At the beginning of Green Lantern, a voiceover tells us about the rich tradition of the Green Lantern Corps. Over time, we see them training, we see them fight a yellow blob in space that wants to kill them, and we see them gather in a big amphitheater, where they stand at attention while an angry man with a funny little mustache tells them that they will remain mighty because they worship “willpower”. Then they all raise one hand in salute.
Do these sound like good guys to you?
Nevertheless, the movie might have possibly overcome its
Hitler-ish overtones if it had once, just once, shown any of these non-Earth Green
Lanterns helping anybody. Even after
our Earth-bound Green Lantern accepts the job, he never once helps anybody who’s not in danger because of something related
to…the Green Lanterns.
Every single threat in the movie traces back to that yellow
blob, and the yellow blog was itself created by, you guessed it, the Green
Lantern Corps! This is one of
those movies where the heroes could have solved the whole problem by not doing
They would cut it out sometimes on TV, but I always missed
it. Green Lantern could learn a
thing or two from that. These
scenes showed why it was all worth it.
The big difference between an action movie and a thriller
is civilians. You’re allowed to have a noir-ish
thriller in which nobody but our hero is ever in danger, but action heroes can’t
just be victims of the fickle finger of fate. They’re taking responsibility for other people. And they
didn’t create the menace in the first place. Popeye Doyle didn’t start the drug trade. John McClaine didn’t hire Hans Gruber. Keanu Reeves didn’t put that bomb on
that bus. These guys saw that
civilians were in trouble so they stepped in to help.
Yes it’s ridiculous in super-hero movies whenever they have that
clichéd scene of a girl in a dark alley being menaced by the inevitable gang of
multicultural thugs. But you know
what’s even more ridiculous? Not having that scene. Because what’s the point of being a
superhero if you’re not going to help?