Hal Jordan becomes the Green Lantern of Sector 2814, and the first human to wear the ring, as the Lantern’s face off against their most dangerous enemy.
Ryan Reynolds stars as Hal Jordan in a film that was much maligned. It’s not Reynolds’ fault, his performance is led by a messy, occasionally incoherent, script that focuses too much on the comedy skill of Ryan Reynolds in the early stages, making Hal Jordan a dislikeable character – not because he’s cocky and arrogant, but because he’s… just dislikeable.
As the story moves on, however, Jordan discovering the potential of his powers, Mark Strong’s performance as Sinestro, Peter Sarsgaard as Hector Hammond and the general world of the Green Lantern Corp make for entertaining, if disjointed, viewing.
“You really do have a creative imagination”
The idea that the Green Lantern’s ring can create anything that its wielder can imagine is well executed, as are Parallax (aside from the face) and The Guardians of Oa. It’s the stuff that isn’t CGI that seems to suffer.
Green Lantern has got a strong cast, with support from Angela Bassett (as a woefully underused and misused Amanda Waller) and Tim Robbins as Senator Hammond, but even this line up can’t overcome the uneven blend of humour, drama and science fiction – whilst it needn’t be as dour as Nolan’s The Dark Knight, it strikes a tone that relies too much on Ryan Reynolds as Ryan Reynolds.
“Did you think I wouldn’t recognise you?”
There are great moments – Carol Ferris (Blake Lively) recognising Hal Jordan within moments of seeing him up close, Mark Strong as Sinestro, the (underused) members of Green Lantern Corp – but too much feels feels thinly realised.
It seems odd, looking back, that this was written by the men who would bring us the much lauded DC television universe and, perhaps, it would have worked better as a TV miniseries than a feature film – the underlying story, the rise of Hal Jordan and the start of Sinestro’s fall, deserves much more substance.