The Green Lantern is by far one of the weirdest, most out there and nerdiest of all comic book properties,or at least mainstream ones. A big budget live action film adaptation, if done right, could have really brought this nique brand of comic book hero to amazing cinematic life. It's not an easy thing to do though.
Given the nutty and difficult nature of the property, I have to kinda take it easy on Martin Campbell and Company. They gave it a good shot, and, even though they didn't quite succeed in doing justice to things or making what had the potential to be a great film, they did at least make something this is fun and entertaining.
Cocky, yet insecure and vulnerable test pilot Hal Jordan comes across the remnants of a crashed alien vessel. The dying alien inside gives him a ring and a lantern and tells him that he was chosen to replace him. Replace him to do whatexactly? Well, become the first human intergallatic space cop, that is! A weird space entity named Parallax that thrives on fear is threatening to destory all of known existence across creation, and it is up to Hal to learn the ropes and utilize his newly acquired powers (driven by will power)to conjure up anything he can think of (literally-the limitations are bound only by one's imagination) to prove himself and save the universe.
If this all sounds like ridiculous, but interesting, comic book pop entertainment, well...it is. It's not suppose to be taken too seriously, and that's part of the problem with this film's reception. People expect a little too much out of comic book films these days, and I feel like besides the inherent nature of the source material, having too high of expectations turned a lot of people off from this movie.
I'll admit that it does have problems: the score is competantly put together, but completely forgettable; the CGI (especially the suit and mask) are a giant mixed bag. Sometimes it looks okay, but mostly it resembles something a little too corny, comic booky, and Lucasesque. Also, the film has A LOT of stuff going on, which is fine, but the film is just under two hours, yet feels and moves at a pretty brisk pace, meaning a lot of scenes feel really truncated and kinda like some important stuff got cut out. The writers could have also come up with a far better story that could have equally appealed to die hards and general audiences alike.
So, what does work (ie: why am I giving this a mild pass)? Well, Campbell is a decent director, so he keeps things (mostly) on the right track, and the action scenes are decent. There are some big names here, and some of them, are well cast. Ryan Reynolds is a perfect fit for Hal, bringing the right amount of humor, pathos, and cockiness to the role. Blake Lively is decent as Carol Ferris the love itnerest, though, save for like maybe three scenes, isn't really given much substantial stuff to work with, but she's at least beautiful and spunky. Mark Strong is awesome as SInestro, and I couldn't think of a better choice. Peter Sarsgaard is fun to watch as a truly nutty antagonist, and Jay O. Sanders, Angela Bassett, and Tim Robbins bring some class to the affair, even if the full extent of all of their talents doesn't get fully realized.
All in all, it's a shame this film gets dumped on. Yeah, it 's not a great comic book movie, and it's a bit too hammy, especially in the wake of stuff like The Dark Knight, but c'mon, lighten up. This is some fun stuff, and the source material is all kinds of nerdy, awesome, bizarre, and challenging, so you can't fault the makers too much for not quite pulling off a tough job. If you can just relax, ignore the hate, and just be happy to stare at some sweet visuals and unsophisticated yuks, then you might find yourself enjoying this one.