In this day and age, early reactions to an upcoming blockbuster title usually don't make-or-break the film in question - but they certainly can help or hurt buzz around a tentpole film. Similar to how many a person was glad to hear that some people with credibility like Transformers: Dark of the Moon, a number of fans should be glad to hear that the early response to Green Lantern seems good so far.
"Enthusiastic" would actually be a more fitting adjective than "good" in this case. However, before we continue on and discuss just what is being said about Ryan Reynold's turn as Hal Jordan, it's best to remember that this early positive buzz isn't coming from professional critics - since they've yet to see it.
Those in attendance at a Green Lantern screening over the weekend - including Fandago.com's Trey Alexander and Ashley Williams from Good Day Sacramento - have released several positive tweets about the film. According to the "quotes" rounded up by /Film, they found the film to be a "great mix of humor, action & drama" - not to mention, "Blake Lively looked Smokin as a brunette and Ryan didn’t look too bad either ;-)”.
Filmmaker Robert Meyer Burnett (Free Enterprise) went a step further and released a (sort of) full review for the movie (NOTE: It's been edited for NSFW language):
GREEN LANTERN f***ing ROCKED. The 3D was AWESOME. As a lifelong DC fan, the opening ten minutes made me squeal like schoolgirl. … Believe it. The first ten minutes will make you believe. The 3D is also outstanding. … GREEN LANTERN was terrific fun. The fact that it works at all is a miracle, but it really does cook. The first ten minutes sold me. … The 3D in the opening ten minutes is wonderful. But YOU MUST see it with polarized glasses. The color is great. … It’s not campy at all. The humor is earned. And Mark Strong as Sinestro was AWESOME. … I LOVED GREEN LANTERN. Don’t know why, but it kinda’ felt like THE LAST STARFIGHTER. I know…”Huh?!? What?!?” … it really did feel like an 80′s movie, circa ’84… Weird. … BTW…In LexG parlance…Blake Lively…LOOK AT HER. SMOOOOOKING hot.
It goes without saying that although every informed opinion about a film is equally valid, a handful of positive marks from the first people to see Green Lantern in no way guarantees that others won't take issue with it having unconvincing CGI, tonal issues, ill-fitting casting choices, and so on. However, positive buzz from anyone is still positive buzz - and give Burnett credit, in particular: he does actually discuss some of the artistic merits of the movie (in a casual manner, of course).
The Last Starfighter comparison from Burnett seems like an especially encouraging sign, since that cult sci-fi classic actually did a very good job of introducing people to an imaginative extraterrestrial world - without getting bogged down in the trappings of too much exposition or not taking time to allow viewers to appreciate the breadth and scope of its intergalactic setting(s). As for the 3D comments: Anyone who watched the most recent Green Lantern theatrical trailer shouldn't be surprised to hear that the film's digital effects are something to behold in the third dimension.
Combine all that with the recently-released batch of high-definition Green Lantern images and two behind-the-scenes clips that illustrate just how visually-rich this film promises to be - and there's good reason to be hopeful that the movie could sit well with professional critics, comic book fans, AND casual moviegoers alike.
We'll find out when Green Lantern arrives in theaters next week on June 17th, 2011.