Monday, February 13, 2012

Fixing Green Lantern

            Green Lantern clearly frustrated me, to the point where I’m pretty sure I could make a better Green Lantern movie.  So that’s what I’m going to try to do.  Well, in a sense.  Obviously, I don’t have millions of dollars to spend on making a movie, but I do think I have enough ideas about how to fix the movie.  Note that, to prove a point in some cases, there will be spoilers of the movie and possibly of some comic book plot points.  You’ve been warned.
1.  The conflict should be Hal vs. Sinestro.  This is pretty basic stuff right here, and yet the movie fumbled this, making it the biggest problem with the movie.  The problem with having Hal vs. Parallax and Hammond is that he really has little connection to either of these villains.  Even as parallels, they don’t really work.  Yes, there’s the idea of hope vs. fear, but that doesn’t come out well.  Instead, by shifting the conflict to Sinestro, we not only have two characters fighting on equal grounds, but we have an emotional connection.  Of course, in this ideal scenario, Hal isn’t going to go to Oa and then immediately hop back to Earth.  Hal is going to be mentored by Sinestro.  In the recent comics, each sector actually has two Lanterns assigned to it, which I’m pretty sure was used elsewhere to have Sinestro mentoring Hal.  In fact, a lot of what I’m saying here has been used elsewhere, which is part of the reason it should’ve been used here.
Anyhow, Sinestro will obviously have some conflict over losing Abin Sur and his role replaced by a human.  This will be the initial surface distrust of Hal, but they have to become friends at some point, which will make the fact that Sinestro is evil harder on him.  Now, the reason as to how Sinestro is evil has to be brought back to trying to rule with fear in some way.  We’re going to keep that fear vs. hope conflict, but we’re getting into a personal level.  We can also go several ways here for the big showdown.  I say we take things back to Earth.  If the movie did something right, it was showing Hal’s fear for Carol’s life at one point.  Sinestro could also use this concept.  I’m still not a huge fan of having to bring the movie back to Earth, but it’s a necessary evil here.  And of course, we're going to end with a huge construct-vs-construct battle.  We got a little of this in the training against him here, but imagine a full-on battle where imagination is the limit for both of the fighters.
The other big thing you’re getting out of Sinestro is all you can do in the future with him.  The Sinestro Corps War would be an amazing storyline to adapt, but mixing it with Hal’s origin and having Sinestro’s evil revealed just can’t happen all in one movie.  It’s one of those things you’d have to save for the sequel, and it’d be an amazing thing to put on screen.  In theory, they could still do this in the sequel, but considering that Hal and Sinestro have next to no relation with each other, it’d be pointless.
2. Cut down the human cast. With the big problem out of the way, we can get down to smaller problems, and hoo boy is the cast a problem.  More specifically, the human cast.  I want more aliens, less hoomens, and we can get rid of a good portion of them.  Carol’s father?  Gone.  Hal’s friend Tom?  Did he do anything for the movie (seriously, I had to look up his name, because all I could think of was his old less-that-PC nickname Pieface)?  Cut him.  Amanda Waller?  Why is she even here?  Hal’s family?  Ehhhh.  EHHHHH.  They are only in a scene in the movie.  However, in the comics they provide quite a bit of non-superhero conflict in Hal’s life.  As things are, they’re doing nothing for the movie, but considering that they provide one of the best scenes in Sinestro Corps War, they should be around a little bit.  There’s also Carol herself.  I’m of two minds on this.  On the one hand, she’s a strong, confident female that’s been a long-standing member of the GL mythology.  On the other hand, all the romance scenes dragged the movie down.  Most superhero movies do fine with romance, though, so this may just be incompetent filmmaking.  I think the best solution is to have Hal and Carol already in a relationship at the movie’s start.  We need to spend more time in space, and not having to develop a relationship will keep us there.  Maybe the fact that Hal’s doing so much training and not enough loving can become a conflict at some point.
3. Better CGI.  I spent half the movie looking at the heads of the Guardians of the Universe trying to figure out whether it was bad CGI or they had some weird helmets on.  And Hal’s suit is a joke and made me wary of the movie from the first time I saw it.  For the aliens, there’s nothing really to say here because there’s only one cure.  Well, the other is some damn fine makeup, which is also more than acceptable for some of the aliens.  Obviously, you can’t get around that for the weirder-looking species, including the blue midgets we call the Guardians.  For Hal’s suit, use a more traditional suit design.  The flat color scheme works.  Don’t mess with it if you can’t pay it off.
4. More of the corps. If I’ve said it once, I’ll say it a million times: Earth is boring.  Hoomens are boring.  Part of the reason people love Green Lantern is because they love all the cool alien species in the corps.  Seriously, there’s Ch’p, a squirrel-race Green Lantern.  Bzzd, the bee Green Lantern that’s apparently the director’s favorite and yet made a cameo.  Even some of the staples like Kilowog and Salakk are cool.  By the way, you barely gave Salakk a cameo in the scene of the Green Lantern assembly.  He’s one of the Corps’ more important characters.  At least give him a scene.
I think I’ve hit most of the biggest problems that could easily be fixed.  Who knows, maybe Green Lantern 2 will come around and it will be blow me away.  As it is right now, I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that I don’t have to write one of these for The Flash.

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