Unlike many other reviewers and critics, I am not going to completely pan Green Lantern. I agree that it had the potential to be so much more, but most Superhero movies have that same potential and when the studios are forced to spend a significant portion of on screen time to the introduction of the character and the whole universe, a movie is bound to be somewhat stilted. I think if the studios had gone into this in a similar fashion to the first Resident Evil movie – simply leapt into the action and story without wasting time introducing all the mythology this could have been a much more powerful and enjoyable film.
With the above being said however there was much to like and enjoy in this movie – not least the special effects which are really well done. The uber-villain is perhaps a bit too powerful (and gets defeated a bit too easily) however Hollywood does that fairly frequently in their Superhero films and it is somewhat to be expected.
Irresponsible test pilot, Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds), has been labeled a disappointment his entire life. His childhood friend and love interest, Carol Ferris (Blake Lively), believes he walks away from everything he starts. This changes when he encounters a dying alien named Abin Sur, who presents him with a mysterious ring.
With his dying breath, Abin Sur tells a confused Hal that the ring chose him, and that with it comes great responsibility. Shortly after this strange encounter, Hal discovers the ring’s true power while fighting three men in an alley behind a pub. He is then transported to the distant planet Oa, home of the Green Lantern Corps.
Upon his arrival, Hal is trained by the leader of the Green Lanterns, Sinestro (Mark Strong), and two of his intergalactic soldiers, Kilowog and Tomar Re. They warn him of an evil entity known as Parallax, who recently broke free from imprisonment and swore vengeance upon the Lanterns. When the evil scientist Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard) acquires powers of his own and summons Parallax to Earth, Hal must find the courage to face the two villains and protect his loved ones.
A standout performance is delivered from Peter Sarsgaard as the troubled scientist Hector Hammond who goes through a transformation from meek mild mannered scientist to evil megalomaniac once he has been infected by Parallax. In addition, Hal’s tricks with the ring are really well done and I especially like the fact that as soon as Carol Ferris saw Hal Jordan up close in his costume she was able to recognize him in his Green Lantern costume and there were no games with a pair of glasses acting as a disguise!
Overall – there is room for improvement, but as a first entry into a new franchise (if one is green lighted <- see what I did there? :)), Green Lantern has some decent legs and Ryan Reynolds can definitely make this role his own.