Review: Green Lantern

In brightest day, in blackest night, no super hero movie tie-in shall escape my sight. The Green Lantern film and game based off said film both have their brightest and blackest moments but there’s definitely a winner when it comes to which is better, and a start to a theory I have on movie tie-in titles. And, like last time, the game review steps up for judgment first. Warning first: this entire review is mostly full of spoilers due to the stories of the game and movie being intertwined, but I assume most will continue reading anyway, since very few have intention on seeing or playing either.

The game itself takes place seemingly in between the story and scenes of the film from what I can tell; it’s not particularly cohesive, which is very similar to how the Thor movie tie-in worked. Starting off with the funeral of Abin Sur (more on him later in the movie review) which is quickly interrupted by a group of nearly all identical robots called ‘Manhunters’. Following a major attack in which many Green Lanterns are killed, Ryan- I mean Hal Jordan seeks out the source behind these Manhunters and how they were able to get into long hidden areas of the planet Oa undetected, which again seems to echo the Thor game.

His progression through the planet Oa reveals that the Manhunters sought to harness the Power of Fear, in the form of yellow energy hidden within Oa by the Guardians themselves. Upon confronting the Guardians, it’s revealed that before harnessing the green Power of Will an attempt was made to turn the powerful source of Fear into a weapon to police the universe, like they currently do with the Power of Will, but it was far too dangerous and so they abandoned it.

Journeying through the galaxy to discover the secrets behind the Manhunters’ attacks directs the player through some genuinely fun space battles, as well as saving a civilization, slightly sabotaging the Manhunters on their home planet, and rescuing a fellow Green Lantern. In the end it boils down to a conspiracy by Abin Sur’s own son Amon Sur, who is out to bring down the Green Lantern Corps and the Guardians of the Universe using the yellow Power of Fear and manipulating the Manhunters for his own intentions. But ultimately, and to no surprise, Hal Jordan stops him and restores things to their rightful order, saving the planet Oa and the Green Lantern Corps and proving that even a human is capable of being the greatest of the Green Lanterns.

Go-Go-Gadget Robot Fists!

Go-Go-Gadget Robot Fists!

All in all, the story – albeit a plug to the film – is very reminiscent of the comics and matches that tone fairly well, which keeps you relatively interested. The gameplay is the generic third-person God of War-esque action adventure, similar to the Thor video game, although the major difference between Thor and Green Lantern is that the Green Lantern game manages to pull it off and keep it interesting. With a simplistic levelling up and points system, the player can basically select whatever Green Lantern power up they want and, if they’ve leveled up enough and have the points, most of these power ups can be increased in level up to three times.

Each of the constructs the player uses throughout combat has a unique look, be it giant dual-wielded hammers or a massive mech suit, even if they’re a little off from the characteristic things Hal Jordan tends to create in the comics and much more similar to constructs of Kyle Rayner, they still looks pretty cool colliding with your enemies. The multiplayer gameplay has a good amount of fun and added laughter to it, too, due to some inconsistencies in the cutscenes and story with the second player taking on the role of Sinestro.

He was piston me off.

He was piston me off.

For every brightest day there must come a blackest night, and to the game there’s the film. The Green Lantern movie is a campy incoherent mess in which Ryan Reynolds becomes the Green Lantern of sector 2814. That’s right: Ryan Reynolds, not Hal Jordan. It’s difficult to take Ryan Reynolds seriously and although the entire cast appears to have had fun on set, it feels like this light-hearted fun factor has translated into the film’s production and made it come across as a high budget direct-to-DVD title instead of a summer blockbuster.

So, basically the greatest of the Green Lantern Corps, Abin Sur, is on his way through space when he is attacked by a vengeful entity known as ‘Parallax’, since he had previously imprisoned him/it. Being forced into an escape pod while mortally wounded, he falls to Earth where he instructs his ring to seek out one without fear and therefore worthy of the ring’s power. Shamed test pilot Hal Jordan is told of what he is to become and runs off with the lantern and ring, and before long learns to activate them, which sends him to planet Oa to begin training and evaluation.

As the first human to ever be chosen as a Green Lantern he faces much criticism over not only his race, but for being the new bearer of Abin Sur’s ring. Being trained by a few of the most famous Green Lanterns – Kilowog, Tomar-Re, and Sinestro – he quickly finds himself struggling with his newfound responsibilities and wavering confidence.

Mask? Who needs one, Ryan makes dollars.

Mask? Who needs one, Ryan makes dollars.

Meanwhile on Earth, a doctor named Hector Hammond, who is dissecting the corpse of Abin Sur, becomes infected by a piece of Parallax. In short time, this transforms him into a large headed villain with telekinetic powers and an obsession with Carol Ferris, the love interest of Hal Jordan. The character of Hector Hammond and the storyline surrounding him are pointless, they add nothing to the story and, if anything, take away from what could’ve been more shots of planet Oa or more character progression amongst the Green Lanterns.

The Guardians of the Universe manage to create a new power battery based on the power of fear to use against Parallax; the ever reliable fight fire with fire method. Hal Jordan, bent on saving Earth from Parallax, convinces the Guardians to allow him a chance to save his planet which, to the surprise of Sinestro, they agree to. After some terrible CG sequences, Hal saves Carol Ferris from Hector Hammond and then uses a trick from the book of Superman and throws Parallax into the sun.

My base reaction to the film.

My base reaction to the film.

This is without a doubt the worst film I’ve seen thus far in the summer season, and with a sequel in the pipeline I’m not too hopeful about its success. Standing back, I find it difficult to tell which had more CG: the movie or the game. And that is one of the film’s many downfalls, aside from the bad acting and flat story. As for the trend that with a bad movie we’re given a good game and with a good movie we’re given a bad game? Only time will tell, as the next time you hear from me will be in the review for Captain America.