Review: The Green Hornet

Tuesday, January 11 by

The Green Hornet is as good as any Green Hornet movie could probably be, which is to say he’s not a very interesting superhero. He owns a newspaper and his sidekick is a martial artist? That leaves a lot more room for Seth Rogen to play than maybe a character with more definition, but the superhero blockbuster as an art film doesn’t really work.

It’s actually when Britt Reid (Rogen) become The Green Hornet that the movie falls apart. Before that, the story of an antisocial rich kid has an edgy attitude, even if it only manifests in a PG-13 drunken party. Finding out his dad (Tom Wilkinson) died on the news in his limo is effectively dramatic. Christoph Waltz looks great as Chudnofsky with a goatee, a Caesar cut and a double barreled gun.

Reid becomes a total dufus, doing happy dances to celebrate victories. He never shuts up during an action scene and often just states what’s happening to him. Reid’s interview with Lenore Case (Cameron Diaz) is just weird, perhaps an uncomfortable bit of failed improv, and he’s always babbling at her. The Spy Kids were more mature.

I get the attempt to deconstruct the hero/sidekick relationship but it’s really forced. Reid would be insecure that Kato (Jay Chou) is such a badass, but he’s just whiny about it. Kato’s issues with being a servant as his cover are better played but still come out of nowhere. Reid’s analysis of superhero movies is pure Rogen. He’s wrong about all movie heroes being good guys though. Spider-Man and Batman always have trouble with PR.

By the time Kato and Reid are reall fighting, it becomes cartoon slapstick with bouncy sound effects. The gas gun bit is funny, but then Reid is still going totally gaga over Lenore like she’s the only one who can save his newspaper. This is a secretary with little journalism experience. There is plenty of people way more qualified for the job, and I bet some of them are also hot too.

The action is pretty awesome. If they’d have just done a straight generic plot with these action scenes they would have had a solid movie. Kato-vision basically alters perspective, time and physics at the same time. The climax in The Daily Sentinel is thrilling. Then there’s more silly comedy epilogue.

The 3-D looks fine. There are some good shots of the Reid mansion and roses coming into focus, plus more abstract Michel Gondry shots towards the end. There’s also a lot of blurry background from the post conversion process. Anything CGI, like flying bottle caps or missiles, can come out of the screen pretty easily.

Ultimately The Green Hornet is as troubled as its many delays would indicate. You know, superhero comedy is tricky. They can’t all be Blankman.

COMMENTS

  1. January 11, 2011 8:55 am

    HornetSting

    Well, this was easily predicted. Why anyone would let Seth Rogen perform as the Green Hornet is mind boggling. I Predicted this would happen, prayed it wouldn’t, and so now here we are. I hope this utterly destroys Rogen’s career as he has destroyed the image of the Hornet and Kato. This could have been the Blockbuster that the Shadow and the Spirit weren’t

    I hope, as is popular these days, that The Green Hornet gets a proper reboot done with respect to the character. I mean who in Hollywood is signing these stupid contracts? You would have to be an idiot to have thought this would be a good idea.


  2. January 11, 2011 8:55 am

    Junkmailboy1000

    Let’s see, a goofball man who was born into an advantageous youth is not taking life as seriously as he should. His access to advanced gadgets and weaponry eventually lure him into using it for good. He has a wise and almost robotic sidekick who acts as an advisor. There is a token hot chick cougar who runs the business.

    Oh yea! I saw it when it was called Iron Man!!


  3. January 11, 2011 8:55 am

    Chevyracingfan2007

    Ok, first off this was a comedy, seth rogan is a comedic actor, thats what he does, thats what we like, I do however think that this movie should have gotten an R rating, instead of PG13, I took my son to see it, and there was a little too much swearing in it for it to be rated so soft, all in all I great movie, funny as hell!


  4. January 11, 2011 8:55 am

    Dee_M

    The Movie is an Awful “Campy” send-up of the 60′s series-Whoever let Seth write this should be Fired…Don’t waste your money on “Frat-Boy Hornet”…I’m glad I’m only out 5 Bucks on a 5.00 Bootleg Dvd…there is Sooo Much that could’ve been done with the Green Hornet if the writing was the same as “The Dark Knight”..All we got instead was a Goofball comedy…even the Bad Guy was weak!


  5. January 11, 2011 8:55 am

    vorhees shadow

    movies such as this, is no xcuse of the original which myself as fans of genres as these plus others! The master Bruce lee wuld b rolling in his grave letting 2 comedians do a R-RUN which i mite add has no depth, essence,precision, etc, plus Talent which only a TRUE martial artist can do!!. Seth and Jay has no RESPECT. Im angry,shockd at the talent of hollywood wuld go 2 a xtreme put LAME outcasts in a production which made the world turn to the culture of 1 man whose GRACE is now 4goton with just whispers!!!. (SIFU BRUCE LEE -In loving Peace)