Here’s a rarity: The Green Lantern is a sci-fi movie that strays from the well-trampled aliens vs. Earth-guy story. What’s especially rare in sci-fi films is a plot that is multi-threaded and multi-faceted with enough twists to maintain interest. In The Green Lantern we are given not only a genuine, self-effacing super-hero but also a mad scientist who’s just as smart as our hero and who comes within a hair of taking over the world. Just for kicks, we have some friendly aliens who are also quite well endowed in the brains department. Then there’s the evil, almost all-powerful, super-alien. It all makes for a complex plot that is for the most part well handled. The flaws are numerous, but I found the storyline engaging, and the special effects were indeed special. (To help you decipher the story, an explanatory Green Lantern graphic publication is available for sale at most major bookstores.)
There is even a love interest, in the form of Carol Ferrel (Blake Lively: Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants). Carol is a test pilot, along with our hero Hal, but her piloting skills are not the stuff of this movie. Lively gives a solid performance; she shows proper restraint (not an easy task, I imagine) in her dealings with Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds: Smokin’ Aces), our hero, and she shows a credible range of emotions as she discovers Hal’s secrets.
Because Hal is a good pilot and apparently fearless, he is chosen by a dying member of a group called the Green Lantern to carry on its work. Hal gets a green ring that bestows upon its wearer powers that go way beyond supernatural. The ring also gets Hal into the exclusive Green Lantern club.
The Green Lantern is a very upright, very moral organization, its mission to fight evil throughout the universe. When Green Lantern headquarters summons Hal to a far-off planet for a sort of membership initiation, he flunks the test because he shows fear, the one disqualifying character trait for Green Lantern membership. So a disappointed Hal slinks back to Earth, a reject.
“I’m only human,” he says. As you might suspect, being human is the theme of the movie.
But a huge problem looms: Green Lantern is being challenged by one of its own brothers, Parallax, who has gone rogue and wants to take over the universe. Parallax’s strength, and his cudgel against The Green Lantern, is his ability to use fear to make himself stronger, so Hal gets called into action after all.
There’s more than this brief review has disclosed, a lot more. Some of it is beyond preposterous, but it’s good fun. Get thee to the local theater (3D, if available) and purchase a ticket.