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Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!
Welcome to the second part of my scene-by-scene breakdown of 2011’s Green Lantern starring Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively. Continuing from Part 1:
Hal goes to his nephew’s birthday party and parks like an a-hole for no reason.
He discovers his nephew is sad at the near-miss Hal had that day. They have a really genuine heart-to-heart that really plays well. Renyonds and the kid have a good chemistry (and the kid isn’t that bad of a child actor). I bet this relationship will play off later in the movie.
Bawhahahahaha! Who am I kidding? We never see this kid again. Nothing of real value came from this scene other than the race car set.
Anyway, Hal is then abducted and brought to a crashed Abin Sur and is given Sur’s ring before the alien dies. Tom comes by to collect him right before the government comes by to see the downed alien ship.
Question: how long has it been since Sur crashed? The movie implies it’s been a few hours at least. Why did it take the feds that long to mobilize? Oh, wait. Because the script called for it. Silly me.
Also, is it me, or does Hal accept the fact that an alien died in front of him a bit too easily? Well, perhaps I’m just being too nitpicky. I should focus on the big things like Hal’s car. It should still be at his brother’s house. Wouldn’t his family notice—ah, who cares? We’re never going to see Hal’s family again.
Meanwhile, college professor Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard) is recruited to look at the body of Abin Sur, now in the government’s custody. We learn that he was given the chance to look at the alien because his father is Senator Tim Robbins.
The strange thing (more so than everyone acting nonchalant that there is a FREAKIN’ ALIEN BODY just laying there) is that there doesn’t seem to be any other scientists on this project. I know there is Amanda Waller, but that seems to be it. Oh yeah, he also gets infected with yellow power. Gee, maybe having an assistant would have prevented that.
While that is going on, Hal mucks around with the lantern before going out drinking and getting into a fight. Apparently, his earlier showboating caused Ferris Air to not get the government contract prompting massive layoffs. Gee, his co-workers are mad at getting fired. Imagine that. Hal fights them off with the ring and is taken to the Green Lantern planet, Oa.
On Oa, we get an exposition dump of everything that was said during the opening narration. So, why was that opening narration needed? Beats me!
The one thing they don’t delve much into is the ring. Here is my problem with the ring. It is never really explained how it works. We are told that it can create anything the wearer imagines. But does that mean it takes on the complete properties of said item?
For instance, when Hal makes a gun, it fires bullets. Why would it do this? Are those bullets effective since they are not “attached” to the ring? Same with the necklace he later gives Carol. Is there a distance factor with the ring? Or when Hal makes the jets, they work as jets would with logical working jet engines.
This is fine, but the movie doesn’t explain that, and the ring’s functionality is left incredibly hazy. Can he make fictional items? Like what if he made the USS Enterprise and made it go to warp speed. Can the ring do that? If not, why? It can make fully functional jets. How does the ring know real items from fictional? One line probably would have solved this problem.
Remember when you were a kid and you played make-believe with your friends? And you would say how you would have a power, but then your friend would counter with a power that outdid your power, so you would come up with one that outdid your friend’s? And things would keep escalating with utter nonsense until someone throws down the “infinity” card? That is kinda how the ring is presented in here. And because of that, it makes the ring seem too powerful and that, willpower aside, limits the dramatic effectiveness of it.
Tomorrow: Part 3, in which Hal gets “trained” and Hammond goes crazy!