The Green Lantern movie follows Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) on an origin story that pits willpower against fear where the whole universe is at stake.
It starts with a brief history of the Lanterns and their enemy Parallax. Then Parallax breaks free from imprisonment and hunts down the one that locked him away. A reasonable set-up for a film.
We get introduced to our hero, a fearless yet reckless pilot whose decisions cause him nothing but trouble. There’s a girl for him to pursue, he has a friend that he really trusts and he spends most of the movie learning how to have true confidence in himself. It would be quite inspiring if the viewer had reason to care about the characters, the acting was decent enough but I never got the feeling that the hero was cool, sweet or inspiring.
Parallax wasn’t the only villain. There was also a jealous teacher guy who didn’t really get the build up he needed. He basically got some fear power in him and became a minor inconvenience for the Lantern to overcome. The actor of this bad guy did well to do the maniacal, jealous thing and the villain could have stood out if it wasn’t for the greater threat overshadowing any importance he may have had. I think they went too big too soon by making Parallax so important.
The Green Lantern power is also impressive in concept, do anything if you can will for it to happen. Jets, race cars, sword fights and a minigun all appear from the Lantern’s light. When Parallax shows his true power, Hal’s self-doubt vanishes as he recites the Green Lantern oath and his strength of will takes the battle into space. This is quite an epic moment where he remembers what was said in the short training bit earlier on “the bigger they are, the faster they burn.”
It’s just, overall the film fails. It isn’t good and it isn’t bad, it just is. I’ve seen this movie before and couldn’t remember any of it. It’s like a checklist was made and they ticked every box (hero, girl, training, huge stakes, message about belief, flashy power) but there’s no soul in it. The Green Lantern movie is a nice way to spend a few hours but the lore and characters aren’t deep enough for proper investment and there isn’t enough action that you don’t care about story. It’s just alright, that’s it.