Original review featured on The Doha Film Institute website.
Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is a very talented test pilot whose only safe haven is flying. It is also, according to him, the only thing he’s good at. His lack of belief in himself doesn’t stop him from being ‘chosen’ to be part of the Green Lantern Corps, a brotherhood of peace and justice from different races who wear a ring that grants them superpowers. Powered by will, the ring is the one to choose its carrier – just as it has chosen Hal, the first human to join the league. Their mission is to combat Parallax (voiced by Clancy Brown), whose power grows from the fear of all species, and who is also determined to destroy willpower in the universe, ultimately putting Earth in great danger. This battle lies heavily on the new Green Lantern member, who needs to bring balance back to the universe.
The film is based on the DC Comics ‘Green Lantern’, whose main character is Hal Jordan. In the story, Hal finds a spaceship that has crashed on earth with a dying Abin Sur (Temuera Morrison), the greatest Green Lantern worrier. Abin Sur leaves Hal with a lantern, a few last words about an oath, and a ring that has chosen him. When Hal learns the oath, he is introduced to a parallel mysterious universe where the power of good is driven by will and the ring’s power limits are his imagination. He meets Corps leader Sinestro (Mark Strong), who is not very pleased with the fact that a primitive human species has joined the Green Lanterns and makes Hal’s life very difficult. Hal decides to quit and return to earth, but it seems that the ring is never wrong, and has foreseen something worthy in him.
Hal soon realizes the importance of his role when scientist Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard) tries to kill his own father. Hector performed a secret autopsy on Abin Sur and accidentally got infected by a piece of Parallax that was hidden inside the corpse. The infected Hector then becomes the representation of evil, empowered by his own fears and linked to the universe’s most fearful enemy, Parallax. Hector is not only Hal’s antihero but also his rival, especially when it comes to the heart of Carol Ferris (Blake Lively), who is obviously falling back in love with her childhood sweetheart Hal.
From imperfections comes entertainment. The film lacks many elements with an under-developed plot and too many characters that we get to understand later than we should. I would like to have known the co-stars more, and I felt some sympathy for the antihero as it didn’t seem he deserved to be alleged with such malevolence. It is amazing how fear is viewed as a destructive power and will as an all empowering and magical drive, which is a theme that could have been pushed further for a deeper interpretation.
The first space scene led to an incredible intro with dazzling visuals, and continued down to planet earth with a brilliant prologue for our lead actor. A lot of spontaneous humour and self-mockery gives more credibility to our lead, but some misplaced heroic lines in space make him look awkward at times.
The film is, however, entertaining; personally, I really enjoyed it. If there is a sequel there is definitely room for the story to grow into a superb film, and I really hope they get to build up its elements more solidly. And who knows, we may even get another ‘Dark Night’ experience.