Hot shot pilot Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) leads a carefree life of irresponsibility until one fateful night a spacecraft crashes to Earth piloted by dying alien Abin Sur. Part of an intergalactic peace-keeping force known as the Green Lantern Corps, Abin Sur must recruit a new member before he dies in order to help battle the evil entity Parallax (Clancy Brown). When the remarkable power ring that he possesses chooses Hal as the most worthy candidate, Abin Sur passes it on to the Earthling and commands him to take the sacred Green Lantern oath.
Despite his cynicism, Hal soon discovers that he has acquired remarkable new powers, namely the ability to will anything imagined into existence.
Transported to the planet Oa, home of the Green Lantern Corps, Hal undergoes training under the command of wise alien Tomar-Re (Geoffrey Rush) and clashes with haughty leader, Sinestro (Mark Strong).
Meanwhile, back on Earth, scientist Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard) performs an autopsy on Abin Sur's body and is infected by a piece of Parallax that imbues him with telepathic powers, but also drives him insane. With Earth threatened by this malevolent force, it's up to Hal to prove that he belongs in the Green Lantern Corps and that he has what it takes to save the day.
It may not have had quite the impact at the summer box office as superhero smashes like Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger, but Green Lantern still delivers on the no-holds-barred fun. From DC Comics, the home of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, the Green Lantern has been around since the 1940s and while he's not as well-known as his super-powered stable mates, his imagination-fuelled adventures are fertile ground for a movie.
Ryan Reynolds is perfect as the cocky flyboy learning to shoulder new responsibilities and director Martin Campbell ensures the action is dazzlingly spectacular, cranking up the CGI machine to 11.
If the lashings of digitally rendered effects sometimes get a little wearing on the eye, the supporting cast, which also includes Michael Clarke Duncan and Angela Bassett, is truly stellar and keeps the explosive fantasy elements grounded.