It Ain’t Easy Being Green (Green Lantern, 2011)
Two years before the Man of Steel, Warner Brothers had an opportunity to start building their cinematic universe. In simple ways, they could have started building. Hints of a bigger universe…start introducing characters who could cross the films. I have talked about the missed opportunity before.
The film introduces us first to the ancient evil Parallax trapped by the powerful Green Lantern Abin Sur. When some unfortunate astronauts stumble into his prison, he uses their fear to free himself and pursue Abin Sur. This results in Sur crash landing on earth and his magic ring seeking a worthy person. It chooses carefree pilot Hal Jordan. When he is dragged into space he is trained in the ways of Space Copping by Sinestro, Tomar-Re and Kilowog. Sinestro is dismissive of Jordan, thinking he is unworthy of being a part of the core. Tomar-Re and Kilowog are less certain. Hal returns to earth and tries to patch things up with Carol Ferris, a fellow pilot and daughter of the guy who owns Ferris Industries. Both are not noticing the changes occurring their friend Hector Hammond, who was infected by Parallax.
There is a final grand battle where Hal Jordan vanquishes Parallax into the sun all by himself. Note, Sinestro took a squadron of the finest Lanterns with him and they were all destroyed in seconds. The film also has a voice over from Tomar-Re declaring Hal the best Green Lantern ever! This is not a particularly good way to end the first film in a franchise. It clearly was not meant to be the only film in the series based on the end credits scene.
Characters appear that have no place and are used very poorly, such as Amanda Waller, who resembles he namesake not one bit. Using a universe ending villain in your first story pretty much means you have nowhere left to go. No other villain is going to feel like such a large threat after that.
Reynolds is rather charming, but ironically, he and Blake Lively have no onscreen chemistry in the film. The characters are bland, and how Hal uses the ring are not terrible imaginative (He makes a car! A jet plane! A Gatling Gun!). The effect are decent, but not really memorable. Maybe I hoped for better from the director of Casino Royal. But this film missed the mark on many levels and failed to take the opportunity to start building the franchise they wanted. Which I guess is all the better for Deadpool.