Jun 18 2011

Green Lantern’s at 25% on Rotten Tomatoes

Published by at 1:00 am under Comic Book Movies

Curses.  I was a lot more excited about GL than the other superhero movies this year (X-Men: First Class, Thor and Captain America) because it’s a more ambitious story, more purely sci-fi than most other superhero stories.  Unfortunately, the initial reviews have been, ahem, not favorable.  (25% on Rotten Tomatoes compared to 77% for Thor and 87% for X-Men: First Class).


Filled with unintentionally laughable characters, intergalactic gobbledygook, sudden pacing shifts and a hero whose superpower is downright cartoony, this latest comic adaptation makes something like “Spider-Man” look both grounded and brilliant… The Big Bad in this film turns out to be a huge smoky cosmic octopus of sorts (which speaks English, no less). Certainly a candidate for the 10 Worst Villains of All Time list.  – Detroit News


…it’s not the concept that’s so mightily flawed. It’s the execution. The motivation behind the villains, including the yellow fear monster, could have been thought up by a reasonably priced blender. The plot doesn’t flow in the slightest. The whole mess is an extended trailer, or the sound a 10th grader makes when he knows he hasn’t done his homework and the teacher is about to ask him about it. The movie shouts at you the entire time, punishing the audience, but it never says anything remotely important or interesting.  – Laremy Legel


This blobby ever-changing monster is fueled by “the yellow power of fear,” which is almost as frightful as the movie’s other nemesis: the gray power of boredom.


Sure, comic lovers will thrill when Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) recites the Lantern oath for the first time, but I bet they’d be a lot happier if he had something interesting to do afterwards… Parallax is more special effect run amuck than actual villain. Strong’s terrific turn as Sinestro – Right there, people! Right there mocking us! – only pours salt in that wound. – Rob Vaux


Certainly Ryan Reynolds possesses the xylophone abs to play a superhero, and the smart-aleck persona to make him fun.  Only one of those gifts is displayed in Green Lantern, thanks to a digitally painted-on costume hugging his physique. This movie has little else to offer except gaudy CGI doodles including a villain resembling an overflowing septic tank with teeth. – St. Petersburg Times


Despite having an enjoyable, self-aware leading man, Ryan Reynolds, in the title role of test-pilot-turned-superhero Hal Jordan, Green Lantern fails on almost all levels. The story seems determined to hit every cliché in the universe, the dialogue is consistently trite and therefore instantly forgettable, and every film reference (tons of Star Wars, The Last Starfighter, Superman) only reinforces the realization that this movie can’t even gain any upgrade in class with its thievery of superior movies… Was the casting director drunk the night the 40-year-old Sarsgaard was deemed the right choice to play the son of the 51-year old Robbins? – Atlantic City Weekly


Thor did a better job with this, by mostly ignoring backstory except for movie’s first ten minutes and working it in as the movie went along. Then again, the Odinson’s background was comparatively simple (Dad strips the arrogant Thor of his powers and sends him to Earth to learn humility). Director Martin Campbell and his bevy of writers had the opposite problem: cramming the Green Lantern Corps history and Jordan’s initiation into their ranks into less than an hour’s running time in order to allow the new GL a chance to show his stuff. And it’s all terribly rushed. Jordan zips from receiving the ring from Abin Sur to the early manifestations of its powers to perfunctory boot camp on the planet Oa…it’s feels like we’re speed dating all these characters. – Houston Press


‘Green Lantern’ doesn’t follow in the same footsteps of recent superhero films and instead a being a dark and compelling companions to them, the film is as campy as ‘The Fantastic Four.’ – Wilson Morales


So they’ve combined that [serious] element with a jokier one that turns the hero into a callow hipster more in tune with today’s juvenile sensibilities. He may be called Hal Jordan and be a great test pilot, but in terms of personality the hero is a great deal closer to that other Lantern, Kyle Raynor. — OGO


Even by the standards of the current run of mediocre comic-book movies, this one stands out for its egregious shoddiness. Its characters, dialogue, and pacing recall a destined-to-be-canceled Saturday morning cartoon from the early ’80s or possibly an extended Hasbro infomercial.  — Slate

22 responses so far

22 Responses to “Green Lantern’s at 25% on Rotten Tomatoes”

  1. E.J. Apostropheon 18 Jun 2011 at 1:51 pm

    Yes, the critics can skewer a film yet the fans will determine the success of the film. The reviews are just that…a review…an opinion of one man. There are too many films that was called by critics as the bane of their existence while the film went to a meteoric rise to success.

  2. B. Macon 18 Jun 2011 at 3:34 pm

    “There are too many films that were called by critics as the bane of their existence while the films went on a meteoric rise to success.” The Transformers series comes to mind. However, the first Transformers movie did average 57% on Rotten Tomatoes. That’s not great, but noticeably better than 23%. (Hell, even Fantastic Four II, The Punisher and Ghost Rider did marginally better).

    PS: Just in terms of business sense, it seems like the studio might have dropped the ball a few times with GL. According to Hollywood Deadline, “Marketing was not happy with the movie which production delivered, and saw the finished film extremely late in the game. A source tells me. ‘In this case, marketing didn’t have access to more than 70% of the finished movie until two weeks ago.'” Ouch. That said, it’s meeting (lowered) expectations so far at the box office.

  3. NicKennyon 18 Jun 2011 at 5:00 pm

    What!!!!! The first Transformers movie was only 57%!!! That’s one of my favourite movies. Had some great characters that were inexplicably stuck out of the sequel.

  4. Castilleon 18 Jun 2011 at 9:15 pm

    So that’s two superhero movies so far this year that have gotten middling reviews.
    Funny thing is… I got Green Lantern and Green Hornet mixed up until not too long ago…
    looks like neither will be getting sequels.

    I’m still hoping for captain america. They must’ve had confidence in the marketability if they signed the lead on for three sequels before release…

  5. Rebeccaon 18 Jun 2011 at 9:55 pm

    I’m really dissapointed in the critical response to this movie. A week ago I was afraid Green Lantern would barely rise above the level of Daredevil and Spiderman II. After the critcis trashed the movie on Thursday and Friday I was afraid it would be as bad as Xmen 3, or Fantastic Four. I was absolutely surprised — Green Lantern did a far better, and more unique, job of establishing a superhero franchise than 2000’s Xmen or the deeply dissapointing Superman Returns. It easily ranks in the top five Superhero movies I’ve ever seen, and while neither Parallax nor Hector Hammond were phenomenally potent antagonists for Hal Jordan, and while Carol Ferris is in desperate need of being recast, I’d say this movie is easily the most FUN I’ve had at a Superhero movie since the first Spiderman.

  6. B. Macon 18 Jun 2011 at 10:38 pm

    Yeah, I’m a bit surprised that they went with Parallax rather than Sinistro as the movie’s main villain. A lot of reviewers made unpleasant comparisons to Fantastic Four II’s dust-cloud Galactus.

    PS: “A week ago I was afraid Green Lantern would barely rise above the level of Daredevil and Spiderman II”–I would have been really, really pleasantly surprised if GL had met the level of Spiderman II–it averaged a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. That’s Pixar/Godfather territory.

  7. herojockon 19 Jun 2011 at 8:20 am

    Wow I really want my money back. From what I saw from the trailers I was expecting this to involve the Green Lantern corp battling Parallax. Sinistro kept explaining this was such a grave threat, ‘powerful enough to wipe our civilizations’. He gave rousing speeches, bragging about the corp’s invincibility. So naturally I was getting psyched thinking they are planning to kick some ass on a galactic scale! Yet they just left it to one recruit to deal with it? what kind of paramilitary force is this!

    But onto Parallax. Sigh… surely in production there had to be someone thinking ‘is this really going to escape the criticism of the Galactus dust cloud in Fantastic Four 2?” Did they think giving it a head would improve things? ultimate force of evil villain isn’t very compelling to me, especially when it looks like a cloud of muck.

    I felt like I was watching a really expensive TV film. Blake ‘lively’ what a very ironic name. [SPOILER] if you get freaked out by images of your father, why have it in your cockpit? haha.

    A generous 4/10

    Who will rescue DC movies?

  8. Rebeccaon 19 Jun 2011 at 1:11 pm

    After 24 hours I have to say I still Green Lantern ranks as one of the most fun movie experiences I’ve ever had and is easily one of the top five comic book movies I’ve ever seen. I don’t understand why there is such negative response to it, unless it has to do with Herd Mentality. I was watching the Critical Reviews come in and it … felt like I was watching a number of people responding negatively to what other people had written: If someone tells you that a movie is full of holes, you go in to the movie LOOKING for holes. I did that, but I was pleasantly surprised, but … I feel like most people went in, looking for holes, and nitpicked anything that wasn’t incredible.

    Yes, Blake Lively was not good. But I don’t nessecarily feel like she was any less good than Katie Holmes’ performance in the first Batman movie, and Katie didn’t sink the movie.

    Yes, Parallax was not a traditional comicbook nemesis the way we like them to be, and Hector Hammond was the second rate villain at best: we all want to see Superman arguing with Lex Luthor or battling Darkseid, and we’d probably feel let down by Superman facing off with … Toyman for an entire movie. But I feel like this Green Lantern movie did an amazing amount of water-carrying and ground-laying for a franchise to come: now that we’ve seen … certain things … we can have an entire movie where Hal Jordan has to confront Sinestro, and they’ll actually have some history together.

    I really feel like this movie warrants a sequel, and I’m much more interesting in seeing a Green Lantern 2 than I am an Ironman 3 or a Batman 3 at this point.

  9. The Jedi Penguinon 19 Jun 2011 at 2:32 pm

    Hmm… my boyfriend wants to take me to see this… I’ll have to be open minded I guess!

  10. B. Macon 19 Jun 2011 at 3:31 pm

    I haven’t seen it yet, but one reason I’m sort of holding out hope for the GL movie is that pretty much every review cited at least something that was effective. (Most commonly the lead actor, the actor for Sinestro or the combat, etc). When a movie is a true ****storm, NOTHING works on any level besides possibly “It was so bad it was unintentionally hilarious.” I don’t think Batman and Robin accomplished even that much.

    “From what I saw from the trailers I was expecting this to involve the Green Lantern corp battling Parallax.” Yeah, there was a conscious decision to emphasize the aliens in the marketing materials even though they don’t play a large role in the movie. According to Deadline Hollywood, “Sources also tell me that Warner Bros film chief Jeff Robinov and DC Entertainment ‘pressured the campaign to feature the alien characters too much in the name of franchise building.’ But not everyone was on board having to feature these side characters so much especially given their marginal roles in the finished film.”

  11. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 20 Jun 2011 at 7:05 am

    I had… middling hopes for this movie. But between my boyfriend’s scathing comments on it, just from the trailer, and the reviews coming out, I guess even those hopes were too high. I might rent it when it comes out on DVD and Blu-Ray, just to check it out anyway.

    Both of us, on the other hand, are hyped for Captain America and The Avengers. 😀 We probably won’t be able to see them together (long distance relationship) but we’re going to attempt to see them on the same day at least, so we can freak out over them together as soon as possible.

  12. B. Macon 20 Jun 2011 at 10:32 am

    Would anyone like to make a prediction on the total box office results of Green Lantern? For the opening weekend, it totaled $70 million worldwide ($53 million in the U.S. and $17 million internationally).

    I’m guessing it comes in around $200 million total ($130 million domestically and $70 million internationally)–probably enough to cover the production budget of $200 million but I don’t anticipate it will also cover the $100 million advertising budget.

  13. Castilleon 20 Jun 2011 at 12:00 pm

    So…if they can’t turn a profit on the film that means there won’t be a sequel right?

  14. B. Macon 20 Jun 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Actually, to justify a sequel, I think a film usually has to generate SUBSTANTIALLY more money than the production budget. For example, Superman Returns sold $390 million in tickets worldwide against a production budget of $270 million and that was generally regarded as a lackluster showing by DC/WB executives. (Remember, you still have to account for marketing, taxes, the theatres’ cut of the tickets, AND the studio’s desire for profit). In a lawsuit about the ownership of the Superman franchise, one of DC’s film experts deemed Superman to be “damaged goods.”

    It’s been 6 years and there still hasn’t been a sequel for Superman yet*. If $390 million in ticket sales against a $270 million production budget wasn’t good enough to justify a sequel for a highly recognizable character who has had several blockbuster movies in the past few decades, I would think that Green Lantern would need to do much better. Moreover, I think the odds of WB rebooting Green Lantern are pretty low because the franchise has not yet demonstrated substantial mainstream appeal (unlike the first few Superman movies).

    *A reboot is scheduled for 2012, and pretty much everybody associated with the original got axed.

  15. Comicbookguy117on 20 Jun 2011 at 8:16 pm

    Hey everybody seems to be posting here. So please forgive the off-topic question. As I’ve previously stated I am developing my own comic book universe which is nearly complete to the point that I can start writing. But how can I get my stuff legally copyrighted so it can’t be taken from me? That’s my biggest fear. It’s has taken me years of strife and struggle to get to this point. I’d hate to have that taken from me you know? So how can I copyright my creations?

  16. B. Macon 20 Jun 2011 at 9:36 pm

    You don’t have to do anything to copyright your work. It happens automatically when you write it.

  17. B. Macon 20 Jun 2011 at 11:24 pm

    I just saw Green Lantern. I’d lean towards 1.5 stars out of 4. I feel like spending a few months working on the script could have gotten it to 3 stars.

    Things I liked:
    –The main character had some good lines (For example, “Thanks for taking the tab,” after he suddenly walks out on a lady friend that asked him something embarrassing and “I’m uncomfortable with the word ‘hero,'” after she calls on doing something stupid).
    –The actor for Sinistro strikes me as strong and the actor for Green Lantern sort of grew on me.

    Things I thought could have been improved:
    –Characters had a pretty strong tendency to say what they were feeling at any particular moment. Dialogue should usually show that rather than tell it.
    –I feel like the movie had a lot of unintentional comedy. Pretty much every close-up with the main love interest drew at least some snickering from the audience I was with.
    –Some of the plot elements were REALLY cliche. For example, Sinistro offhandedly says something about using the (obviously evil) yellow ring himself before he makes yellow rings for the other people in the Corps and an audience member yelled, “Don’t test it on yourself, you dumb ****!” Incidentally, that guy had more funny lines than the screenwriters did.
    –I felt disappointed by the writing in general, but the dialogue was so bad words could not do it justice. I don’t think even repeating ITS words would do it justice. It can’t be described, just experienced, like getting hit in the brain with a sledge hammer or snorting a line of rat poison.
    –Hal’s characterization jerked sort of wildly between a gutsy fighter pilot at the start of the movie and something of a sniveling wuss. (For example, Hal just sort of gives up on the idea of being a Green Lantern because Sinistro calls him a joke and bests him in combat, but that didn’t seem consistent with the pilot that deliberately caused his engine to stall because it was the only way to win.
    –A Green Lantern says it’s the highest honor to be a Green Lantern. But they have a mask built into the costume and they’re (purportedly) chosen because they are fearless. If you’re not embarrassed about being a GL and aren’t afraid of somebody finding out about your identity, why wear a mask? PS: I feel like a reasonably intelligent person close to Clark Kent could guess that he was Superman. Glasses, hair-gel and feigned clumsiness only go so far. But I feel you’d have to be an absolute ****ing moron to get fooled by Hal’s figure-eight mask.
    –Some of the other character development and thematic material was really heavy-handed. For example, the evil nerdy guy is introduced playing chess for no apparent reason than that evil smart people really like chess. (Just in case calling him a “xenobiologist” wasn’t proof enough that he was pure evil).
    –The movie would probably have been better if they had taken more time on it. Characters are introduced and dropped seemingly at random. For example, we’re briefly introduced to Hal’s nephew and his brother even though both have no impact on the plot. If ever there were a movie that could waste scenes, it’d probably be one longer than an hour and 45 minutes. A subplot with Hal’s dead father could easily have been removed.
    –The plot could probably have been smoothed out. The transitions between scenes were just awful (IE: A character randomly asks GL, “Don’t superheroes always get the girl?” and then they cut to a scene with Hal and the love interest). In another scene, GL just happens to burst into a super-secret government facility 2-3 minutes after a villain goes crazy. It probably would’ve been pretty easy to make that feel coherent, but as it was, it felt sort of haphazard to me.
    –I felt the romantic angle was notably poorly-executed. It’s hardly the first superhero movie romance to fall flat (such as Moira-Xavier in First Class), but it spent a LOT of time on a romance that went nowhere. I feel poor dialogue was the main culprit, followed closely by Blake Lively’s occasionally painful acting.
    –I was a lot more interested by the aliens than the humans in this movie.
    –The special effects were okay, but I have NO IDEA how they burned through $200 million. District 9 did pretty much everything better (alien design, laser effects, scenery, props, creative use of flamethrowers in “urban renewal,” etc) despite having a budget of $30 million and being two years older. If you’re a sci-fi action fan looking for mindless fun, I’d recommend watching the first Transformers movie again.

  18. Matton 23 Jun 2011 at 11:30 pm

    I’m a few days late on this, but I just saw GL on Tuesday.

    I had fun and my wife (who knows nothing about Green Lantern) enjoyed it.

    I liked Ryan Reynolds, Mark Strong, and most of the Oa elements (even if they did have that “meanwhile, in a different movie” type of vibe).

    I think the main problem, as B. Mac suggested, really goes back to the script. The early part of the movie spent time talking about Hal Jordan’s “daddy issues,” a problem that’s dropped and never quite resolved.

    I think the movie needed a scene establishing Hal, Carol Ferris, and Hector Hammond knew each other when they were younger. It’s–ahem–kind of implied, but there’s no connection there for viewers. Considering how some of the dialogue beats you over the head with an expository Green Lantern Hammer of Justice, I found that curious.

    Parallax as a concept was (I think) retooled a bit from the comic. I think Parallax needed to possess someone (and I mean POSSESS SOMEONE as in BECOMING SOMEONE for GL to actually fight, not in the “Touched by a Parallax” sense we got from Hector Hammond). The floating cloud thing seemed too abstract. These movies need a concrete hero and villain for audiences to root for/against.

    Hal’s nerd friend could’ve easily been eliminated and Hector Hammond given that role as Hal’s work sidekick. This would’ve escalated the relationship between the two and given their eventual adversarial relationship more resonance.

    I admire the attempt to show the wide-spanning nature of the Corps, but Kilowog and Tomar-Re were pure fan service. I think the movie (and the eventual/may never happen sequel) would’ve been better served by having Sinestro fulfill these roles as Hal’s trainer. It could’ve really put a focus on the relationship between Hal/Sinestro, with Sinestro becoming the surrogate father figure Hal’s been seeking. Sinestro’s eventual betrayal would then sting even more.

    All in all, I thought it was a fun movie that will unfortunately go down as a missed opportunity.

  19. B. Macon 24 Jun 2011 at 4:00 am

    “All in all, I thought it was a fun movie that will unfortunately go down as a missed opportunity.”

    If I had to assign individual blame, I’d put this one 80% on the screenwriters, 10% on Blake Lively and 10% on everybody involved in any capacity on the visual concept for the villains (especially Hammond, but Parallax didn’t do them any favors).

    I would be surprised if a direct sequel came out of this movie. Realistically, I’m hoping they reboot GL 5-10 years from now. If so, I suspect that everybody involved with this production will get axed besides Mark Strong, maybe Ryan Reynolds and a few of the voice actors.

  20. Mynaon 24 Jun 2011 at 6:59 am

    Personally, I’m confused by something in the very opening scene… didn’t Hal wake up with a woman? You know, the “Oh no, I’m late–there’s, uh, water in the tap.” While the girl is staring confused at him? And then he ran off. That girl was NEVER mentioned again, and it wasn’t Carol. I mean, I might have missed something, but why would Hal sleep with a chick and then immediately turn to another love interest? Or did I just miss something?

  21. B. Macon 24 Jun 2011 at 10:43 am

    Good catch, Myna. I’m hoping they were using the lady at the beginning to show he’s an irresponsible guy with commitment issues.

  22. B. Macon 05 Jul 2011 at 8:56 pm

    So far, the Green Lantern movie has grossed $103 million domestically and $33 million internationally (after 18 days). Most superhero movies I looked at did about 70-80% of their U.S. gross in the first 18 days. If Green Lantern performs at a similar rate, it would total about $129-147 million domestically. Those are very bleak numbers–Warner Brothers is probably looking at a loss in the ballpark of $100 million.

    Here’s a very optimistic scenario:
    –$147 million domestically
    –$100 million internationally (VERY optimistic)
    –Around half of that goes to the theatres, leaving ~$125 million for Warner Brothers.
    –$100 million in other revenue (like DVD sales and TV broadcast rights).
    –This leaves Warner Brothers with about $225 million to cover a $300 million production & advertising budget.

    After a loss of that magnitude, I would be surprised if they continued with the sequel. I do not anticipate that there will be another GL series within ten years and, if/when there is another GL movie, its budget will almost assuredly be vastly less than $300 million (adjusted for inflation). For example, Ghost Rider grossed $240 million globally on a production budget of $120 million (advertising not included). They are moving ahead with a sequel (which I think gives GL some hope*), but the budget will be dropped to $75 million.

    *Green Lantern could redeem itself with $100 million of DVD sales, a level reached by Ghost Rider. On the other hand, Fantastic 4 only sold $4 million of DVDs, so this is by no means a sure thing.

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply