‘Gren Lantern’: Why the $200 Million Movie Botched Its CGI

Most actors would kill to play the lead in a superhero movie, but Ryan Reynolds isn’t a big fan of his superhero debut movie Green Lantern. The actor hated the movie so much that it took him close to 10 years to watch it and still tear it into shreds (while promoting his gin brand).

Green Lantern has received a lot of criticism ever since it premiered in 2011 for various reasons. One of the issues critics and audiences alike had with the movie was the botched CGI. But what exactly happened that led to the film having one of cinema’s worst CGI jobs?

‘Green Lantern’ had a high budget

Green Lantern followed the life of Hal Jordan, a Green Lantern played by Reynolds. Green Lanterns are Guardians of the Universe who are tasked with maintaining peace in the universe. The Lantern’s biggest threat is Parallax, who, once imprisoned, breaks free and feeds off fear, thus becoming stronger.

Parallax faces off with a Lantern named Abin Sur, who crash lands on Earth and, before he dies, tells Hal to say the oath after the ring chooses him. After Hal speaks the oath, he is taken to Oa, the home planet of the Lanterns, where he meets and trains with fellow Green Lanterns who hope to defeat Parallax.

Meanwhile, Hector Hammond’s father asks him to perform an autopsy on Abin Sur’s body, but a piece of Parallax lodged in Sur’s body enters Hector giving him supernatural abilities. Thanks to his newly gained telepathic abilities, Hector realizes that his father thinks lowly of him, and he got his job thanks to his father’s influence.

The realization causes him to go rogue, and he becomes the first half of the villain that Green Lantern has to face. Hal, once wary of his powers, finally masters them and fights off Hector, who warns him about Parallax’s arrival.

Parallax consumes Hector and wreaks havoc before Hal lures him away from Earth, where the sun’s gravitational force kills Parallax and weakens Hal. After he passes out, his fellow Lanterns rescue him. Green Lantern had a huge budget of $200 million but only earned $219 million at the box office.

The movie rushed the effects, thus messing up the CGI

Ryan Reynolds
Ryan Reynolds | Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Green Lantern faced several hurdles along the way that hampered a successful production process. Some of the issues ended up causing the CGI team to create half-baked effects because of rushing. With such a huge budget allocated to the movie, you’d think the production team would take their sweet time with the effects to make them look as realistic as possible.

Aside from the original $200 million set aside for creating the superhero movie, Screen Rant reports that an extra $9 million was set aside for the CGI work. The publication further states that the extra money was allocated barely two months before the film’s release, which meant that the effects team had to rush to finish up some, if not all, of the work.

Some of the film’s CGI issues include Green Lantern’s suit, which interestingly was all CGI’d, and the villain Parallax, who, instead of looking terrifying, looks like a half-chewed ball of brown gum. It’s safe to say that Green Lantern did not take its time to make the special effects any special.

Other ways the film let fans down

When Reynolds signed on to the movie, fans had high hopes as he had been involved with several blockbusters in leading years, such as The Proposal. However, fans felt the movie didn’t do the actor justice as the dialogue was very flat, and the film struggled to find a balance between Reynolds’s funny and his action side.

According to Cinema Blend, Reynolds also thought that Warner Bros failed its audience by being more concerned with the movie’s release instead of working on the script and everything else. The actor expounded, noting that unlike his hit film Deadpool which fans knew what they were getting, Green Lantern had a problem nailing down the specifics of its tone.

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