I understand that Hal Jordan (a/k/a The Green Lantern) saw his father die. I understand he was a screw up who couldn't make a commitment. I understood his potential to be paralyzed by fear. None of these flaws made me care for him.
It is also true that good writing and acting can make a character more empathetic when that character is flawed. Certainly this technique worked for Batman and Iron Man. In Batman Begins Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) must learn to tame his inner demons. He is filled with anger brought on by his parents death. His emotional pain made the viewer feel for the character. Bruce Wayne is not a poor little rich kid but a flawed hero. A large portion of the movie was dedicated to examining his Psyche. The same can be said for Iron Man. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is struggling with his father's legacy and his own self indulgence. At the end of these movies it is as much about defeating the bad guys as coming to grips with the character's need for self actualization.
In the Green Lantern it is unclear what Hal Jordan has learned from his battles. I still wonder how wimpy the Green Lantern Corps must be in that despite their years of service they could not defeat a monster that Hal Jordan could defeat with ease. It is also unclear how Hal's battle with fear and evil caused him to grow as a person?
Form over substance will continue to be a problem in the movies as in life. Would this movie have been made based on the script alone without the promise of impressive Computer Generated Imagery? Since this is a legal blog I should note that sometimes this occurs in the courtroom as well. Lawyers sometimes believe that by force of will the judge or jury will side with them. Yet no matter how convincing an argument it must be based on a solid foundation of facts, evidence and the law.
I have not given up on the summer yet. I hope that the next movie related blog I write will be glowing praise.