November issue 2010

By | Arts & Culture | Movies | Published 14 years ago

It’s still eight months away from being released, but Green Lantern sparked some serious buzz this week when it’s first trailer was released.

The timing of the trailer is no coincidence. Warner Bros and DC Comics is probably trying to cash in on the news that People magazine has just crowned the action movie’s star, Ryan Reynolds, as the “World’s Sexiest Man.” The Canadian actor is shooting to superstardom and is now arguably half of the sexiest couple on the planet, after GQnamed Reynolds’s wife, Scarlett Johansson, “Babe of the Year.” So while his star is rising, it makes sense for WB to get the PR machine into gear by allowing the media and public to feed on this first trailer (like I’m doing here).

And boy, fans of the DC comic do have a lot to say based on a two-and-a half-minute teaser.

And it’s not all good. The biggest gripes seem to be with the superhero’s painted-on suit and the light feel the trailer unveils.

Here are a few remarks from fans via YouTube:

“Wow… such a mediocre trailer. Reynolds being himself as he usually is in all his roles.
Gotta be patient to see how this turns out, but man, as of now, I sure am disappointed. Same old shit, different colour with these comic films.”

“I could do without some of the ‘campy’ or comedic feel. I mean, I get that they want a broader audience etc. Perhaps the trailer emphasizes those elements too much? Ah, who am I kidding? It’s Ryan Reynolds, so it’s bound to be more campy than not. Still, I won’t pan it completely yet, and I’ll wait and see how it turns out.”

Campy may be a strong word to use. While it definitely seems jocular and lighthearted at moments, it doesn’t seem overly exaggerated at all (as much as a comic-book movie about a man given special powers by an alien ring can not be exaggerated).

Reynold’s got his mainstream start on TV with an ill-fated series called Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place. But he’s starred in a slew of movies since that sitcom fizzled out fast: from frat-boy flick Van Wilder and horror remake The Amityville Horror to rom-coms, such as The Proposal and Definitely, Maybe. But he’s also done action before, including Blade: Trinity and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The latter two films show he’s already made his way into Hollywood’s diamond-mine: comic books.

But his detractors above are correct in one way. In many of his roles, Reynolds has been smart alecky and irresponsible. His charm lies in his playfulness. But was Hal Jordan flippant in the comic book version of Green Lantern? Raju Mudhar in the Toronto Star says, “In the comics, he has often been portrayed as a flat-out jerk.” Beyond the frat boy take on Hal Jordan, it is easy to see (even in the short trailer) that a transformation takes place, and the cocky Jordan reveals some major insecurities. The self-doubt is understandable, though: who wouldn’t be a bit unsure if lumped with a burden of ridding the universe of evil?

One tit-for-tat comment thread on YouTube debated the non-serious, joking portrayal of Jordan:

Commenter 1:
“I’ve seen the teen angst self-doubting super hero with Spidey.
I’ve seen the sarcastic womanizer with IRON MAN.
I’ve seen cheap comedy and HORRIBLE CGI with FANTASTIC FOUR.
I’ve seen a shirtless pretty boy with WOLVERINE.
I’d like to see a ultra serious, deep space EPIC- Lord of the Rings Meets STAR WARS as it is in the comics.
I’d also like to see HAL JORDAN and not Ryan Reynolds.”

Commenter 2:
Well, fans need to read the originals and see how funny he was in those; and not only that, but it doesn’t even look funny after the first half [of the trailer]; it shows quite serious clips… Hal was introduced as a cocky, full-of-himself, get-serious-when-you-need-to type of guy.”

And the most common retorts to those criticising the look of the movie so far, generally have this to say: relax, this movie is far from complete. We are not seeing the final version. The movie is still in post-production and the glowy CGI suit will be improved.

Here’s what had to say to all the detractors and whiners:

“It’s got a good bit of Reynolds smirk-humor, but it’s hardly a screwball comedy. In fact, the tone of the trailer is pretty serious, with a couple of jokes tossed in here and there, which is pretty much what the modern superhero comics are like (and the best superhero films, for that matter). I’m not 100% sold on Reynolds as Hal Jordan, but after seeing him in Buried, I’m willing to give him a hell of a lot of leeway.”

Of course, giving a final verdict on the film based on 149 seconds is not too smart either.

Still, you can watch the video trailer below and make your own premature conclusions as well.

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