I finally saw Green Lantern and I wasn’t that impressed. The action sequences were rather short and the space in between them wasn’t that interesting. Ryan Reynolds did a great job of portraying Hal Jordan as a tremendously self-centered jerk. He was so convincing, in fact, that Hal Jordan was hardly likeable. If I were more familiar with the Green Lantern mythology, I may have liked the movie more but, as it is, I don’t feel a deep need to see the movie again.
Even though I didn’t love the movie there were some themes worth examining from a Christian perspective. As always I’ll try to keep things spoiler-free, but Ryan Reynolds playing both Hal Jordan and making a cameo as Deadpool was a little over the top.
A major theme of Green Lantern is the ring’s choice of Hal Jordan. On the outside, Hal is cocky, arrogant and compulsive. However, in spite of those faults, the ring chose Hal for a reason that he himself can’t see. While watching the movie I couldn’t help but think that the ring is a lot like God. In Ephesians 2 we’re told that God creates us and prepares us for his kingdom work. Even when we think we’re useless, sinful or incapable, God still chooses us to share the good news of his love and kingdom. Like someone much pithier said, God doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies the called.
Another major theme of Green Lantern is fear. The Green Lanterns’ strength comes from the power of the will. The antithesis of the power of the will is the power of fear. The movie communicates that fear needs to be overcome with courage if we want to reach our full potential. The Bible has a different message. In Psalm 111 we’re told that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” According to the psalmist, reaching our full potential begins with fear. We need to have a healthy fear of God, like shaking in our boots, falling facedown before him fear. Because until we truly understand how amazing and awesome and wonderful and big and terrifying God is, we won’t know who exactly is calling us to the best life possible. And if we don’t know who is calling us, we won’t be as desperate to give him our lives.
I’ve got a bit of a man crush on Ryan Reynolds. I think it would be fun to hang out and go watch a baseball game or something. I feel the same way about some of the dudes in the Bible. It would be cool to go fishing with Peter, tent making with Paul or giant slaying with David. If I got to spend time with Peter, Paul or David, I’m sure my faith would be strengthened through that male bonding experience. I don’t know if Ryan Reynolds would encourage my faith but it would be sweet to go to a Dodgers’ game with Van Wilder.
Green Lantern wasn’t great and it helped me better appreciate Thor and X-Men: First Class. If you’re dying to see another super hero movie, though, and can’t wait for Captain America at the end of July, you could do worse than Green Lantern. You could watch X-Men 3 which makes Green Lantern look like The Dark Knight.
What did you think of Green Lantern? What themes stuck out to you?