempt at CGI mastery (r rivaling only the Prequel Trilogy in its hubris), and you’ve got a recipe for an awful movie.
But we’ve talked about this before. We few fanboys know Ryan Reynolds wasn’t the source of the problem, but many of us still prefer another actor in any future flicks.
I say ‘nay’.
The new Green Lantern movie needs Ryan Reynolds for more reasons than you think. Let’s talk about superhero fatigue. I know Marvel’s The Avengers seemed to upend this trite notion. Hell, I’m tired of talking about this soon-to-arrive “I’m so tired of metahumans” movement that totally/maybe happening. Hollywood’s been hoping for the death of superhero movies since X-Men 3. Yet, as often as they throw that notion around, I think we’re actually standing at its precipice. This summer the best 3 superhero movies ever produced (Guardians of the Galaxy, Winter Soldier, and Days of Future Past) were released. These are 2nd, 3rd, and 4th tier superheroes who are dominating the box office. How can Green Lantern exist in this lush environment? It certainly can’t differentiate itself with another origin movie, which are as common as double chinned nerds at a Comic Con. It needs to circumvent the all too common reboot, and venture forward with a strong sequel.
Hell, look at Spidey’s own reboot. Those films, which (despite reviews) are quite satisfactory, grossed less than Captain America. Viewers are tired of Spider-Man, the second most popular hero in the world. While many suggest this is the fault of the director, actors, and script, the most cited reason for Spidey’s recent failures is the “Too-Soon” Reboot. Sam Raimi’s final Wallcrawler movie debuted in 2007, and only 4 years after, Sony released its Andrew Garfield iteration. And as if being a reboot wasn’t a big enough problem, Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man was another origin flick. Even Batman Begins failed to surpass its predecessors at the box office. The film was critically acclaimed, embraced as a welcome change to Schumacher’s waffled Batman flicks, and even it struggled to generate revenue.
Reboot’s are a difficult sell for any franchise. ‘Too-Soon’ reboots are an even worse sell. Combine that with the average viewer’s superhero fatigue, magnify that by the original Green Lantern movie’s tepid reception, and you’ve got a recipe for failure.
Ryan Reynolds is a superb comedic actor. We don’t need a reboot, we need a better director. A better writer, too. Knock those problems on the head, cast Ryan Reynolds in a galaxy hopping heist flick (no more epic villains, please!!!), and you’ve got a perfect space flick. I know Ryan Reynold’s has a Guardians of the Galaxy performance buried deep down in his soul. He just needs a better vehicle than his WB first provided.