Zack & Nick's Culture Cast

Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!

Breakdown: Green Lantern (Part 4)

Continued from Part 3:

Hal learns that Parallax is coming to Earth (shit…I completely forgot about him!), so he heads to Planet X-Box for help.  However, because the Green Lantern Corps are bigots, they refuse (even though it is their job to stop stuff like this).  Hal then asks for permission to do it himself which they grant, but since he’s had the ring the entire time without anyone caring it begs the question on why he went to Oa in the first place.  The scene added nothing.  They don’t give him any help.  They don’t give him any tools to fight.  Just a “Good Luck”.


“I don’t remember saying ‘good luck’.”

Honestly, why do they not want to defend Earth?  Not only is it their job, but it gives them a strategic advantage.  They know where the bad guy is going to be!  Can’t they devise some sort of surprise attack?  Why are they completely fine with Parallax destroying all life on Earth (especially since destroying such life will make Parallax strong enough to destroy the Green Lantern Corps)?

Hal returns to Earth where Hector has kidnapped Carol and reveals that he turned to evil partially because he was jealous of Hal’s lifestyle.  Interesting message.


Hal gets Carol out of trouble just as Parallax arrives and kills Hammond for his failures (thereby making Hammond ultimately pointless in the grand scheme of things).

Parallax then starts to invade the city and, presumably kills thousands inadvertently making this movie much more horrific than the filmmakers probably intended.  The problem with all of this is that we never learn what any of the ramifications from any of this are.  Wouldn’t the government and the world population be going nuts that a giant evil cloud was vaporizing thousands.  We get nothing.  The next time we are back on Earth, all seems fine.  Granted, we’d be opening up a giant can of worms if the movie dealt with what came next.  The fact that it isn’t even mentioned seems troubling.


Ramifications? The movie has no time for such things!

Hal confronts it and eventually gets it to go off planet.  A chase ensues and, because the movie has no sense of how our solar system is arranged, Hal and Parallax make their way from Earth to the Asteroid Belt and then the sun in under two minutes.



Hal is able to get the evil cloud to fall into the sun.  Thank goodness for Kilowog’s completely forgettable line of common knowledge (which wasn’t even referenced here – Hal comes up with this idea under a completely different rationale).

Now, as an aside, I am not saying that this wasn’t challenging.  But it seemed as if Hal took down Parallax a bit too easily on his own.  I mean, afterall, all Hal did was punch Parallax into the sun.


This actually happens.

Remember how Parallax was built up earlier by killing off the “strongest Lanterns” who were acting as a team (all of whom were, presumably, Green Lanterns for more than a day).  It was also implied that Parallax was much stronger when he faced Hal than he was in that earlier battle.  Who knew punching a cloud was the key to victory?

So, Sinestro, Kilowg, and Tomar-Re arrive right after the battle finishes – nice timing guys – and bring Hal back to Oa where Hal becomes Employee of the Month.  Also Kilowg takes credit for training Hal.  What training?  You just punched him a bunch of times and reminded him about gravity.   Is that what you are taking credit for?

We are then treated to the exact same clip we saw earlier in the movie during Sinestro’s mid-movie speech.  With the exception of planet shot mirrored, the movie doesn’t even try to hide it.  Just look.  See!


Hal gets back to Earth, kisses the girl, and goes “looking for trouble”.  And that’s Green Lantern.

Oh yeah..and this:


For the sequel that will never happen.

Boy is this movie bad.  Not, awful-awful.  It’s watchable, but largely forgettable.  It is as mediocre as mediocre can be.  The plot is unfocused, the characters are bland, and they rush through some of the more high-concept stuff.  The special effects can be kind of cool at times – I particularly liked what they did with the Green Lantern suit, but some of the other visuals can be incredibly dodgy at times.

The way this movie was executed reminds me of something from the mid-90s.  Sci-Fi movies such as Supernova or Event Horizon which are not really all that good, but have become cult favorites.  Granted, it is a different type of movie from those two, but Green Lantern sort of falls into that mold.  Even the soundtrack sounds like “90s generic”. If this was made during that time period, I think people would be kinder to it.  However, it was made in 2011 in the midst of a superhero movie renaissance where the competition is much stiffer and the critical eye more cynical.

The problem really lies with the script.  The acting was pretty good.  Ryan Reynolds was fine as Hal Jordan.  I’m not one who thinks he was miscast.  He just did the best he could with the material given which is a shame because there are a lot of things you could do with this fictional world.  Peter Sarsgaard is clearly having the time of his life camping it up, and Blake Lively really turned out to be the welcomed surprise of the bunch.

In the end, the filmmakers were simply trying too hard when they didn’t need to.  The Green Lanterns are basically space cops.  Use that formula!  It works and is easily accessible for mainstream audiences.  Instead, the filmmakers felt like giving the finger to the audience by confusing the hell out of them.


It is almost as if Ryan Reynolds was trying to tell us.

Well, that’s my breakdown of Green Lantern.  Again, if you liked this movie for whatever reason –  great!  I didn’t, and I feel it is one of the reasons I won’t be seeing a Flash movie anytime soon.

I hope you enjoyed my scene-by-scene breakdown!  Do you want to see more posts like this?  Sound off below and let me know what movies you want me to look at!


Green Lantern Scene-by-Scene Breakdown:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Also, check out Zack’s What Went Wrong feature on Green Lantern!


3 responses to “Breakdown: Green Lantern (Part 4)

  1. CultureCast-Z January 10, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    “Why are they completely fine with Parallax destroying all life on Earth (especially since destroying such life will make Parallax strong enough to destroy the Green Lantern Corps)?”

    That …. is …. amazing! This movie just looks so atrocious. What an embarrassing misfire for all involved!

  2. JD February 15, 2013 at 8:39 am

    I really enjoyed this analysis. It was much more entertaining than the movie that’s for sure.

  3. Pingback: The Use and Misuse of Massive Carnage in Hollywood Blockbusters | The Culture Cast with Zack and Nick

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