Checked out the film today. I thought it was decent. It was better than I expected, but I'm not sure that's saying much. The film wasn't as jokey as the first trailer suggested and Ryan Reynolds (while still not my favorite choice) did well enough in the role. Same with all of the actors, though some are not given much to do.
I never liked the look of the characters or designs from the trailers and other promotional work. It looks slightly better on film for me, but I still wasn't super impressed. Parallax plays better in the film, once his movie origin is explained, though I still don't care for his look. Stay after the credits, there's a tease for a potential sequel.
The film moved at a brisk pace, and it covered a lot of territory, but perhaps it breezed by so much stuff, the film didn't feel weighty enough for me. I never got that sense of dread that should've been permeating the film as Parallax steadily made his way across the galaxy. Some critics have derided the climax. I didn't think it was as much of a letdown as some other critics do, however, the CGI was shaky in spots.
If there is a sequel I would watch it, but I didn't leave the theater wishing there would be another sequel. Only Mark Strong's Sinestro left me wanting to see more of him. I don't think the film delivered on giving us enough memorable moments to make us want another sequel.
I think because they covered so much territory so quickly, perhaps I missed some things or got confused, but early on the narrator (Tomar Re I think) tells about Abin Sur stopping Parallax, but after he escapes Ryut, it seems like the Guardians or Sinestro at least don't know who he is. It confused me. I also don't get why a being as powerful as Parallax wasn't in a more secure location. I summed it up to maybe not wanting guards to be tempted by Parallax. But why not have automated systems to make sure he is imprisoned or to keep people from haplessly coming across his cell?
I also didn't get why Parallax shifted from destroying Oa to going after Earth. What's the big deal about destroying the man who succeeded the man who captured you if you've already killed the dude that captured you? Parallax stated that once he consumed Earth he would have enough power to take on the Guardians, but there was no indication that he needed Earth at all before, and it felt like they just threw that in to shore up his other justification and to center the action on Earth. Plus, previously Parallax had just cut through Sinestro's hand-picked elite squad like it wasn't nothing. It didn't appear that he needed Earth to take out Oa to me. It goes back to the tired Earth in peril plot that too many sci-fi movies rely on. It's like audiences will only care if Earth is threatened. If the film had actually spent more time on Oa and fleshed out the Corps better I think that would've made non-GL affiliated audience care enough about Oa to have that be the center of the film.
Perhaps it was for cost reasons, or to establish Hal as a badass by having him take on Parallax alone, but that didn't make sense to me either. His training is far too brief before he quits the Corps and returns to Earth; didn't make sense to me because the Guardians let him keep the ring and the lantern. Seems like they would've taken it from him or he would've given it back to them. That would've made his decision to quit actually feel real. I also didn't care for Hal going to Oa just in time to stop them from unleashing Sinestro with the yellow ring on Parallax's ass to essentially tell them that he's going to take on Parallax alone.
If you're going to take on Parallax alone, why ask for their permission or go tell them, just do it. Then again, I wonder why not just ask for their help? Why not demand it? And why wouldn't the Guardians override him? Seeing the Corps fight together to save Earth or Oa could've been an oh shit moment this film really needed.
As for Parallax overall I got mixed feelings. I sort of liked how they combined his story with Krona's IMO and I liked how he ripped the fear and people's souls right out, but I didn't care for the dirty cloud look. I don't think Parallax was the best villain to start out the franchise with. He's the type of villain you work up for. I wish they had followed Secret Origins more and had Atrocitus be the one who killed Abin Sur and have Hal and Sinestro work together to hunt him down.
As for others:
-Blake Lively did okay as the love interest Carol Ferris. I thought she and Reynolds had nice chemistry. Unfortunately I was looking at her character through the prism of what she is to become and I wished they had picked an actress with more edge. I can't see Lively being a credible villain, though she might look okay in the Star Sapphire bikini.
-Peter Sarsgaard as Hector Hammond. I thought he was creepy enough, though sometimes his delivery was weird. I didn't care for his makeup, but he turned out to be a decent villain.
-Angela Bassett as Amanda Waller. They didn't give her much to do, but her backstory does get told courtesy of Hammond's telepathy. Her fate was left unknown, but hopefully they will bring her back. And hopefully she'll get to be more villainous and calling the shots.
-Tim Robbins was okay as Hammond's disappointed father.
-The Corps: There wasn't much focus on them. Kilowog's one training scene was pretty much the long and short of his appearance in the film. Tomar Re didn't get much face time either. Sinestro got a little more. Regarding Sinestro, the after credits tease with him becoming a Yellow Lantern didn't make much sense since Parallax had already been defeated, and the reason for taking on the yellow ring was to combat him. I wish they had went more with the comics story of his fall. That could've been a good follow up film. But it appears that me might come out the gate evil in a second film.
-It was never explained why Abin Sur needed a starship. I thought I read somewhere that they would address that.
Hovering between B- and C+