The latest superhero film is "Green Lantern." Played by Ryan Reynolds, the hero draws his powers from a glowing green ring. Ancient guardians of the universe choose him to replace his dying predecessor. He becomes much more of a space cowboy on intergalactic adventures than an Earth-bound crime-fighter.
Thirty years ago, a new superhero movie with state-of-the-art special effects generated excitement months in advance of its opening. Back then only a few studios had access to the highest tech quality. Christopher Reeves as Superman in 1978 was the first comic book mega-hit of this genre.
Since then, producers learned to duplicate the whiz-bang CGI of the big boys. Movie versions of Batman, Hulk, Fantastic Four, Spiderman, Iron Man, Thor and many others followed. With many sequels to boot, they have all now become ordinary summer cinema.
First-rate special effects are not so special anymore. We take them for granted. It's the characters and the story that have to captivate us. The screenplay for "Green Lantern" is all formula, lightweight and predictable. But the action and adventure is up to summertime popcorn standards. It will satisfy the teenage target audience.