Five Things "Green Lantern" Needs To Succeed

Find out what the Emerald Guardian's big-screen adaptation has to get right to kick ass!

Photo Removed
Complex Original

Blank pixel used during image takedowns

Photo Removed
With a slew of comic book movies primed to hit theaters this summer, it’s going to get harder and harder to make one stand out from the rest. With the June 17 release of Green Lantern rapidly approaching, we present five things that the flick needs to get right in order to be a success.

1. Groundbreaking Visual Effects

The Green Lantern should be unlike any other comic adaptation to hit the silver screen. From luminous worlds to unique and bizarre alien races, Green Lantern should remind audiences of great Sci-Fi epics such as Star Wars and Avatar instead of rinky dink adaptations like Daredevil and Ghost Rider.

To achieve the huge scope that the movie needs, the special effects need to be absolutely groundbreaking. Nothing will sink this movie faster than Ryan Reynolds dueling with the scum of the universe with all of the visual flare of a Playstation 2 game. Every time the Green Lantern’s power ring is used on screen it should be a breathtaking experience, so the studio needs to not only open up their wallets for the special effects but they also need to hire a company that will provide the best shots available.

2. A Stand Alone Story

With this first Green Lantern movie being one part of a proposed trilogy by Warner Brothers, it makes sense to lay the groundwork for potential sequels in this one. However, in the world of Hollywood, sequels are never guaranteed. From actors opting out of future films to disappointing box office receipts, there are a lot of factors that could prevent the Green Lantern from ever getting to a second movie.

The filmmakers need to make sure that, while this movie sets up future sequels, it also exists as its own story. It would be nice to see the filmmakers hint at Sinestro’s evil side for later films, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of this one. There’s nothing worse than having a cliffhanger ending that doesn’t get resolved due to the movie bombing at the box office.

3. Comic Book Surrealism

One of the most popular trends in recent comic book adaptations has been the move towards unneeded realism. The recent Batman and X-Men films have sacrificed the heroes' more over-the-top gadgets, abilities and villains in order to make the film seem like it could happen in the real world. But no matter how plausible you try to make the adventures of these spandex clad gladiators, the audience is never going to believe that they’re watching a documentary.

Green Lantern can actually benefit from showcasing Hal Jordan and his power ring’s vast array of abilities to the fullest extent that they’re shown in the comics. Seeing the Green Lantern’s ring create giant boxing gloves, humungous flyswatters and anvils out of pure energy would be the most unique visual out of any blockbuster film to come out this summer and it would go a long way towards attracting curious movie fans to see the flick.

The best thing the filmmakers can do is simply making comic films fun again.

4. A Serious Hal Jordan

When Ryan Reynolds was cast as Hal Jordan, a.k.a The Green Lantern, people were skeptical. Reynolds has proven to be a funny, if slightly annoying, actor in the pithy romantic comedies he has starred in, but he’s never portrayed a character as brave and strong-willed as Jordan.

While he may have the quintessential leading man face and the cheese grater abs typical in a comic book hero, there is something about him that’s hard to take seriously. This is compounded by the fact that the first trailer for the Green Lantern raised some eyebrows by featuring a lot of typical Reynolds humor without any moments that made him really seem like Hal Jordan.

Reynolds' humor can be an asset in making the character charming and cocky, much like Tony Stark, but too much of that humor can really derail the movie and make it seem like a parody. Director Martin Campbell needs to find a compromise between Reynolds’ natural humor and the serious and focused personality of the Green Lantern. 

5. Multiple Green Lanterns

In the comic books there are about 3,600 Green Lanterns patrolling the galaxy at all times. Many of these Lanterns have gotten considerable character development in the books and have become fan favorites (see: Kilowog, Boodikka, Mogo, and Tomar-Re). The filmmakers should do their best to research the main Lanterns from the comics and give them a little bit of screen time.

Whether it’s a brief glimpse during a large battle or a supporting role (which we assume Kilowog and Tomar-Re are going to get), showing off the scope of the Green Lantern Corps would showcase how epic the Green Lantern world is and just how much care and attention the filmmakers put into the movie. It would also make a perfect reason to buy the DVD in order to spot all of these easter eggs. Just sayin'.

Latest in Pop Culture