Well I knew I'd be disappointed before watching this film. So, in actual fact I can say it was not as bad as feared. Ryan Reynolds does a really good job grounding his character and the world of the Green Lantern. It is the movie that fails him, and it fails most squarely in the department of the script. Shall we have a look?
The first problem is that the film has too many beginnings. It's like being greeted by Porky Pig on meth. Beginning number one is just an expositionary scene telling us all about the the Green Lanterns. Is this needed? No. You didn't need someone starting the Matrix by saying, "EVERYONE LIVES IN A COMPUTER!." Pace yourself movie, really. It's like dating, you have to get to first base first. Since though the movie brings up the whole Lantern Corps I would like to add a question here. Now the little blue guys have divided the universe into 3,600 sectors and in each sector they have a Lantern basically acting as galatic cop. The question I have, is how do you think that even with a super weapon that 3,600 cops is enough to police the universe? If you were some cosmic bad guy you'd have to realize that your chances of being nipped by a Lantern would be like winning the anti lottery. I just don't see it as workable.
The second beginning starts in the "Lost Sector." Ok, this annoys me right there. How do you LOSE a sector on a map. I mean you'd just go .."sector one, sector two, sector four.... hey!" "Abandoned Sector," or "Forbidden Sector" would make more sense. Oh well, a bunch of aliens release the evil Parallex who will be your villain for the night. Never heard of Parallex? Well then you aren't a fan boy. Congratulations. So in comics Parallex is basically a horrible excuse of a villain. Literally. Ok, check it out. A lot of humans over the years became Green Lanterns, so the writers got a little cheeky with the first Green Lantern Hal Jordan. After all, they had spares. So, they destroyed the Earth city that the Green Lantern called home. This caused Green Lantern to go crazy. He went and tried to steal all the powers of all the other Green Lanters to bring his city back. He failed but became the evil villain Parallex? Got it? Good, there won't be a test later. Parallex then became something of an anti hero, and then heroically died saving the universe. Then he is resurrected as the new Spectre, then he's brought back as Hal Jordan Green Lantern. Hooray he's a hero again. Trouble is, folks would say "Hey Hal what about all those people you killed?" Soooooo, they came up with the excuse that Hal was actually possessed by a yellow spirit of fear called...PARALLEX. Tada, not Hal's fault, everything's butter baby. So Parallex is the equivalent of the note saying the dog ate my homework. Luckily, in the movie Parallex is a little better. Here he is possessing one of the creators of the Green Lantern Guild and that works a lot better.
So we come to beginning number three. Abin Sur the greatest Green Lantern is in his space ship. Ok, stop right there. Green Lanterns can fly through space at faster than light speeds on the power of their own rings. Why does he need a space ship? Is he just cruising? Is it a styling ship that the other Lanterns go, "Whoah dude." Never mind, anyway Parallex attacks aAbin cause Abin was the one that locked him up the first time. He deals a mortal wound but Abin escapes in the emergency escape ship. See my above comments on Green Lanterns and space ships.
Now we get to beginning number four, and where the movie DAMN well should have started. WITH THE HERO. We finally meet Hal Jordan. Hi Hal! Ok, so we get a series of scenes in the life of Hal Jordan. First, he pops out of bed with the wench of the night, he's late so bounces off. He then is driving like an insane man or an angelino as he's trying to wrap a gift in newspaper. Then he's at his job and he's getting ready to fly. He's having friendly, witty, snitty, repartee with Carol Farris who is the true love of his life when they both realize that. Then he's flying against drone fighters. Then he's crashing. Then he's reliving his daddy issues AS HE'S CRASHING. Then he doesn't die crashing but wishes he had cause he gets his butt chewed by everyone. Then he goes to deliver gift then a green ball of light picks him up.
Now, each scene is ok. It's how they are put together that doesn't work. Getting up, and driving like a maniac works. What doesn't work is there is no reason to be driving while wrapping the gift is he's not going to deliver the gift right then. Makes no sense. So instead of work he should have stopped where the party would be. He could apologize for not being able to make it, and folks would say you are so irresponsible Hal which is what they were aiming for in this segment anyway. THEN he could go to work. Everything works there till the daddy issue flashback. First, it is as subtle as a sledgehammer between the forks. Second, it looks like they stole it from "Hot Shots." When it looks like you are stealing from Charlie Sheen, STOP IT RIGHT NOW. What should have happened is this is when the green light should have stolen Hal away. Then he would have been blameless in causing the crash (even though everyone would blame him) and it would cause Carol to worry as they look for him.
Ok, so from here Hal meets Abin who's his Green Lantern Daddy Figure Number 1. He represents the Legacy that gets handed down. He gives him the ring and the lantern and dies. Oh, when a Lantern dies their cute uniform disappears. So much for dignity. Anyway, here we have a stupid government paranoia meme pop up as Hal and his friend run away before the Gov finds the space ship and aliens. There's no real reason for it, except of course it protects his secret identity later. Again, not subtle.
Now there's a bit of a split. We have amusing scenes where Ryan tries to learn how use the ring. We also meet Hector Hammond. Guess what he has Daddy issues. Whereas Hal overcompensates by being a hot shot jack ass, Hector has become a creepy passive agressive type. He's called in by a THIN Amanda Waller (sorry fan boy rearing up there) to do an autopsy on Abin and he gets zapped by Parallex's yellow energy snot.
Meanwhile, our Green Lantern is whisked to Oa, home of the Green Lanterns, and he meets his other Daddy Figures. There's the wise and compassionate Father represented by Tomar Re who teaches him to fly. There's the gruff, tough, but secretly compassionate father represented by the huge Kilowag who teaches him to fight. Finally, there's the Father figure to impress. The remote Sinistro (yeah, there's a name to inspire confidence) who teaches him that Hal Jordan is no damn good, and would do more with a ring through his nose than a green lantern's ring on his finger.
Hal goes back to Earth to think on these lessons. Meanwhile, Hector gets ugly and psychic. Double meanwhile, Sinistro goes to war against Parallex and gets his pointy ears handed to him. This leads to Hal first fighting Hector and then Parallex. I think I've done enough on this movie so as not to go on about the end but I do want to make special mention of one thing.
At one point, Parallex chases Green Lantern from the earth. The Green Lantern tries to hide in the asteroid belt but Parallex grinds through it like is nothing. Hal sees the sun ahead of him and gets an idea. Now, I'm used to a lot of science errors in movies. But really people, if you are moving from the earth to the asteroid belt you will not find the sun, it's the OTHER FRICKING WAY.
Like everything else in this movie, it is seeking the brightest light in the wrong direction.