I was able to preview the extended cut of the Green Lantern movie over the weekend and while I don’t want to give anything away that would spoil anything for anyone or provide more information than I’m allowed to, I do want to provide a bit of a preview for people who might be on the fence about buying the extended cut. For anyone who had hopes that the longer edition would include more footage from Hal’s first visit to Oa or a longer battle between Hal and Parallax, you’re not going to get that in an extended edition.
The reality is that we shouldn’t expect it when those kinds of things were cut from the film during production due to the budget and Warner Brothers decision to have the film ready by a specific date that in hindsight proved to be one of the film’s undoings. In a day when home video sales are sagging it’s also unreasonable to think that Warner Brothers would invest more money in special effects for a movie that under performed as Green Lantern did this summer.
Jenna Craig brings young Carol Ferris to life
I’m not saying that the extra nine minutes aren’t worth the extra money, however. Because what you get for a little extra money does a lot to make you feel for a young Hal Jordan who we only before saw in flashbacks and it also gives you the much needed connection between Hal, Carol and Hector that was missing from the theatrical version. This sequence comprises much of the additional footage that’s been inserted into this new cut, with the remainder being a longer scene between Hal and his nephew that also helps the audience understand what’s going on underneath Hal Jordan’s cocky exterior and a scornful look from Mrs. Jordan. The scene is much better than the shortened version we saw on-screen that left many movie goers wondering why it was there in the first place and connect some of the dots that were left for the viewer to fill in for themselves.
But you will not find a re-cut or director’s cut of the film in the extended edition. Other than those to modified sequences there are no other differences between the theatrical version and the special extended cut. While I think the extended cut is better than the original theatrical version, one down side to inserting the new footage is that the small amount of time between the childhood scene and Hal’s dogfight flashbacks renders the latter superfluous and underscores how those glimpses into Hal’s past sucked some of the excitement from the scene in the first place. Although I enjoyed seeing the additional nine minutes of footage and I’m grateful we’re getting them inserted into the film rather than dumped into a “deleted scene” section, it’s not enough to erase the poor editing and the decision making by the studio that prevented us from getting movie the character deserved.
That said, the film looks great in high definition and the audio is much better than I remember in theaters. You can expect a full review on October 14th when I can talk more about the specifics in the extended edition and the bonus features.