Green Lantern is a 2011 American superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name. The film stars Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong, Angela Bassett and Tim Robbins, with Martin Campbell directing a script by Greg Berlanti and comic book writers Michael Green and Marc Guggenheim, which was subsequently rewritten by Michael Goldenberg. Green Lantern tells the story of Hal Jordan, a test pilot who is selected to become the first human member of the Green Lantern Corps. Hal is given a ring that grants him superpowers and must confront the evil Parallax, who threatens to upset the balance of power in the universe.
The film first entered development in 1997 and went through various incarnations until Greg Berlanti was hired to write and direct in October 2007. Martin Campbell was brought on board in February 2009 after Berlanti was forced to vacate the director’s position. Most of the live-action actors were cast between July 2009 and February 2010 and filming took place from March 2010 to August 2010 in Louisiana. The film was converted to 3D in post-production.
Green Lantern was released on June 17, 2011. The film received generally unfavorable reviews and was criticized for the acting performances and story. The visual effects were praised, although many found the over-use of CGI, specifically digital body suits, problematic.
Millions of years ago, beings called the Guardians of the Universe used the green essence of willpower to create an intergalactic police force called the Green Lantern Corps. They split the universe into 3600 sectors, with one Green Lantern per sector. One such Green Lantern, Abin Sur of Sector 2814, defeated the being Parallax and imprisoned him in the Lost Sector on the ruined planet Ryut. In the present day, Parallax escapes from his prison and nearly kills Abin Sur, who escapes and crash-lands on Earth and commands his ring to find a worthy successor.
Hal Jordan, a cocky test pilot working at Ferris Aircraft, is chosen by the ring and transported to the crash site, where Abin Sur appoints him a Green Lantern, by telling him to take the lantern and speak the oath. At home he says the oath and is later whisked away to the Green Lantern Corps home planet of Oa, where he meets and trains with Tomar-Re and Kilowog and Corps leader Sinestro, who believes he is unfit and fearful. Jordan quits and returns to Earth, keeping the power ring and lantern.
Meanwhile, after being summoned by his father Senator Robert Hammond to a secret government facility, scientist Hector Hammond performs an autopsy on Abin Sur’s body. A piece of Parallax inside the corpse enters Hammond giving him telepathic and telekinetic powers at the cost of his sanity. After discovering that he was only chosen due to his father’s influence, Hammond attempts to kill his father by telekinetically sabotaging his helicopter at a party. Jordan saves the senator and the party guests, including his childhood sweetheart Carol Ferris. Shortly afterward, Hammond successfully kills his father by burning him alive before Jordan learns of Parallax coming to Earth.
Back on Oa, the Guardians tell Sinestro that Parallax was once one of their own until he desired to control the yellow essence of fear, only to become the embodiment of fear itself. Believing the only means to fight fear is by fear itself, Sinestro requests that the Guardians forge a ring of the same yellow power, preparing to concede Earth’s destruction to Parallax in order to protect Oa. However, Jordan appears and reveals that fear will turn the users evil if its power is used, so the Guardians reject Sinestro’s plan and Hal leaves to go save Earth.
Upon returning to Earth, Jordan saves Ferris from Hammond. Parallax arrives, consumes Hector’s life force, and then wreaks havoc on Coast City. With new-found strength, Jordan lures Parallax away from Earth and toward the Sun, destroying Parallax. He loses consciousness after the battle and falls toward the sun, but is saved by Sinestro, Kilowog, and Tomar-Re. Later the entire Green Lantern Corps congratulates him for his bravery. Sinestro tells Jordan he now bears the responsibility of protecting his sector as a Green Lantern.
In the epilogue, Sinestro steals the yellow ring and places it on his finger, causing his green suit and eyes to change to yellow.
Learn more about the concepts, principles and symbolism behind the subliminals found in this film:
First Published: Dec 23, 2011 – Last Updated: Apr 1, 2014