I must admit a certain ignorance of the Green Lantern mythos.
The movie, however, covered all the notes I expected in rather sincere ways. I felt that Ryan Reynolds, Peter Saarsgard, Blake Lively, and even Tim Robbins got to ham it up in all of their roles.
The girls at gofugyourself did a write-up of legendary miscastings including Jessica Biel’s turn as an ace fighter pilot in Stealth, likening it to Blake’s turn here as a test pilot. They pointed out that Stealth was an early time in Biel’s career as an “It Girl” and that she didn’t seem to have the grit to convey the toughness her character would have had. I didn’t have an issue with Lively’s portrayal here, though.
Though the CG was pretty heavy-handed and somewhat cheaply done, I don’t think they used it when it wasn’t necessary. There was a lot of silly-looking CGI, don’t get me wrong, but it was consistent and not extraneous. Because of its use throughout the film, it ended up not feeling like a major shortcoming or some singular, glaring fault but instead part of the overall makeup of Green Lantern itself.
I’ve often made fun of Hal Jordan’s use of a giant, green fists to KO the bad guys, and that certainly happens here, but the trailers made it seem like an issue above and beyond what actually is presented in the movie itself. There are several exceptions to this rule and several examples of a certain amount of creativity that I think the audience can be proud of Jordan as a hero. Even when he resorts to a giant fist after several other things, it feels like a satisfying return to form instead of a weak cop-out.
The writers certainly did an exemplary job of crafting dialog that doesn’t feel forced and fits into its place in the movie when establishing these characters’ relationships. The standards to which they are being held aren’t terribly rigorous, and I don’t believe there were any tear-jerking moments, but there were times when revelations and vulnerability elicited the appropriate responses and seemed to forge a bond that was a hundred times more believable than any marriage in Hall Pass, for example.
DC have done well to distance this narrative from the old-school weakness of the Lantern Corps to the color yellow itself. Yellow represents fear in itself this time around and that is portrayed convincingly enough that the decisions of the council are filled in readily by the audience without requiring too much faith on our part to absolve the creators of omissions or mistakes without regarding them as such.
It’s easy to perceive the structures of the origin story and the framework of an over-arching narrative that will precede a Green Lantern saga or trilogy. I think the movie stands on its own incredibly well (it remains to be seen if I think the same way while sober) and I would, at this point, welcome sequels in all their glory.