Welcome to the JOE-DOWN, a back-and-forth movie review blog by two snarky newspapermen named Joe from Minnesota, Joe Froemming and Joe Brown. We will take turns selecting a movie — any movie we want — and review it here. For this installment, Brown picked “Green Lantern.”
The Movie: “Green Lantern”
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard
Director: Martin Campbell
Plot Summary: (From IMDB) Reckless test pilot Hal Jordan is granted an alien ring that bestows him with otherworldly powers that inducts him into an intergalactic police force, the Green Lantern Corps.
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 26 percent
Brown: Hey you, reader… yeah, I’m talking to you.
You enjoy “Deadpool,” right? Of course you did. Everyone did. The first movie and the sequel made $1.5 billion combined. Yes. The one with the B.
Ryan Reynolds, isn’t he such a delightfully smartass? I loved when he joined the X-Force in the sequel. Hated it when Peter lost his arm after getting spit on by Zeitgeist.
Well, you know he was a superhero long before he became the merc with the mouth? He was the Green Lantern.
And… oh boy, he sucked in it.
Yeah, I’m showing my cards early in this one.
After watching a movie everyone loves last week in “The Princess Bride,” I wanted to see a universally reviled movie from a man that, to his credit, found the best possible character he could have played.
Not to mention, we on the JOE-DOWN do like to (REDACTED) on DC movies. We’re nothing if creatures of habit.
Froemming, the ring has chosen us. So before we make Hot Wheels tracks out of energy, give me your take before we dive into “Green Lantern.”
Froemming: Why are we reviewing a movie that never happened?
Yes before he was the Merc With A Mouth and after he was…the Merc Without A Mouth in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” he was Hal Jordan, someone who I think was just in the background of “Top Gun” who finds a stupid ring and becomes a superhero!
Yeah, that’s the gist of this hot turd. Oh, and the villain looks like a sickly swollen testicle, so it has that going for it too.
Why don’t you kick this off while I secretly wish I was watching “Deadpool?”
Brown: Full disclosure: I was trying to watch this movie while in the midst of a wedding weekend (congrats Nick and Tina) so my memory of this movie will be tested.
Froemming: He drunk-watched this folks.
Brown: You’re not wrong.
So we get an exposition dump to start this movie about how the Green Lantern Corps was formed to be the Guardians of the Galaxy (you know, before Marvel sued. They seem like the type). And they explain that there’s over 5,000 Green Lanterns in the universe to protect… the universe.
And there is the crux of my problem with all of this. I don’t exactly care about the fate of one Green Lantern if there is one to take its place if there’s a death. Superman would lose his shine if there was a dozen of them on Earth. Though, if Krypton were still around, that would be the case.
And once upon a time in space, one Green Lantern, Abin Sur, defeated
Groot Parallax, which Froemming and I have differentiating opinions on what Parallax is. Personally, I think of him as the black mist monster from the second season of “Stranger Things.”
Froemming: And I think of him as Snoke from “Star Wars” caught in a giant poop tornado.
Brown: He does have some parallels to The Great Mighty Poo from “Conker’s Bad Fur Day.”
Parallax was imprisoned but now, he has escaped. Wikipedia says that it was because it was an encounter with a crash survivor where he was imprisoned. I have no recollection of this.
Also, like a weirdo’s dog, Parallax can smell fear. Hell, he consumes fear and it looks like he eats peoples’ souls like a Shang Tsung fatality from “Mortal Kombat.”
Froemming: Abin Sur gets wounded and like a drunk Ted Kennedy in the 1960s, crashes his vehicle in a body of water, where his trusty ring flies off to find a new host.
Now let’s meet our hero of the film, Hal, who oversleeps for his flight test and saunters in late, where he gets yelled at by a woman who once shared a pair of pants with her friends and nearly drove me to insanity.
Brown: We’ll see those pants again someday.
Also, when Hal bolts out of bed, nothing says we’re about to enjoy a superhero romp like the raging tones of Sum 41.
So yeah, Hal and a couple pilots perform a scene that was a Kenny Loggins song away from being a straight rip-off of “Top Gun.”
I think I can speak for Froemming where after watching this movie, we wished Hal Jordan had been Goose’d so we didn’t have to slog through this 105-minute movie.
Froemming: Like Ted Kennedy, Hal survived this crash and we have to deal with the rest of this movie.
After Hal survives this stunt, we see that Andy Dufresne has finally escaped the seas and is now a senator who is working on an airship program. Hal has shown that the ships need work if they ever want to go damn near into outerspace, and in doing so, GETS EVERYONE FIRED. Seriously, he gets beat up outside a bar later for this.
We then see the home life of Hal, which is brought up that he has brothers and a nephew THAT WE NEVER SEE AGAIN. Seriously, this was filler in a two-hour movie that should have been an hour. (REDACTED) you, “Green Lantern.” If this review seems choppy, try watching the (REDACTED) thing.
Brown: Don’t worry about Hal. He gets out of this bar fight because he has been chosen by a ring.
Yep, that’s the lore of the Green Lantern apparently. That’s not a slight on the movie so much as it is a knock on the Green Lantern character. He’s stupid. Come at me, fanboys.
Froemming: Says the fan of a teen bitten by a radioactive spider….
Brown: Says a guy wasted an entire week of his life watching ALL the “Halloween” movies.
Anyways, after getting abducted by a ring (it sounds dumber typing it), Hal gets dropped off in a parking lot of what I assume is a Circle-K, not unlike Bill and Ted. And there, he sees a dying Abin Sur. However, this Lantern dies and now, Hal Jordan becomes a protector of the galaxy because reasons. The ring sees something in Hal. I assume it’s his chiseled looks because Hal Jordan has the personality of a bag of unbuttered popcorn.
Also, Hal has to say the Lantern’s oath. Here’s a dramatization of how that went:
Froemming: Yeah, hard to say the ancient alien oath if you have no idea what it is. Thankfully the script figures this out for Hal, because he bumps his ring on the lantern, his eyes goes all white and he recites a bunch of nonsense.
Man, this movie SUCKS.
Oh, can I add that a much more talented writer and director has a small role in this? Taika Waititi, who directed “Thor: Ragnarok” and made “What We Do in the Shadows” is in this. So, lots of wasted talent here, folks. Waititi plays Hal’s friend who, again, shows up and vanishes for no reason whatsoever. It is like this script was still being written while it was being filmed. Wait. It WAS. I hate this movie so much.
Brown: I’m sure Ryan Reynolds and, hell, everyone who was in this movie, hoped “Green Lantern” would just vanish for no reason whatsoever from their IMDB pages.
Froemming: If only Thanos’ fingersnap at the end of “Infinity War” could have done that.
Brown: Now, if there is a criminal act in this movie, it’s that “Green Lantern” somehow made a training montage lame as hell.
As Hal is trying to understand his powers, he’s greeted by three other Lanterns on the Corps’ home planet of Oa. There’s Tomar-Re, who is at the beginning of the evolutionary chain according to “South Park” teacher Mr. Garrison and also someone that Ween wrote a song that’s a guilty pleasure for yours truly. Then there is Kilowog, who looks like a reject “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” artist rendering of Bebop.
Froemming: Wasn’t Tomar-Re the thing that lady banged in “The Shape of Water?”
Brown: Thanks for spoiling “The Shape of Water” for me. Ass.
Then, there is the leader, Sinestro, whose widow’s peak and mustache can only be described as John Waters-esque.
Long story short, Sinestro doesn’t think Hal is ready. Because it’s a cliched training montage.
Froemming: Not cliched enough to have “Hearts on Fire” I might add.
Brown: Hal returns to his home planet. And sadly, unlike Poochy, he doesn’t die on the way back.
Froemming: Let’s now introduce our antagonist of the film, Dr. Hector Hammond, a man who made the unfortunate style decision to have both a creepy mustache AND the haircut of a guy in his 40s who worked at a video store.
Brown: Dr. Hammond’s haircut is one of an ‘80s metal fan who just couldn’t let go of his headbanging dream even as the hair on top of his head failed him.
Ostensibly, he has a skullet.
Froemming: He is the son of Tim Robbins, and is called in to perform an autopsy on the dead purple alien that Hal stole his ring from. Yes, Hal Jordan is a grave robber folks. Who recruits our later-to-be-sentient-testicle? Amanda Waller, whom we last saw (with a different actress) when we suffered through “Suicide Squad.”
Which was worse, Brown, this, “Suicide Squad” or your raging hangover from last night’s wedding?
Brown: I’d rather have had my stomach pumped after Saturday night’s festivities.
Hell, as far as DC movies go, I’d rather be one of the dead civilians during the fight in “Man of Steel.”
Froemming: So, you’d prefer to be like Mary Jo Kopechne, whom we know from when Ted Kennedy drove his car off a bridge?
Brown: All this bile toward the Kennedys. Froemming, were you in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963? Were you the man in the Zapruder film?
Froemming: Anyway, Hector starts his autopsy on this purple being when he hits a yellow pouch that means, you know, and alien will probably pop out of his belly soon, if the “Alien” movies taught me anything. Also, WHY was there another alien inside this one? Are they like those Russian dolls where inside one, you find a slightly smaller one?
Brown: It’s more the equivalent of biting into Halloween candy and getting a razor blade for your troubles.
So, this other alien all of a sudden gives Hector the ability to read people’s minds as well as telekinetic powers which, naturally, drive him insane. Doesn’t help his sanity when Hector’s senator dad reveals that he was given the honor of doing the alien autopsy because of nepotism instead of skill. That’s weird that Hector was so upset. I don’t see the Trump kids lashing out at their dad for doing the exact same thing.
What does a boy do when he’s angry at his dad? Why, he takes a cue from The Doors’ “The End” and tries to kill his father via telekinetic helicopter crash.
It’s then, we get, and I think Froemming will agree with me here, the dumbest (REDACTED) part of this movie.
Froemming: We learn that the power of the ring is only limited by one’s imagination. So while at a fancy gala for Carol’s business deal going through for those airships, we see that Hector is having a rough time reading minds and probably hiding his erection from Blake Lively. And we see his is jealous of Hal. You know, shoe-horn that in the movie halfway through for reasons. Look, Hal obviously exercises and takes care of himself. Hector looks like he spends his time eating Taco Bell and playing D&D. The pasty skin and creepy mustache is all on you Hector.
As Hector’s dad is rubbing shoulders, he reads the old man’s thoughts and they are what you expect: What is wrong with my son. Look at Hector, everyone is thinking that. So as Tim Robbins heads off on his helicopter, Hector uses his mind grapes to take it down.
And cue the dumbest thing we saw this whole movie: Green Lantern Hot Wheels!
Brown: The power of the Green Lantern allows the helicopter to turn into a car and he makes the car a track to spin around it. Not stopping this crash, mind you, but finding a way to allow this literal deathmobile to MAINTAIN TERMINAL VELOCITY to those at a packed party.
Plus, for (REDACTED) sake, if you’re going to make a Hot Wheels track, you couldn’t be bothered to make a loop-de-loop? My 5-year-old nephew has more creativity when playing with his cars.
This is the point where the movie went from “Well, this is kind of lame” to “OK, this is just (REDACTED) stupid.”
Now, as we’ll find out in the climax, it doesn’t get quite this stupid from here on out, but it still kills brain cells en masse faster than the Crown and Cokes I kept getting at the wedding.
Froemming: Remember when I mentioned the ring’s limits is the imagination? Hal Jordan is a man child whose first thought in saving the day was “toy cars!”
Here, let us cleanse our pallet here.
So Hal saves the day in the dumbest way possible with his newfound powers.
Back on Oa, we see Sinestro talking with the Guardians who somehow do not look like Peter Quill and his kickass Walkman. No, they look like cheap knockoffs from Tim Burton’s “Mars Attacks!” And we learn that a former Guardian became this new poop monster thing by testing the powers of fear or something stupid like that. Sinestro’s plan is to make a ring out of yellow fear, which is a little on the nose, isn’t it?
But Hal pops in, after Carol ditched him for quitting the Green Lantern Corps, to try and help. He is weak, because he is human, but he wants a shot at taking out the Snoke-Poop thing before it destroys his planet.
Brown: But first, booty… I mean, duty calls for Hal! He’s got to save Ferris from Hammond, who is looking more and more like Krang from “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” Actually, he looks a lot like Beavis’ dad in “Beavis and Butt-Head Do America.”
OK, I’ll quit cracking on Hammond’s looks.
So he threatens to give Ferris a shot full of what I can only assume was evil? I don’t think they ever said what this material was. He wants Hal’s ring, so… Hal gives him the ring. Our hero!
But, because the ring
kills everyone seven days after seeing it chose Hal, it won’t shoot a ball of energy at Hal. Rather, Hal shoots it back at Hammond, who is confined to a wheelchair at this point.
Yeah, Hal knocks out a man in a wheelchair. Our hero!
Froemming: Hal becomes Walter Sobchak here!
Well, Hammond is down and Carol no longer has that needle with the yellow goo at her neck. And then comes Parallax like the thing from “Stranger Things,” and it eats the fear right out of Hammond. So … a superhero and supervillain teamed up to take out a man suffering from his brain growing and expanding his skull while confined to a wheelchair. I don’t know, this feels like the movie is punching down at this point.
Brown: Now that the Great Mighty Poo consumed the kernel of corn that was Hammond, it’s time for a final battle with Hal Jordan. And… it’s a bunch of lame-ass CGI with Parallax making a bunch of Groot faces at the camera. I will say this character would have been enhanced by Vin Diesel getting paid millions of dollars to say three words.
And because the ring is fueled by Hal’s imagination, we see Hal counter Parallax by making a catapult and a turret with the ring?
Green Lantern is stupid. As someone who has played a lot of video games, NO ONE likes the turret levels. NO ONE.
Eventually, this fight heads to space and Hal wants to use the gravitational pull of the sun to burn Parallax like the garbage fire he looks like. So, Hal makes jet planes with his ring (this is so (REDACTED) stupid!) and fights off gravity. And, Parallax dies. Hal is about to also be pulled into the sun, but I’m not allowed any joy in this movie because Sinestro, Kilowog and Tomar-Re save Hal from certain doom.
Here’s a quick question: Tomar-Re, fish man as we’ve come to know him, does he have lungs? Does he use gills to breathe? Should he die being that close to the heat of the sun drying up his scaly body? I want to see Tomar-Re gasping for oxygen like a carp on a shoreline.
Here’s to you, you fishy bastard.
Froemming: Well, that got dark.
Anyway, Hal is now a member of the Green Lantern Corps for his bravery and will taking out the poop monster.
And then we get a scene between him, Carol and his CGI mask. Oh, we were not going to do this without mentioning the idiocy of a CGI mask. Hal’s identity is concealed by a mask that covers his eyes, just slightly better than Clark Kent’s glasses preventing people from connecting the dots that a broke journalist is also Superman.
Why don’t we use our rings to create a ramp on down to recommendations?
WOULD YOU RECOMMEND?
Brown: Yo, (REDACTED) this movie. This movie looked at Ryan Reynolds, it’s lead actor and said “You know what people like about him? Let’s do the opposite.” No wonder Reynolds used himself as Deadpool to travel back and kill himself before this was made.
Froemming: Nope. Oh, no not at all. This is just a giant mess of a movie that feels like it was made up along the way of filming.