Just to show you how much Hollywood is in love with the trendy "Comic Book Movie" genre, we now have the not-so-well-known superhero Green Lantern getting a luxurious (rumored) $200+ million budget! With all this money on the line, the film is presented as straight up origin story, and lacks any real surprises.
We've recently seen Ryan Reynolds flex his acting muscles in Buried and his sucking muscles in The Proposal, but "the impossibly handsome one" is tailor made for this particular super hero role. Fortunately Reynolds brings some vulnerability and a touch of humor to the character, so the audience actually will be able to tell him apart from the army of CGI creatures. Blake Lively is the other standout in the film, mostly because she is blessed with a well written role as Green's romantic interest. In addition to being the predictable damsel to be rescued, she actually gives Green some pep talks and helps him overcome his fears. Other performances are played as straight up villains and sidekicks.
Martin Campbell's directing is well paced and actually makes good use of the MASSIVE amounts of CGI. Although most of the film contains special effects, they do actually look somewhat convincing (at least in the 2D version), to the point that they are actually impressive. The film is directed more like a regular action movie, instead of the recent trends of comic-inspired flourishes like Scott Pilgrim or Nolan's style of ultra-realism.
As for plot, we have the standard origin story. The guy gets his super power, he learns about his power, he has self doubt, some enemy threatens his planet, the hero finds some new resolve and defeats the enemy. Let's face it, anyone who has seen their share of comic book movies, can spell out the entire plot before they even see the film.
The banality of the Green Lantern story exposes the weakness of this film, especially in comparison to the more philosophically interesting and emotionally intense plot lines of the recent X Men reboot. We simply have a god-like hero fighting unimaginably powerful enemies. If there is still room in the cluttered universe of comic book movies for a righteous defender of justice, with a knack for special effects eye candy, then Green Lantern is as good of a bet as any superhero. If you need some psychological depth and cinematic style in your comic book films, then you may want to skip this one and watch that Dark Knight Blu Ray again.