The Real Reason Why a Green Lantern Sequel is a Bad IdeaS

Green Lantern had a pretty underwhelming second weekend at the box office — basically, Cars 2 ran over Hal Jordan. But Warner Bros. put out the word that its developing Green Lantern 2 in any case.

This is a bad idea, but not for the reasons you're thinking — it's not just that the first movie was underwhelming and failed to represent the awesomeness of the comics on the big screen. (See here and here for two great deconstructions of the film.) Nor is it a bad idea because the super-expensive Green Lantern may well lose money at the box office — the film will probably make money on DVD. The real reason why a Green Lantern sequel is a dreadful proposition has to do with the godawful scene that appeared during the first movie's closing credits.

Spoilers ahead...

For those of you who didn't see the movie, or didn't stay after the credits started rolling, there's a bonus scene in which Sinestro puts on the yellow fear-powered ring and suddenly turns yellow and evil. This is a frustrating scene, as various others have pointed out, for a few reasons:

1) It flies in the face of everything we've learned about Sinestro up until this point, and since Sinestro was the best character in the film, it seems to throw away a lot of what had previously worked.

2) The whole conclusion to the film was about Sinestro realizing that tapping the power of fear was a bad idea, and Hal Jordan proving that the fear ring wasn't needed to defeat Parallax

3) There's absolutely no drama or suspense in it — it's just kind of another random thing that happens.

Of those three problems, the third is by far the worst. And here's the thing — if the sequel is supposed to be about Sinestro turning evil, then the pivotal moment in the sequel has already taken place, in a throwaway scene during the first movie's credits. We don't get to see Sinestro struggling with the decision to put on the yellow ring, or what makes him want to — we just see it happen. I think that scene is supposed to whet your appetite for the second movie, but it actually does the reverse. It's like they're making sure we know the sequel will have even less oomph than the original.

Of course, a good writer-director team could make it work, mostly by ignoring that scene or pretending it was an impressionistic teaser for the second movie, rather than an actual narrative scene. But that mid-credits scene, more than anything else in the film, left me totally uninterested in seeing what happens next. [THR]