Green Lantern – Nostalgia Critic

Before Ryan Reynolds broke box office records, he broke comic fans hearts with this CGI bore. Nostalgia Critic looks at what went wrong with Green Lantern.

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About Doug Walker

Creator of 5 Second Movies, Nostalgia Critic, Bum Reviews and more.


  1. The ride at Six Flags is more fun than this movie.

  2. Hmm, I dunno. I get what you’re saying, but the Bobsheaux review makes The Green Lantern seem *way* more tolerable than Asshole Cosplayer Deadpool.

  3. I never understdoo why people didn’t like the CGI suit, it makes total sense to the GL lore. Their suit is made of pure energy, just like everything from their rings. The design with glowing lines imitating muscle fibers was, honestly, really good. I also liked how they didn’t make Ryan’s eyes completely blank as they usualy are with lanterns, but instead just his irises, that kept his expressions better.

  4. There is a seriously missed opportunity to make a joke around the fact that Taika Waititi (director of Thor Ragnarok and What We do in the Shadows) is in this movie.

  5. I wouldn’t call this movie a piece of shit. I actually like this movie, for what it’s worth. It was a little bit fun, though yes, the bad guys are weak. Having the suit animated was cool, on paper, but it looks too busy.

    Either way, this movie is a tiny bit of a guilty pleasure for me.

    Oh, congratulations to Devil Boner and Hyper Fangirl!

  6. Congratulations, Doug, you did a Seltzer and Friedberg version of Deadpool.

  7. Yeah, I think the problem with the human Green Lantern’s has always been inherent: What good does this hero being BUILT serve? They’re always built, even though the entire hook of the hero would make more sense/be less uncomfortable if they weren’t. Gulliver’s Travels/Orange County Jack Black doing Green Lantern (which is what the pitch fans cried out against sounds like) almost certainly would have been terrible, not disagreeing with that, but the Jack Black of King Kong doing Green Lantern? That might have been awesome, and undercut the problematic elements in the original setup.

  8. Funny enough, this movie kinda felt like a rough draft for Doctor Strange. An egotistic guy with a cool job comes into contact with entities that grant him powers, he ends up taking down a world ending being, and an ally they considered a friend becomes an enemy for the sequel. So, points for being a springboard for a better movie.

  9. Like Linkara, I’ve actually enjoyed seeing this movie in theaters. Yes, it’s not one of the greatest things in the world, but it IS watchable. I also really liked the performances of Mark Strong as Sinestro and the late great Michael Clarke Duncan as the voice of Kilowag. Also, I liked the paring of Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively, and I was surprised to later hear that they got married and have children.
    Lets only hope that the upcoming Green Lantern Corps movie will bring in a bigger audience than this one did.

  10. 13:52 Speaking of that, could someone please review that?? It doesn’t even have to be you, Doug, just ANYBODY!!!

  11. Alberto Maupome Polanco

    Doug, I’m from México, south of california so I didn’t get affected by the earthquake but many relatives did, and I just wanted to say thanks for the shoutout, really means a lot to us that you spread the word. Great review by the way, I’ve been a fan since the starwars 5 second movies, love your work.

  12. Please, ignore my avatar, thanks.

  13. i dunno, i think Malcolm played actual Deadpool perfectly, maybe he should be in Deadpool 2

  14. “Before Ryan Reynolds broke box office records, he broke comic fans hearts with this CGI bore.”

    Its kind of sad that this statement could refer to Green Lantern, Xmen Origins Wolverine, AND RIPD.

  15. I would have thought the same person who came in defence of Spawn’s CGI cape on account of there being no other way it could look when transferring the comics to live action would also come in defence of the effects of Green Lantern. Things that come out of the ring are made out of hard light! They’re not supposed to look like anything real, including the suit and mask!

    I think Green Lantern’s biggest problem is it didn’t get the action/story ratio right for a movie of its length, and a sequel would have been far better since the world-building had already been gotten out of the way in the first movie allowing it to get the action/story ratio right that time, but nope, people gave the movie more criticism than it deserved.

  16. Hello Doug.
    I am very grateful to you for the shotout, I am from Mexico and things are very bad right now. But a lot of marvellous people, a lot of real heroes are in the street right now, and they wear dust, tears and courage. Thank you for you words. Not only you are one of the best entertainment creator’s but you are a great great human being.
    Thank you for the care you have for your fans and the world.

  17. I kept thinking where Devil Boner was during that end sequence.

  18. “After this, I’m somehow going to be Deadpool twice”

    That’s not how time works, Doug. Origins Wolverine came out before this movie did.

  19. I remember renting this. I just remember feeling sorry for the villain. I had been hoping that he would get a Doc-Ock dying speech about being sorry or something. The sad thing is that this is still better than Fan4stic. Oh, well.. at least I laughed once and this is how Ryan Reynolds met Blake Lively.

  20. great review but wile it may seem like the force, all that stuff they said about how the ring’s power works is in the comics too..

    and the rings aren’t magic, they are super technology that tap into a type of part of the electro magnetic spectrum that corresponds to certain emotions.

  21. Okay first off: The Guardians of the Galaxy first appeared in Marvel comics in 1969. Hal Jordan and the whole concept of the Green Lanterns as intergalactic space police started in 19_5_9.
    (creates mic out of green light, drops it, walks away)

    ANYway. Although I don’t hate this movie the way some do, it definitely has a lot of flaws. First off, the plot. How there isn’t one…or is too much, depending on how you look at it. The main problem is that they tried to shove TOO MANY of the famous iconic things/characters/events from the Green Lantern series into one movie (probably ‘cos they _knew_ it was the only one they were gonna get) and the end result is that not enough gets done with too many things. Absolutely everything in it is flat and goes nowhere and doesn’t count or is crushed into way too small a space. I personally would’ve gone with just Sinestro, as he was by far the best-realised of the baddies, and also the first chronologically.

    And then there’s Parallax. It is THE most terrifying, powerful, legendary Big Bad of the Green Lantern universe. It should _not_ be in an intro movie, and the way it looks…? A ha ha ha. Wow. This is seriously one of the most destructive evil entities in all of DC and they made it look like…a floating cloud of poop. (shakes head)

    And the outfit? I can see arguments for and against. Personally _I_ would’ve gone with something that AT LEAST LOOKS LIKE NORMAL FREAKING CLOTHING like one of the many, many designs the Lanterns have had over the decades and that the movie design is way too far towards “Oh no! We can’t use actual spandex, people will laugh at it! Quick, make it…’cool’!” for “cool”‘s sake, but that’s just me. Heck, I like Hal’s original original look where it was basically a green leotard over black tights and black long sleeves with white gloves. Wore that for Halloween one year in fact. 🙂
    (As for the Lanterns being hugely built…they actually weren’t to begin with. Lots of comic book characters were WAY more on the trim side, like a normal in-shape human being with tone instead of flab. Not muscle balloons! That came later. Hal and the Flash, especially, were downright _scrawny_ compared with modern superhero designs.)

    The sad thing is, the whole concept of the Green Lanterns is a cool one when done correctly–all these different aliens from ALL over the universe, some of them VERY alien, getting into battle with potentially really imaginative and fun-to-draw powers…and then all hanging out at the same burger joint on Oa and complaining about the coffee. It’s a neat idea and atmosphere.

    Fortunately, multiple _animated_ movies and series have done it far more–ahem–“justice” (sunglasses). Two direct-to-video (three? not sure) movies, appearances on Justice League and Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and the unfortunately short-lived Green Lantern: The Animated Series. If you want to know more about this without having to dig up scans of 50-year-old comics, I’d go with one of those.

  22. I hope they have John Stewart in the DCEU at some point. I may have grown up with Hal, but John was the Green Lantern I became attached to from Justice League.

    • Yup, Justice League Jon Stewart lantern is my favorite incarnation of the GL to date.

      Some criticized that incarnation for lack of fancy or imaginative lantern usage, but it worked for a former marine who favored a direct, practical approach.

      The real appeal was the character as a whole, his relationship with Hawkgirl, and brilliant voice work of Phil Lamarr. (AKA Hermes from Futurama and a million other voices)

      • The Real Silverstar

        John Stewart’s relationship with Hawkgirl was the one thing I didn’t like about that character. I’m usually all for interracial romance and think there should be more of them in popular fiction (heck, Shayera was a freaking alien in that series, that’s about as interracial as it gets!), but the comic book geek in me doesn’t approve of Hawkgirl being involved with anyone other than Hawkman. Those 2 were created to be an item; pairing Hawkgirl with someone else was like seeing Olive Oyl involved with someone else other than Popeye. Also I’m not a fan of shipper drama in general; I prefer my fictional romances low-key and drama-free. Plus, I didn’t like how the Cartoon Network show reduced Hawkman to a creepy fanboy stalker.

        • Honestly, I wasn’t fond of that Hawkman either, and for pretty much the same reason: he was a stalker.

          But in JL, the relationship between Shiara and John was just a natural part of their character development. I didn’t mind it. Plus, it was building up to the Thanagarian invasion.

  23. This movie makes me sad, because it turned one of the most famous DC superhero into a new “Aquaman,” a laughing stock that no one take serious anymore. Even Aquaman himself beat Green lantern to be included in the Justice League Movie, like somehow DC is more embarrassed of GL more than Aquaman.

    • Don’t be dissing Aquaman: Dude once CHOPPED HIS OWN HAND OFF WITH A BELT BUCKLE TO SAVE HIS SON, AND REPLACED IT WITH A GIANT HONKING PIRATE HOOK! Not many heroes can say that.

  24. Devil Boner pops out of nowhere, “This is what you get for almost touching my woman!” ROFL Doug, I don’t know how you come up with this hilarious stuff; but keep it up. XD

  25. The animated movie Green Lantern: First Flight was so much better.

    • DC Animated movies tend to be better than their theatrical release ones. To this day, Return of the Joker, Under the Red Hood, and Mask of the Phantasm still rate as my top favorite Batman movies.

  26. I don’t know why, but I’m really extra happy that Hyper and Devil Boner got engaged!

  27. they blew the Parallax load WAY too soon, that should have been something to face in Green Lantern 3, or after a few members of the Justice League or other color lanterns had been introduced and we could have a team up to fight it, introducing it as the first threat he’d face would be like if they brought out Thanos right away in the first Avengers movie. Green Lantern has SO many other great villains they could have put in this movie, the Red Lanterns, the Manhunters, heck, some throwaway DC villain from space would have sufficed.

    The AI dogfight aftermath was bullshit though, he BARELY managed to beat the stupid things by sacrificing his plane so they don’t want them…does that mean if he just flew in a straight line and let them shoot him down easily the military would have bought them right up? Actually yes I can imagine the guys in charge of military spending really are that stupid…

    • Tossing in big threats early seems to be a pattern with DC right now. Even the live action shows have this problem which is why I find it difficult to get invested now. If you beat the reverse flash or the right hand of The League season 1 why would I care about any villain characters below that level going forward ?

      • That’s because DC is trying to play catch-up ball with Marvel right now. SO they feel the need to throw in everything INCLUDING the kitchen sink. Just look at Batman vs. Superman: They tried to incorporate The Dark Knight Returns and Death of Superman in one film, when either story really needs to be its own thing (and that after the characters have known each other for some time).

    • Their AI was easily outmaneuvered, a simple change of tactics thwarted them. In addition to that, they didn’t manage to damage Jordan’s plane at all most of the damage was done by the stunt he used to defeat the drones in the first place. They were a shoddy product, why would the military buy them?

      • Oh yeah the military NEVER bought a shoddy product before, but it wasn’t a simple change of tactics, in order to outmaneuver them Hal had to use his wingman as a distraction AND pull off a stunt that almost nobody would even think to do. Don’t forget that as far as everyone was concerned in order to outfly the AI planes he forced himself to stall out and crashed, while the AI planes were able to recover from that same stall since we didn’t hear anything about the test planes crashing. The audience knew it was because he panicked but the characters in the movie should have thought the planes had superior maneuverability and could recover more effectively from a stall than even their best human pilot.

        • Don’t hand me that BS, what you’re describing is a simple change in tactics. The characters in the movie even stated that Jordan was deviating from standard protocols for an aerial conflict aka a change of tactics and mere minutes after that Jordan took down both of the drones. Yes took down, because as he and the drones were falling he opened fire and if this had been a live fire exercise he’d have destroyed both of the drones.

          A human pilot would’ve figure out the trick Hal was pulling long before their planes stalled out and pulled away, the drones’ AI was unable to recognize the trap they were falling into. An AI that was supposed to be cleverer then any human pilot fell to simple human ingenuity. The military men realized this and declined to purchase the product that clear wasn’t up to snuff.

          Really the only bullshit part of that entire scene was that this version of the drones was being demonstrated to the military as a finished product, when it clearly wasn’t anywhere close to being what they wanted.

  28. Wasn’t this movie originally going to start the DCEU or something ? Synestro didn’t even get build up before putting the yellow ring on.

  29. You seriously do not understand deadpool humor do you?

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