I once said that Fan4stic was a worse film than Green Lantern. Apparently, that statement caused some outcry. Surely, some have suggested, Green Lantern was worse? They may be right. So in the interest of fairness, it’s time to find out. After all, they’re both stinkers so they both deserve a drubbing. Also, since I’ll never be refunded the cash I paid to actually watch this film back when it came out, I’m deserving of a pound of flesh from it in exchange.
Oh, and for the record, this isn’t the amazingly super-duper “extended” version. So no, there’s no additional joy in witnessing Hal Jordan’s childhood trauma. Still, there’s enough trauma as it is since watching this film can be hazardous to your health. So let’s roll this sucker and see how bad it really was…
00:00:54 It’s good hearing Tomar-Re setting up how all this works, and how the Guardians of Oa divided the universe in 3600 sectors, each one having a GL Corps member patrolling. Hey, wait a minute… that means something crazy like having one cop patrolling tens of thousands of galaxies! Not even planets, galaxies, people! Isn’t that stretching things a bit thin? Still, what works in the comics…
00:02:38 Always remember to take a packed lunch when exploring moons, meteors, and alien worlds.
00:03:15 No shocks here, the alien landing party have already been killed by Parallax. And… he speaks English? Wow. Those language classes he took really paid off for him.
00:05:30 Parallax in his current state looks like a giant flaming skull. Imagine Ghost Rider. Only worse.
00:07:16 Meet Hal Jordan, our hero. He’s just had a one-night stand, wraps birthday presents in newspaper and nearly kills other road users whilst driving. He blames the other drivers for this, despite his lack of attention and not having his hands on the wheel. What a guy!
00:13:14 And it’s the obligatory flashbacks of Hal’s dad – a pilot just like him – dying in a plane crash. You don’t need to be a psychiatrist to know Hal could crack under pressure. You just need to have seen Charlie Sheen in Hot Shots!
00:18:43 It’s Hal’s nephew’s birthday, and the gift Hal gives him is… an old, used, hand-me-down model airplane. Way to skimp on the gift, cheapskate!
00:19:01 And just to bolster the kid’s already depressed mood, Hal then tells him how lame his birthday party is, and orders him to scram.
00:19:53 So it took half the day for the Green Lantern ring to find a worthy successor to GL Abin Sur, and it picked a guy who was just 100 miles away? Maybe it was on a go-slow.
00:22:42 Comedy sidekick Tom arrives to pick up Hal at the most deserted beach in Coast City. Amazingly, it’s taken the US military over twelve hours to get out there by helicopter and investigate an alien crash site, but Tom arrives in just a few minutes by car. That makes sense.
00:25:19 Oa looks like the most depressing planet ever, and the Guardians have yet to invent the lightbulb or comfortable chairs. Maybe they spend all their time comparing the ridiculous lengths of their robes?
00:29:40 Is it just me or does the Lantern power battery resemble two empty Jagermeister bottles glued together?
00:35:50 Our hero also forgot that when he met his love interest, Carol Ferris, it was her birthday, and his actions at work have now cost at least three people their jobs. While it’s bad that those guys are beating him up in an alley, it’s awful that in exchange he puts them all in traction by attacking them with his GL ring.
00:38:56 After a quick probing on Oa, Hal’s wearing the super-suit. Yes, it’s green. And animated. But, more bizarrely, it was cooler when they did the “getting changed” scene in Tron: Legacy.
00:42:12 Hal and Tomar-Re go flying around Oa, recreating the Can You Read My Mind? thing from Superman. It’s too bad Oa’s such a dump, but they make a sweet couple.
00:46:35 I’m not saying a bad word about GL Kilowog or the late, great Michael Clarke Duncan. I’m no poozer. They’re both legends in my book.
00:48:46 Hal, however, I can say a lot of bad things about. Why has he constructed a sword as a weapon in training? Swordfighting takes years to master, and unless Hal took courses in fencing or being a pirate, it makes no sense. How dumb is he?
00:49:24 And a chainsaw. Who does he think he is, Ash from the Evil Dead? By the way folks, remember to hashtag #Ash4Emmy and vote for Bruce Campbell as best lead actor in a comedy series! Make the Emmys groovy again!
00:52:20 Someone get Hector Hammond a couple of Tylenol! He’s either having the worst migraine known to man or has just read the mind of everyone watching this.
00:56:02 Let’s ignore how, to combat the greatest threat in the universe, Sinestro gathered thousands of members of the GL Corps and then only took eleven of them into battle. Great strategy, Napoleon. Instead, let’s question why one of the Guardians is wearing a salad bowl on his head.
00:59:01 For no reason whatsoever, Hal’s been invited to some sort of fancy shindig. And he knows Senator Hammond and his son Hector? I guess we didn’t get the memo which explained that.
01:03:45 This scene was proudly brought to you by Hot Wheels!
01:05:25 I understand that he’s possessed by Parallax and now has a head shaped like a watermelon, but is Hector Hammond really the hero? Hal probably got his job because of his dad’s reputation, Carol Ferris is running the company her dad started, but poor misunderstood Hector has rejected using nepotism to get ahead in life, despite his dad being a senator. He’s a good guy!
01:11:34 Go away, Carol Ferris. You’re annoying.
01:16:04 “I only want what’s best for you,” says Hector Hammond. Does that mean he’s going to make the end credits roll early?
01:16:30 Hal creates a green flamethrower which shoots out, um, yellow and orange fire? They didn’t put much thought into this at all, did they?
01:20:25 Carol and Hal try to work out what the words “afraid” and “courage” mean. Poor Tom stands on the sidelines contributing nothing, once again a victim of bad scriptwriting.
01:24:23 Uh… Visiting Oa just to hand the Guardians a lecture, Hal then asks for their permission to let him fight Parallax on his own. Since he’s already got the ring, the battery and the costume (hey, they never asked for them back when he quit!), why is he asking for their permission anyway? Why not just do it?
01:28:40 Unfortunately Hector Hammond won’t be going on the list of great movie villains. That unlucky S.O.B.
01:29:01 Tremble before the might of the giant cosmic space-fart which is Parallax!
01:30:35 Based on what we’ve just seen, Parallax can be defeated using a couple of missiles fired from a drone fighter jet. Why do we need a Green Lantern?
01:30:50 “You’ll never beat this. You’ll die.” Thanks for the pep talk, Carol. Helpful as ever.
01:32:25 You know what really conveys a cosmic-level villain threatening the whole planet? Having it attack one city street. Damn, that’s menacing!
01:34:12 Hal Jordan flies into Parallax’s mouth, through its stomach and out of its… wait, what?
01:36:18 Just punch Parallax into the sun. If it was that easy, why didn’t the GL Corps and the Guardians figure it out?
01:37:00 Phew! Thankfully Kliowog, Sinestro, and Tomar-Re were on hand to rescue Hal from a fiery death. But if they were there all along, why didn’t they help him out in the fight against Parallax? So much for Semper Fi… The Corps sucks.
01:38:10 And for that matter, what were the other 3585 Green Lanterns doing? Twiddling their thumbs on Oa? But all is forgiven as they helpfully cheer Hal, and pointlessly shoot green light into the air. Go team!
01:39:10 “That’s really cool.” No, Carol, it isn’t. You’re an idiot.
01:40:40 Ah, this explains a great deal. I’m glad to see Greg Berlanti took as much care to make a faithful adaptation the fans would appreciate as he’s done in overseeing The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow on TV. That’s called sarcasm.
01:42:52 What a tag scene! That’ll really set up the sequel. Oh, wait…
01:49:08 And it’s done! I’d throw popcorn at the screen except I hate wasting food. And I already threw it whenever Carol appeared.
Contrary to what people believe, the origin film of Green Lantern Hal Jordan is an amazing movie. It just isn’t this one. For that amazing film, watch the animated Green Lantern: First Flight. That’s a film which got it right and truly did justice to the long Green Lantern history. It also had a better script which made far more sense. If only they’d simply filmed that in live action. If they had, I wouldn’t be so annoyed at giving up the thirty bucks it cost me to see this film when it came out.
However, is this film worse than Fant4stic? No. It’s bad, don’t get me wrong. Another massive blunder for yet another great franchise. However, Fant4stic was simply boring and that’s the one thing this film isn’t. With every wooden delivery of dialogue, stupidly over-the-top piece of CGI work and the completely dumb scene it isn’t boring even if it’s laughably bad. I’m not saying it’s good, just that it could have been worse. So much worse.
But again, I urge you to watch Green Lantern: First Flight. Because Green Lantern can be cool.