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August 5, 2006 - Green Lantern

Scooped on Sunday, October 12, 2008

The IESB has reviewed Robert Smigel's Green Lantern screenplay and the verdict is that the story is everything that true fans of the character have been dreading. As many believed when they first heard Jack Black was attached to play the cosmic superhero two years back, Smigel's script dispenses with grounding the superhero in  believability and instead parodies the genre as well as turns the wielder of the ring into a out-and-out buffoon. Instead of any notion of drama we're given slapstick at every conceivable opportunity. "It's really hard to believe that Robert Smigel got paid to write this script, it is horrendous and he does not understand nor respect the legion of fans of the Green Lantern," writes Robert Sanchez in his appraisal of the Green Lantern screenplay.

Smigel's story doesn't use any of the established men who have worn the Green Lantern ring in the DC Comics' universe. Instead we're introduced to a new character, a man named Jud Plato who is selected to be given the power ring because he is a contestant on a Fear Factor-like game show. As Sanchez describes it, "The Green Light from the ring witnesses Jud eating a coyote during the competition, you read right, a coyote. He is eating the entire animal. The ring's green light had traveled around the world looking for the right person, after a selection that included a soldier, a legless mountain climber and so on, the best he finds is Jud Plato because he is eating an 'animal raw', great."

Later on in the story Jud is taken to Oa where he is given an explanation as to what the Green Lanterns are as well as trained in how to use the ring. Fans of the comic will recognize many of the alien Green Lanterns seen on Oa including Sinestro, Tomar-Re, Salakk and Kilowog, the corps' instructor. Unfortunately the story remains stuck in goofy comedy mode and never rises to treat the superhero material with the realism seen in Sony's Spider-Man or 20th Century Fox's X-Men films. 

"The Green Lantern and their fans deserve better than this script and so do studio stockholders," Sanchez sums up. "After the disappointments that the studios have suffered this summer with some of their tent poles, the last thing you need is a moderate size special effects film to help tank a genre that has been so profitable."

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