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Today sees the digital HD release of Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool 2, including a longer “Super Duper Cut.” Since I liked Deadpool 2 more than the first one (even with the disappointing first-reel plot twist), I will probably check out the new cut at some point (Luke Y. Thompson reviewed it last month). But today, in honor of Deadpool 2’s home video release (following a superb $318 million domestic and $732m worldwide gross on a $110m budget), I wanted to revisit Ryan Reynolds’ first big superhero starring vehicle. I’m talking about Green Lantern. It’s a film I like more than you, even though it works better as a horror flick and a character drama than as a superhero movie.
The film was a colossal flop and a critical whipping boy, becoming shorthand for a worst-case-scenario for superhero origin stories. But viewed seven years later, it remains a fascinating artifact and perhaps the first big superhero movie to fall victim to “just” being a superhero movie. Moreover, the stuff that worked about the Martin Campbell movie in 2011 still holds up today. Putting aside how much money it lost and its infamous history, it actually holds up as a potentially useful piece of the so-called DC Films franchise. Warts and all, it deserves inclusion in the ongoing narrative especially as the DCEU becomes less interconnected.