Review Detail

9.0 16 10
FanFix July 08, 2014 11891
(Updated: July 26, 2019)
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I watched Green Lantern when it first came out (as an old-school fan of the comic character) and was definitely underwhelmed. It actually wasn't a BAD movie, per se, it's just that a lot of little things added up to make it pretty un-compelling by the ending. I just didn't really care about Hal or anyone in the movie and kind of wanted it to be over. Honestly, the most interesting character in the film was Sinestro!

So I was looking for a FanFix that could somehow tweak and massage the movie into a story I cared about, and in this respect, "Reborn" replaces the original on the shelf. However, like many FanFixes, when you fix some issues, it reveals other weaknesses underneath.

SKYflix's many, many cuts to the film edit out a lot of the cheesiness and cliches that plagued the theatrical cut...but not all. The whole script is just riddled with this stuff, and when you take out everything you can, it leaves a basically pretty generic story. I never got into this new Parallax villain from the comics, or all the various colors of Corps that the story is trying to set up for the future, but it's the main concept of the film here. There is stage-setting for Yellow Lanterns, Red Lanterns, Purple Lanterns, and even Blue Lanterns. It's reduced here to background scenes, but still kind of pointless unless you're a fan waiting for those setups. To me, the more compelling story is Hector and Hal's parallel journeys, which we get more of with the inclusion of a deleted scene. However, some of the scene removals take away from this (because a lot of it was cliche) and now Hector and Hal seem a lot more ready to be spiteful to each other than makes sense without the added jealousy over Carol.

A few other points didn't really work for me in this cut. Early on in the film, I actually stopped to look up who the composer was because I found the music so overbearingly on-the-nose. It didn't remember it being that bad, and was surprised to find James Newton Howard scored it, how is usually quite competent.
I saw later that a lot of music was added to this edit from other sources, and I have to say it was too obvious and cheesy for me. The one scene edit in this version of the film that REALLY didn't work for me is Hal suddenly sensing that he has to go barge into a warehouse where Hector is and save everyone. There's no lead-up, and no reaction from Hal to Hector being suddenly monstrous. It seems very disjointed. Finally, I really appreciated that the flashbacks to young Hal and his Dad were abbreviated in this edit. However, we still see them play out too extensively in the middle of a dogfight scene (in a weird tint, no less). This then means that we know exactly what's going to happen to his dad when those same exact scenes play out over 5+ minutes later. I'd rather have had super quick cuts just hinting at a big accident, and we don't find out it was his dad until we see the memories in full.

Supposedly the studio chopped director Martin Campbell's film to pieces and there are tatters of various storylines everywhere, apparent in this cut. Sinestro is basically a racist jerk here, which works fine for an ending payoff. But his journey in the original film is much richer and more interesting, where he serves as rival, mentor, and partner to Hal. The evolution is interesting, and his recognition of and seduction to the yellow power is a compelling element which is sorely missing here. It's also now very apparent that in Campbell's cut, Sinestro and other Lanterns were supposed to help in the final battle. Little elements like this, between the studio's interference and the fan edits, add up to make the movie feel like it's missing story payoffs.

It is however, focused on telling a better narrative, which is firmly on Hal. The comparisons to Top Gun are very easy now, where the son has to come to grips with his father's "failure" and death, and is constantly acting out against authority figures and being called reckless until he deals with those issues. With the story focused this way, however, the omissions of some of Hal's scenes of doubt and fear about his responsibility as a Lantern seem strange. Including at least a few would've aided the story. Without them, many of the scenes on Earth just feel like mundane distractions from the interesting and more original stuff with the Corp.

All in all, this is a superior cut of the film, but it still feels very uneven, and at this point, we've seen many other superhero films tread similar ground better. The audio sync was also off for me in various players, and I finally resorted to adjusting it by .5 in VLC to get it mostly lined up. In the end, if you've never seen Green Lantern, I'd recommend watching this version. But if you're expecting this edit to turn the movie into a compelling rewatch in line with many other superhero films, I'd give it a pass.

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