Monday, 22 November 2010

Wider Reading | Thirteen Thoughts - The Green Lantern Trailer

I’d heard that the Green Lantern trailer had bad CGI. So when I Youtubed ‘Green Lantern Trailer’ and clicked on the first entry that came up, my first thought was,

“Wow, they’re right – this does look bad.”

My second thought was,

“Hey, Nathan Fillon’s in this? Awesome! Maybe now he can stop doing that jobbing work on Castle that presumably is his way of directly accessing his almost-entirely-female fanbase via Living TV or wherever the hell it airs.”

Are those Captain Hammer's gloves?

It wasn’t until Hugo Weaving as Elrond popped up in voice-over that I realised I was, in fact, watching a fan-made trailer (and from that point of view it actually had quite splendid special effects.)

Clicked back and watched the real trailer.

My first thought was,

“Ugh, Ryan Reynolds.”

My second thought was,

“No, hang on – didn’t he do that film Buried about being trapped in a coffin, and all the critics praised his acting in it to the skies? Maybe he’s matured as an artist, gained the respect he deserves from his directors, and he no longer has to play that same smug, sarcastic-yet-somehow-not-at-all-intelligent, slimy arsehole you just want to punch in the kidneys.”

My third thought was,

“Ugh, Ryan Reynolds.”

I should probably admit about here that I know next to nothing about what the Green Lantern is, and that this trailer only explained so much. Apparently Ryan Reynolds’ character happens to stumble upon a crashed alien spaceship, and the dying being inside is so impressed by his ability to correctly pronounce his own name that he gives him a magical ring that can do anything.

At this point, I was thinking,

“Ri-ight. Is this one of those ideas which seemed cool forty or fifty years ago but is now just a bargain-barrel attempt to keep the superhero trainwreck moving by wheeling out even the most absurd ideas “All-American Comics” could possibly come up with?”

And then, in a burst of serendipity, I watched Ryan Reynolds being transported to a magical planet where he met a heroic purple man with a moustache and battled Peter Sarsgaard, whose brain had apparently expanded to the same proportions of those of The Brain in Pinky & The Brain. Oh, and he had a moustache as well.

My fifth thought was,

“You know, Peter Sarsgaard, I’ve never been overwhelmed by your charisma (looking as you do like a slightly pudgy young Kiefer Sutherland), but for your dad’s sake – and he’s been in some tosh – I am slightly disappointed in you.”

My sixth thought was,

“Hang on...Peter Sarsgaard isn’t Stellan Skarsgard’s son? Well, that does explain the different spelling. Okay, I don’t much mind what you do, then.”

Seventh thought.

“You know which Swedish actor needs to do more movies? Peter Stormare. Pretending to be Italian in Prison Break doesn’t count. He did make a great Satan in Constantine, though.”

One Wikipedia search later, I had my eighth thought.

“My God...Peter Stormare’s original name was ‘Peter Storm’. And he’s a musician now! He should be a superhero. Either that or team up with Christopher Lee to make a supergroup of undistilled badass. All right, all right, focus. It shouldn’t matter that nothing in this trailer or this film will ever be cooler than Peter Stormare and Christopher Lee as band members who are also a superhero crime-fighting team-”

Ladies, I present, for your delectation: Sex.

Back to the trailer. And I’m struck by how, in the midst of a section in which Ryan Reynolds’ best friend/exposition dump laughs at how irresponsible he is, suggesting we’ll be treated to at least forty minutes of him using his powers, Bruce Almighty-style, to look up ladies’ dresses before he BECOMES SERIOUS ABOUT GREAT POWER REQUIRING GREAT RESPONSIBILITY, we hear him explaining,

“Anything in my mind...I can create.”

Ninth thought;

“If he can create anything he imagines, he’s even more omnipotent and utterly pointless than Superman. Presumably there’ll have to be a bit an hour in where he tries to imagine Peter Sarsgaard falling into a pit-full of brain-leeches, only for Peter to reply, ‘Hahahahaha! I’m afraid your powers of imagination will not work on me, for I have invented a spray-on Imagination-Repellent!”

Tenth thought, delivered while weeping.

“Hollywood seems to have decided that if the mainstream, non-comic-book-reading audience will lap up Iron Man, they’ll watch any superhero, no matter how outdated and strange they are. Oh, Christ, the Green Hornet’s coming out as well, isn’t it? And The Avengers. And Thor. I just don’t care any more. Why does nobody understand that Iron Man wasn’t a particularly good film, enlivened only by extended wealth-porn and Robert Downey Jr.? Don’t believe me? Try imagining it with Orlando Bloom as the lead.”

Eleventh thought, as I examined the Green Lantern (movie) Wikipedia page.

“Sure, you could have Robert Downey Jr. play every superhero role. But surely even that would get tiresome after five or six films...hang on, the director Martin Campbell has acknowledged the trailer’s ‘colourful’ look, claiming they were going for a sort of Flash Gordon vibe. Yes. Because post-ironic camp worked so well for Scooby-Doo.”

Twelfth thought.

“Ah...the purple moustachioed man is played by Mark Strong. Now I understand everything. Because, much as I do enjoy his work, nobody can deny that Mark Strong has an obvious fetish for playing supporting roles in awful films. In fact, knowing how he’s usually typecast, I’m surprised he isn’t the villain-”

Thirteenth thought, after reading further on down the Wikipedia article;

“Ah, so he’s being set up to play the villain in the sequel. How awfully optimistic of them.”

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