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Film / Green Lantern (2011)

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Beware their power—Green Lantern's might.

A superhero film and the first live-action film adaptation of DC Comics' Green Lantern, released in June 2011.

The Green Lanterns are an intergalactic peacekeeping force, whose members are given a ring that "turns thought into reality." The greatest danger to the corps is Parallax (Clancy Brown), who represents fear and the yellow energy. When respected Corps member Abin Sur (Temuera Morrison) is fatally injured, his ring leads him to Earth, and chooses a replacement: a brash test pilot named Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds).

Hal is the first human chosen to be a Lantern, which earns him few friends, and he struggles with a lot of personal issues regarding what is considered to be the "fearless" Green Lantern ideal. Contrasting him, a bitter and resentful childhood friend Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard) is infected with a part of Parallax, giving him unstable psychic powers and leading him to give in to his fears. As Parallax sets its sights on Earth, Hal is forced to harness the power of the ring and save his planet.

The film was intended to launch the DC Comics counterpart to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (which had been launched three years earlier by Iron Man), but this was ultimately not realized due to its poor financial returns. Instead, Warner Brothers decided to retool Man of Steel into the actual launchpad for what would become the DC Extended Universe, ultimately with greater success—although the DCEU's version of the Justice League conspicuously lacked a Green Lantern in its roster, possibly due to the filmmakers wishing to avoid association with this film. An officially licensed Green Lantern television series set in the DCEU titled Green Lantern Corps was in development for several years, but it failed to materialize before Warner Brothers announced its plans to retire the DCEU brand in 2022. Now that the newly restructured Warner Bros. Discovery has announced a new series of DC Comics film adaptations helmed by James Gunn and Peter Safran, another officially licensed Green Lantern show titled Lanterns is currently in development.

Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim, who wrote the screenplay from this film, would go on to create the television series Arrow which would be the first series in the Arrowverse. In the 2019-2020 crossover event Crisis on Infinite Earths (2019) footage was used from this film to confirm it takes place on the post-Crisis Earth-12 in the Arrowverse multiverse, which includes the DCEU and other DC live-action properties.

A Licensed Game was made for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS titled Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters.

This movie contains examples of:

  • Adaptation Origin Connection: The fear entity Parallax is indirectly responsible for Hal Jordan becoming a Green Lantern in this continuity, as Parallax is the one responsible for Abin Sur dying and having to recruit a successor. In the comics, Parallax's only connection to Hal Jordan was possessing him during his Face–Heel Turn in the Emerald Twilight saga and Abin Sur's killer was either Legion (according to the Emerald Dawn miniseries) or Atrocitus (according to the "Secret Origin" arc in Geoff Johns' run of the Green Lantern comic).
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Amanda Waller, who in the comic books is an obese, stubbornly middle-aged woman and not a very nice one, is played by Angela Bassett. To the movie's credit, she is depicted as a respectable government agent and downplays Bassett's model-looks. Also, the movie came out shortly before the launch of the New 52 line, in which Waller also got adaptationally attractive.
  • Adaptational Job Change: While the Amanda Waller of the comics does hold a doctorate, it is for political science, whereas the film features her as a xenobiologist.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Justified because the rings translate the speaker's native tongue to whatever the listener is hearing.
    Hal: So you're speaking fish?
  • Already Met Everyone: Unlike the comic book canon, Carol Ferris, Hector Hammond and Hal Jordan seem to be old acquaintances by the time they acquire their powers in the film.
  • Analogy Backfire: A more dramatic version, as Hal tries to comfort Carol when he was about to confront Parallax by comparing it to his dogfight at the beginning of the film. She replies incredulously, "Those were a couple of jets..." and Hal's subsequent pushing of the analogy that the jets were also "unbeatable" doesn't seem to help much.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Hal's brother Jack calls him out for his reckless maneuver with the drones, as well as every other death-defying stunts he pulled, due to trying to live up to their father's standards.
  • Arc Words: "It's my job not to be [afraid]."
  • Artistic License – Space: Tomar-Re claims that a sector is a thousand times larger than the stars you can see from Earth on the clearest night, which numbers around 5000 maximum. Given 3600 sectors, that adds up to 1.8 billion stars. The Milky Way alone consists of 400 billion stars. However, it could be justified by the fact that a vast majority of stars are not in the habitable zone of a galaxy. Of course, he could have been speaking metaphorically.
  • Asteroid Thicket: Hal and Parallax fly through one during the final battle.
  • Badass Creed: The Green Lantern Oath. Its first two lines serve as a tagline for the film (see poster above). Hal recites it during his battle with Parallax and it marks the turning point in their fight.
  • Big Bad: Parallax is the central threat, as the entity starts the conflict by killing Abin Sur and corrupting Hector Hammond.
  • Body Horror: Hammond's head expanding. It's rather quite painful.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!: Abin Sur advises Hal to say the oath to activate the ring's battery. When Hal, who doesn't know what "the oath" is, tries every activation phrase he can think of, he finally gets to the actual "By the power of Greyskull!" itself.
  • Car Cushion: An extended one happens during the battle against Parallax. Though it's not a vertical fall, Hal being thrown back into the side of a truck, flying out as it turns over and crashing into an SUV, then finally stopping against another parked car, definitely qualifies as an example.
  • Catch and Return: In the climatic battle, Jordan lands a blow against Parallax by creating a catapult to catch one of the monster's energy blasts and fling it back into his face.
  • Chainsaw Good: In a duel with Sinestro during Hal's training, Hal makes a sword construct, Sinestro counters with dual wielded swords. Hal counters with a chainsaw. Sinestro counters with a chainmail net to smother Hal's chainsaw, rendering it useless. It's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment.
  • Check, Please!: During one of his classes, Hector Hammond starts to have an emotional breakdown as the infection from Parallax takes its toll on his body and mind. After using telekinesis to attack a student who was thinking insulting thoughts about him, the students panic while Hammond acts as if nothing strange has happened. He then deadpans, "Class dismissed."
  • Chekhov's Gun: Quite a lot, mostly well placed. The robotic planes, Hal's father's sayings, Kilowog's "Ring Slingin'" lesson, etc.
  • The Chosen One: Literally, and the ring choosing Hal is brought up quite often.
  • The Chosen Many: All of the Green Lanterns were in fact chosen by their rings.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Even after being abducted from his nephew's birthday party, the first thing that Hal sees when he is released from the ball of green energy is Abin Sur's crashed ship. He immediately rushes over to try to help out the other downed pilot.
  • Clark Kenting: Subverted, hilariously. When visiting Carol, Hal tries behaving a little more cocky, wears his mask and lowers his voice Batman-style. She is briefly overwhelmed but soon sees through the Domino Mask.
    Carol: Oh my God, Hal?
    Hal: How did you know it was me?
    Carol: I've known you my whole life! I've seen you NAKED! You don't think I would recognize you because I can't see your cheekbones?!
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Played with, if only subtly. Green is known as the color for "Go" (such as with streetlights, devices that use a green button for "YES" or other confirmation, etc.), which represents the Lanterns' lack of fear and their willingness to push forward against even the greatest of threats. As mentioned in the "Establishing Character Moment" entry below, Hal Jordan exhibits this quality in spades, often rushing into things without much thought. In the film, the color green is said to represent will, which is the strongest force in the universe. Meanwhile, the color yellow, associated in the film with those who use the power of fear (most, if not all of whom are the antithesis of what the Green Lantern Corps represents), is known as the color of cowardice in the Western world (this is referenced as well in Injustice: Gods Among Us).
  • Combat Pragmatist: Kilowog gives Hal a clear lesson in this by pretending to help him up and using that to punch him again. Hal returns the favor with a green-light boot to the junk.
Your enemy is not gonna play fair.
  • Composite Character:
    • Parallax. It has the same basic characteristics as the Fear Demon of the comics but it has its origin taken from other foes: The Guardian that was possessed is identified as being Krona in various supporting material for the film, his role as Abin Sur's archenemy and Death by Origin Story is taken from Legion and/or Atrocitus; whilst the idea of a Guardian being possessed by Parallax was used with Ganthet in Green Lantern: Rebirth. He may also have parts of Appa Ali Apsa, a well-intentioned Guardian who ended up insane.
    • Hal Jordan himself has a few elements borrowed from fellow Lantern Kyle Rayner in this film. In the comics, Hal was much closer to the Green Lantern ideal, being 'a man without fear'. Like Kyle, though, the film's version of Hal finds that knowing fear and being able to overcome it is what gives him the strength to face Parallax. Though it is Hal in the comics that figures out how to turn that to their advantage. Kyle knowing fear was able to identify the threat but stayed on the run until meeting the other Lanterns who were fearless.
    • Hector Hammond is a merging of various comics versions of the character but his powers and deformity is tied in with being corrupted by Parallax and having a few related powers.
  • Cool Car: Hal makes one out of a helicopter and his powers.
  • The Corruption: Touching any little bit of Parallax gives you Psychic Powers and a Psychic Link to him, along with, er, turning you evil. Although Hammond is the only one this happens to, he threatens to do it to Carol. This is also how Parallax was "born." He/it is a former Guardian who explored the potential use of yellow fear energy— he was infected by it and became the monster Parallax, feeding on the fear of others.
  • Crazy People Play Chess: Hector Hammond, shortly before being infused with yellow fear energy, is playing chess on his computer.
  • Credits Gag: The closing credits takes place in a montage of seven quasars, each quasar a specific color of the rainbow. This is based on the emotional electromagnetic spectrum, a Green Lantern theorem that states each color is based on a specific emotion.
    • Both the credits of Ryan Reynolds (Hal Jordan) and Mark Strong (Sinestro) glow with both green and yellow light; Jordan and Sinestro were Green and Yellow Lanterns in the comics.
    • Blake Lively (Carol Ferris)'s credit glows with a violet aura; in the comics Ferris was a Star Sapphire, who wielded the violet power of love.
    • Peter Sarsgaard (Hector Hammond)'s credit glows with an orange aura; in the comics Hammond was possessed by Ophidian, an entity formed from the orange power of avarice.
    • Temuera Morrison (Abin Sur)'s credit glows with an indigo aura; in the comics Abin Sur was the founder of the Indigo Tribe, a corps which wields the indigo power of compassion.
  • Crowd Chant: "We! Are! The Corps!"
  • Crucified Hero Shot: As Hal punches Parallax into the sun he had exerted all of his energy and passed out, drifting into the sun himself only to be rescued by the other Lanterns. He sprawls out slightly but it isn't a full on cross-shape.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • In their training fight, Hal pulls off a couple good moves, but ultimately is absolutely no match for the far more skilled and experienced Sinestro.
    • Kilowog also beats Hal's ass quite a few times, but after a poor choice of both actions (putting Hal on his back and then looming over him) and words ("Your enemy isn't going to play fair"), Hal returns the favor by forming a big heavy boot with his lantern powers and sending it into Kilowog's nads, then while he's doubled-over, Hal slips between his legs, uses his powers again to get a metal collar around Kilowog's neck, then pulls the chain accompanying said collar hard enough to send Kilowog into a full 360-degree front-flip that lands the big guy flat on his face.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Hal snarks a lot in the film. Then again, it's Ryan Reynolds.
  • Death by Adaptation: Hector Hammond is ultimately killed and consumed by Parallax, when he was never killed in the comics.
  • Death by Origin Story: As in the source material, Abin Sur ends up dying and selects Hal Jordan to replace him as Green Lantern of Sector 2814 on his deathbed.
  • Death Glare: During Sinestro's addressing the Corps on the situation with Parallax, he mentions Abin Sur's death, and specifically that he could never be replaced, prompting a few Lanterns in the crowd to give a few angry looks straight at Hal, his successor.
  • Devour the Dragon: Parallax consumes Hector Hammond during the final battle.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Hal defeats Parallax by literally punching him out and into the sun.
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation: While still dying from mortal injuries inflicted upon him by an assailant as the comics had established at the time, the one responsible for mortally wounding Abin Sur in this film is neither Legion (who was responsible in the Emerald Dawn miniseries) nor Atrocitus (who was established to have done the deed in the "Secret Origin" arc of the Geoff Johns run), but Parallax.
  • Disabled in the Adaptation: The film's version of Tom Kalmaku wears glasses when his comic counterpart doesn't.
  • Disastrous Demonstration: Hal's scenario-breaking defeat of the drone planes subverts this, as Carol is able to salvage the company contract with some fast-talking arguments.
  • Domino Mask: Hal creates one using his newfound powers, meant to protect his identity as a Green Lantern. Still, someone who knows Hal personally, like Carol, easily sees through his Paper-Thin Disguise, when comes to visit her.
  • The Dragon: Hammond to Parallax. Something of an unusual example in that Parallax never meant to recruit Hammond and didn't seem to even know of him until near the end of the movie, when Hal links to Parallax psychically through Hammond. As well Hammond is clearly inferior in power to Parallax and other than bringing him to Earth Hammond didn't seem to be actively working for him.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: Surprisingly averted. While many storylines in the Green Lantern series, as well as most adaptations, have the Ring lose power and have to be recharged at some kind of pivotal moment, the only time Hal is out of power when he wants to use the ring is when he goes to show it off to his buddy, and it's got plenty of charge throughout the climax.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Kilowog, Hal's trainer as a Green Lantern, revels in this: "Welcome to Ring-Slinging 101, poozer. Or as I like to call it, 'the worst day of your worthless life.'"
  • Driven to Villainy: Hammond. All his acts of villainy would never had happened if it wasn't for Parallax infecting him & giving him the means to lash out at the world.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Hal was late to the test flight and was also trying to wrap a package, leaving him to almost hit an oncoming car in the other lane. Hal swerves back into place with the horns blaring from the other cars, muttering "Asshole."
  • Earth Is the Center of the Universe: Thoroughly averted (Oa is), as it was treated as pure coincidence that Abin Sur crashed on Earth and Hal is chosen as the next Green Lantern. Parallax taking an interest in Earth is also directly connected to a fragment of Parallax (from Sur's body) infecting Hammond and attracting the Eldritch Abomination.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Parallax, a near-formless Emotion Eater feeding on the fear of the countless worlds he invades. He could also be considered a One-Man Army due to the fact that he was able to consume on several worlds as well as take out Sinestro's group in one scene. He ultimately heads to Earth thanks to his dragon Hector Hammond, and tries to absorb Earth as well before Hal gains enough power to lead him away and destroy him using the sun's gravitational pull, finally ending his threat.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Hal is first seen late to work, jumping out of bed with a woman in it, rushing to a test flight against two advanced AI fighters, which he defeats by some unorthodox strategy (he lets his partner "die" in the simulated dogfight, and then flies to an altitude at which the jet cannot function, causing the brand-new F-35 to crash and burn). Throughout the film he is shown rushing into a situation with no hesitation, which leaves his life rather chaotic and unorganized but the instant he saw an injured Abin Sur he takes off like a bullet to help with the same fearlessness. Notably this holds true in the extended cut, where a 10 year old Hal is shown rushing towards his father's downed jet while everyone else is running to safety. Then his father's jet explodes, stopping young Hal in his tracks, and presumably killing his dad instantly. Hal struggles to get past the trauma of that moment throughout the film, but his tendency to rush into situations remains.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: The biggest reason for Parallax's downfall is because he was incapable of understanding what true courage is: He thought it meant the absolute absence of fear, it really meant not giving in to fear. Made especially apparent when Hal Jordan, despite having fear in him, managed to defeat Parallax and not allowing him to feed on his internal fear.
  • Evil Costume Switch: In the credits scene, Sinestro takes the yellow ring and puts it on, switching his Green Lantern uniform to a movie version of his Sinestro Corps uniform.
  • Evil Counterpart: The film heavily parallels Hal becoming a Green Lantern with Hammond being empowered by Parallax. Both Hal and Hammond are part of the same social circle and have several very similar psychological hangups, including daddy issues and chronic underachieving. This is quite a contrast to the comics, where the Hammond character was a fairly minor villain with no personal or thematic connection to Hal.
  • Evil Laugh: Hammond the more he becomes evil. Sinestro after putting on the yellow lantern ring.
  • Evil Mentor: Sinestro actually averts this, believe it or not. His "The Reason You Suck" Speech directed at Hal (i.e. the mentoring, as well as his bullying Jordan during their training) was motivated by disappointment in ring's choice rather than malice and he was otherwise helpful in informing him of the dangers of fear. He never performs a single evil act the whole movie (unless one counts putting on the yellow ring) and even congratulates Hal at the end. If there had been a sequel, however, he would've inevitably became the Big Bad.
  • Evil Plan: Parallax's goal is to devour as many people and worlds as he can on his way to Oa so he can destroy it for revenge.
  • Eye Color Change: Hal's eye change from brown to very light blue whenever he has the mask on, when his ring signals danger and when he first learns the oath. Hammond has a version of this too, overlapping with Supernatural Gold Eyes.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Sinestro. If he hadn't turned evil by movie's end, it would have been a major subversion. His name, pointy ears (without being an elf), evil moustache, abrasive and brutally honest demeanor, perpetually downward-slanted eyebrows (he ALWAYS looks pissed) and most importantly, (sometimes) yellow eyes, all scream "Bad guy" with a giant neon sign pointing right at him. See also Foregone Conclusion and Names to Run Away from Really Fast below.
  • Fantastic Racism: Of a sort. Most members of the Corps are really disdainful of humanity, but it seems to be because they feel humans are immature and need some time to grow rather than believing humans are inherently inferior. Still, they treat Hal with much disrespect without even giving him a chance to show that he's different (which he isn't, but to be fair, they had no way of knowing that— they just assumed so based on his species).
  • Flipping the Bird: When pressured by Tom Kalmaku to demonstrate how the ring works, Hal states how he has to have the ring on his middle finger to get away with flipping Tom off.
  • Foregone Conclusion:
    • Sinestro puts on the yellow ring. This looked like it might actually be averted, despite the fact that every adaptation of Green Lantern has Sinestro make a Face–Heel Turn and gain a yellow power ring. After Hal beats Parallax, Sinestro leads the group that saves him from burning up in the sun and gives a speech indicating he's come to respect Hal and see him as a worthy successor to his friend Abin Sur. Then he retrieves the yellow ring and puts it on anyway.
    • Sinestro's eyes appear quite yellow when dueling with Hal.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The credits show multiple swirls of colored light spreading and expanding throughout the universe, hinting at the rise of the Emotional Spectrum and the coming War of Light.
    • In the beginning of the film, Sinestro's holographic message malfunctions, making his suit look yellow...
  • Four Is Death: Parallax kills four Green Lanterns when Sinestro led a squad to confront him.
  • Gatling Good: Hal summons a gatling gun during his duel with Sinestro.
  • Genius Slob: Hector Hammond's introductory scene shows him in a cluttered room, eating Chinese takeaway over the computer on which he's playing chess.
  • Genre Savvy: Tom shows signs of this— he even outright says "You're a superhero!" after seeing Hal in his costume up close. During this same scene, Tom brings up the fact that the hero usually gets the girl, and the scene immediately shifts to Carol's home.
  • Gilligan Cut: Carol repeatedly turns down Hal's offer to dance. Guess what she winds up doing.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Most of the corps, with the exception of Tomar-Re, but especially Sinestro.
Kilowog: Gravity's a bitch.
  • Groin Attack: Kilowog sucker-punches Hal after offering to help him up, warning him that "Your enemy isn't going to play fair." Hal takes the advice to heart ("Good to know") and returns the favor by using his lantern powers to form a heavy metal boot, then sending said boot straight into Kilowog's crotch.
  • Helicopter Blender: Hal constructs a propeller engine, which he uses like a drill.
  • Heroic BSoD: Sinestro has a very subtle one when he tries and fails to contain Parallax with some of the finest Lanterns under his command. Mark Strong's facial expressions convey that Sinestro is freaking out when Parallax shatters the bonds of his Lantern's constructs
  • Heroic Resolve: Parallax makes the mistake of Evil Gloating when it thinks it has Hal on the ropes. Hearing it tell him it's going to destroy all he cares about along with Jordan reciting the Green Lantern Oath to himself is what gives Hal the true resolve to continue the fight and defeat Parallax alone.
  • Homage: The dog fight with the AI shares a lot of the elements of Top Gun: Hal does Maverick's quick-climb trick to duck behind pursuing fighters (it doesn't work this time), he freezes up mid-flight over memories of his father, and he ultimately loses the plane when it goes into a flat spin.
  • How Do I Shot Web?:
    • Hal initially has trouble figuring out how to activate the power ring.
    • After Hal puts the ring in the lantern he finds out this trope is defied. Providing a 'knowledge base' is part of the ring's higher functions. Hal has basic control instantly. He can suddenly recite the Green Lantern Oath perfectly, and knows other information of which he would have no knowledge otherwise.
      Tomar-Re: I am Tomar-Re, protector of Sector 2813 and home to—
      Hal: 80,012 galaxies. 2.34 million sentient species. [Beat] ... how do I know that?
      Tomar-Re: The induction process. It activates the ring's higher functions, including a working knowledge base.
  • Humanoid Aliens: Filling up the third of the Corps that aren't Human Aliens/Rubber-Forehead Aliens or Starfish Aliens. This is lampshaded by Hector; after studying Abin Sur's body he talks about the staggering implications of aliens being humanoid.
  • Humans Are Special: The official synopsis and the movie itself state that Hal's special as a Lantern since unlike all other Lanterns, he possesses humanity. The film posits that humanity's special trait is the ability to recognize one's own flaws and weaknesses, as exemplified by the phrase "I'm only human." In contrast, Hal accuses the Guardians of being "afraid to admit [they're] afraid."
  • Hurl It into the Sun: Hal's eventual solution as to how to defeat Parallax.
  • I Believe I Can Fly: Double subverted. During his briefing as a new Green Lantern, Hal's "tour guide," a Xudarian named Tomar-Re, casually invites him to fly, as if it's a power that all Green Lanterns ostensibly have. Hal, being a fighter pilot, confidently muses "I can do that." ... before dropping like a rock from the ledge he's standing on. After a short Beat, however, he shoots back up into frame, imbued with the power of the ring, flying with very vocal excitement.
  • Imagination-Based Superpower: The Green Lantern rings allow their users to shape light into any form they can imagine.
  • I Lied: Hammond promises he'll let Carol go if Hal gives him the ring, and naturally tries to kill Hal as soon as he has it. Of course, Hal lied too - since the ring didn't choose Hammond, he can't use it, and it backfires on him.
  • The Illuminati: Hinted at - the popularly held "all-seeing eye" logo can be seen on the hard drive containing Hammond's autopsy of Abin Sur. It's the symbol of the US Department of Extranormal Operations, likely being set-up for future DC-universe films.
  • I'm Dying, Please Take My MacGuffin: Abin Sur dies and passes his ring on to Hal.
  • Instant Expert: Hal Jordan demonstrates considerable skill with a Power Ring after minimal training. Although its is established that it downloaded all its knowledge into his head which presumably included the manual.
  • Ironic Echo: "I just want what's best for you." Kind of weakened in impact since it was repeated ironically only a few minutes after it was first said.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: Hal Jordan gives his ring to Hector Hammond in exchange for Carol Ferris' life. After playing around with the ring for a bit, this happens:
    Hector: Hal, I Lied! (tries to blast him, but the blast stops inches from Hal's face)
    Hal: I Lied, too. (sends the blast back at Hector)
  • Jerk Jock: Hal is an insensitive bully several times to Hector Hammond, and only seems to recognize this in himself after his brief training montage by Kilowog and Sinestro. However, he never tries to help the Parallax-mind-controlled Hector Hammond
    • Many viewers objected to how Hal's treatment of Hector parallels real world bullying.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Jordan himself, as well as Kilowog and several members of the Corps who don't exactly take kindly to an "Earthman" being granted a spot in their group. They all eventually get over it.
  • Kill It with Fire: Hector Hammond kills his father by burning him alive..
  • Like Father, Like Son:
    • Hal's father was a test pilot; Hal becomes a test pilot.
    • This is actually one of the psychological hang-ups that Hector has with his dad. Hector is a mild-mannered bookworm who doesn't aspire to much despite his intelligence while he is drafted into a government project because of his dad's connections, implying that Senator Hammond wanted Hector to at least come somewhere close to his own field.
  • Live-Action Adaptation: The film is a loose adaptation of the "Secret Origin" arc of Geoff Johns' run, particularly in that the film focuses on Hal Jordan's beginning as a Green Lantern Corpsman and his first encounter with his enemy Hector Hammond. A reissue of the "Secret Origin" trade paperback was even published with a cover depicting this continuity's Hal Jordan as a tie-in.
  • Logo Joke: Both the WB and DC logos are ring creations.
  • Marquee Alter Ego: Lampshaded by Carol, but also cleverly played with in such a way that it has an in-story justification. The mask is an extension of the ring's will-generated constructs, which means it appears only when the wearer feels the need to protect his identity and is not present otherwise, which means we also see Sinestro, Tomar-Re, and Kilowog without their masks.
  • Merchandise-Driven: That tiny throwaway bit where Hal activates his nephew's Hot Wheels loop-the-loop toy? Done so that Hal could replicate it with the ring for Rule of Cool, but also because of a merchandise tie-in with Hot Wheels.
  • Movie Superheroes Wear Black: Averted. Despite the Green Lantern Corps traditionally wearing green and black in the comics, they wear bright green and kinda-darker-green in the film.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Hal is nearly naked after he first arrives on Oa. Again, it's Ryan Reynolds.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Carol wears a dress to the party that shows off her cleavage and toned broad shoulders. Again, considering the fact she is portrayed by Blake Lively, its not surprising that she would qualify as this.
  • My Brain Is Big: Hector Hammond has an enlarged brain after becoming infected with Parallax. The Guardians also have huge heads.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Carol's callsign is "Sapphire" and she's got an eight-pointed star (the Star Sapphire symbol) on the side of her helmet. Probably also counts as Foreshadowing. An an article about her possibly becoming head of Ferris Aircraft has the headline "Rising Star."
    • Ferris Aircraft's big project is testing out the effectiveness of A.I. fighter jets, which Hal ruins by outmaneuvering and destroying the jets, despite being told they react faster and better than human pilots. In the comics, Hal continually performs the same song-and-dance against the Manhunter robots.
    • The beautiful fractal that Tomar-Re generates for Hal while training him to focus his will to use the ring is a 3D representation of the Mobius strip the Green Lanterns use as a form of greeting in the Silver Age comics.
    • When the yellow ring is forged, Sinestro tells the guardians that after he's mastered how to use it, they can make more, and he'll teach recruits in using them, effectively creating an entirely new Corps under his command, using yellow rings. Not to mention The Stinger showing Sinestro putting on the ring and triggering a literal Evil Costume Switch.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Sinestro. More than one article about the movie has noted that with a name like that, he's obviously not going to stay a good guy. And that is without knowing the comics. Strangely, he's actually nicer than his comics counterpart, who was an arrogant control freak even before he left the Corps and put on the yellow ring.
  • Neutral Female: Hal tells Carol to stay out of his fight with Parallax and she quickly agrees. When he gets in trouble, however, she turns on a jet and fires its missiles at the monster. Then she grabs Hal's ring and throws it to him.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: How Hal treats Hector back when Hector's redemption was still possible.
    • Thanks to Hal going out of his way to shoot down the A.I. fighter jets, Ferris Aircraft looks like it'll lose the government contract they were looking to get with the display and a lot of people are going to lose their jobs. Thankfully, Carol's able to turn it around; she pointed out that Hal broke the rules to do so and the engineers were able to fix the jets' flaw. Of course, Hal pointed out the same thing immediately after the simulation exercise, but didn't get any credit.
    • Military's fault for letting one company both produce and define the perimeters of the test run. Hal actually helped everyone avoid what would've been a catastrophic weakness.
  • Non-Uniform Uniform: All the Green Lantern's have a similar look to their uniforms, but they all have slight variations. In the case on Tomar Re, his suit has a sort of fish-scale texture to it. Sinestro has a more militaristic appearance while Hal's has a pattern resembling human muscle tissue. It is hinted at least twice that this is because the "uniform" consists of the ring giving you transparent green skin; the texture looks different based on your skin and muscle textures.
  • Offstage Villainy: We see Parallax eat the souls of a few aliens and Green Lanterns directly, but he completely devoured four planets before coming to Earth.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Subverted! Tom immediately sees through it at Green Lantern's big entrance at the party (though he was already in on the ring from the dying alien), whilst Carol realizes it's Hal once she gets a chance to actually look at his face. Lampshaded in what is probably the most hilarious scene in the movie:
    I've seen you naked, you think I wouldn't recognize you because I can't see your cheekbones?!
  • Patrick Stewart Speech: Hal's "I'm only human" speech serves to explain to the Guardians why humans are so special.
  • Patricide: Hector Hammond makes two attempts - after bringing down his father's helicopter fails, he kills his father after the latter tries to vivisect him.
  • Perverted Sniffing: Hector Hammond does this to Carol Ferris when they share a hug at the gala for the Ferris Aircraft company. This, among many other things, do such a good job at making Hammond look like a complete weirdo creep that it's arguably strange and unnerving when he acts normal.
  • Planet Eater: Parallax has been upgraded from a rather large bug that's the embodiment of fear to a Guardian turned Eldritch Abomination who devours the populations of entire planets. Sound familiar?
  • Playing with Fire: Hal makes a flamethrower during his first fight with Hector.
  • Post-Defeat Explosion Chain: Hal Jordan punches Parallax into the sun, causing him to repeatedly explode.
  • Product Placement: Verizon Phones & Hot Wheels. There is also a shot showing a rack full of Dell servers.
  • Psychic Powers: Hammond gains telepathy and telekinesis from Parallax's DNA, as well as a Psychic Link with the latter.
  • Race Lift: Tom Kalmaku, an Inuit in the comics, is played by a New Zealander of Maori descent.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: After proceeding to curb stomp Hal, Sinestro looks over him and says he's an insult to Abin Sur's memory when he wears that ring.
  • Recut: The Blu Ray exclusive "Extended Cut" - It restores the full version of Martin Jordan's death between the revival of Parallax & the attack on Abin Sur, but nothing else.
  • Red Shirt:
    • The three aliens at the beginning who open the lid on Parallax's can; and the squad of Lanterns that Sinestro later leads in an ill-fated attempt to stop Parallax from taking any more worlds. Did you really think anything good was going to happen to them?
    • Sinestro leads an elite squad to confront Parallax and assess the power of their adversary. At least four of them die rather swiftly and none of them appear to be a comic-established Lantern (unlike some in the big crowd scene during Sinestro's speech to the Corp). Sinestro is the only one we see return from the encounter.
  • Refuse to Rescue the Disliked: Pretty much the entire way Hal treats Hector in the film is as someone not worthy of saving because he doesn't like him.
  • Rubber-Forehead Aliens: Sinestro and Abin Sur essentially look like red-skinned humans with slightly off facial features, as they're the only aliens that aren't Serkis Folk.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Parallax was sealed away by Abin Sur, but now breaks free to have his revenge.
  • Sequel Adaptation Iconic Villain: Had the franchise continued, Sinestro would have become this, being the primary antagonist of a sequel film after the first focused on lesser known villain Hector Hammond and the Eldritch Abomination Parallax.
  • Shout-Out:
    • While trying to figure out the oath, Hal mentions "To infinity and beyond!" as well as "By the power of Greyskull!" as he gets more frustrated not knowing how to use it.
    • A copy of Pokemon Sapphire can be seen briefly within Hector's room as he slowly gains his psychic powers.
    • When Hal goes all Gatling Good during training, Sinestro summons up a familiar-looking round shield to deflect the bullets - then throws it at Hal.
    • The placement of green and black on Kilowog's suit (black "pants" with green everywhere else) make him look like the Hulk.
    • The radio transmissions of an Imperial Probe Droid are heard early in the movie.
    • Parallax's defeat is identical to that of Jubileus in Bayonetta, minus Parallax's soul flying out.
  • Smart People Play Chess: Hector Hammond is first shown playing chess over the internet.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Hammond. There's a joke online that the actor was doing an impression of his girlfriend's male fans. Most likely started by one of said fans.
  • Starfish Aliens: A whole lot of the Green Lantern Corps.
  • Start of Darkness: For Sinestro, though like several comic book movies, it'll take several installments.
  • The Stinger: Just before the entire credits roll, we get to see Sinestro slip on the yellow ring and be consumed by its power.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Alien: The Guardians of Oa are a race of immortal blue dwarfs with huge heads that have outfitted an army of space cops with semi-sentient rings that can focus raw willpower into any form imaginable by the user.
  • Survival Mantra: Hal uses the Green Lantern Oath as a survival mantra in his fight against Parallax, and it does indeed give him the necessary will to continue, and win, the fight.
  • Sympathetic Sentient Weapon: Hector Hammond by the time Parallax gets through with him.
  • That Poor Car: When Hal punches three guys at once (first time he uses the ring) it causes all the alarms in the parking lot to go off.
  • Touch Telepathy: The movie has Hector Hammond infected with a strain of Parallax and gradually gain psychic powers. He starts reading minds naturally but learns he can tap into deeper memories via direct contact.
  • Tragic Monster: The film version of Hector Hammond (just ask Honest Trailers or CinemaSins)
  • Trailers Always Lie: The trailers paint the other Corps members as having a more prominent role than they actually do.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Trailers have shown Parallax draining Hector Hammond's body of energy, leaving behind a crispy corpse. In one of the clips released before the film, some fans recognized a Chekhov's Gun when Kilowog explained to Hal the dangers of flying in space, including the gravity of the Sun. In the trailers, Hal appears in front of the Sun.
  • Training from Hell: Both Kilowog and Sinestro put Hal through his paces, Sinestro bordering a No Holds Barred Beat Down.
  • Tron Lines: Most of the variations of the Lanterns' uniforms have streaks of energy running around them, but it is most notable on Hal. When he starts exerting more power/will you can see the energy flowing around his body and through the ring.
  • The Unfavorite:
    • Hector seems to resent Hal for generally being more successful than him, and it presents itself as his father greets Hal with more warmth and praise than ever given to him.
    • The Extended Cut shows that Hector's relationship with his father was like this as a child.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Hector Hammond wishes his father respected him better.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Remember those three guys Hal injured (and possibly killed if you consider the guy who got smashed through a brick wall) in the parking lot? He sure doesn't.
    • An early scene has Hal's attending his nephew's birthday and talking with his extended-extended family for a time. While it builds a bit of Hal's character (and subtly sets up a Chekhov's Gun) they don't show up again. As evidenced by the DVD/Blu Ray release, more scenes were shot with them, as one Deleted Scene features Hal flying in to save his nephew from Parallax.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: After reporting that Abin Sur's final message to him was simply "It's Parallax" to the Guardians, only for the Guardians to respond that they are assessing the situation; Sinestro angrily points that whilst the Guardians "assess," innocent lives will be lost.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Unlike the comic book Hector Hammond, the film's Hector Hammond is a harmless sad sack who is corrupted just for being at the wrong place at the wrong time by Parallax
  • You Are Not Alone: When Jordan, forced to battle Parallax alone, defeats the entity and threatens to fall into the sun himself after losing consciousness, Sinestro, Kilowog and Tomar-Re arrive to rescue him and take him back to Oa.
  • You Have Failed Me: Parallax kills Hammond for failing to kill Hal - he even says the line word for word.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: Basically what Hal is saying once he recites the Green Lantern Oath while fighting Parallax. Doubles as Survival Mantra. Also inverted; his goal is to lead Parallax away from Earth instead of stopping him from reaching it.

Alternative Title(s): Green Lantern