The Green Hornet
Action (Comic Book)
Running Time: 119 minutes
Starring: Seth Rogen, Cameron Diaz, Christopher Waltz, Tom Wilkinson, Jay Chou, Edward James Olmos
Directed By: Michel Gondry
Rating: 3.5 out of 10
An unlikely duo joins up to fight crime right across the city.
This movie sat on my shelf for a long time. I would reach for it and say to myself not yet. It wasn’t out a sense of saving it for a rainy day more I couldn’t bring myself to watch Seth Rogen as any sort of crime fighter/super hero. Rogen portraying a super hero is kind of like me teaching a class on responsible drinking. It has a nice sound to it but neither of us are likely candidates to pull it off. The verdict: Rogen doesn’t work as a super hero and my liver probably looks like Norm’s does from Cheers. The Green Hornet is the story of Britt Reid. After the untimely death of his billionaire dad, he teams up with his late father’s assistant (Kato) to battle crime around the city.
I am a self admitted comic book geek and I am quite knowledgeable on most things superheroes. I knew virtually nothing about the Green Hornet going in so that is never a good sign that this is a strong character. Please forgive my ignorance to any OG Green Hornet fans out there as I am not sure if this movie does the original work justice. I can only really base my review on this film and for the most part it was awful. I understand the rush to make all thinks superheroes these days but come on. This film felt like the movie Rush Hour combined with Inspector Gadget and that is not a good thing. The film starts and we are introduced to the wild party boy Britt Reid as he drinks and fornicates his way through life. After the sudden passing of his father he is forced to grow up and take over the job of running his dads huge empire. From there the movie quickly translates into a comic book vibe as he meets his dads former assistant named Kato and they team up to fight crime (To quote Barney Stinson “ yeah, It happens that fast”.) The unlikely superhero angle is okay at the start but by the end you will be weary of it. Britt Reid is an idiot when it comes to fighting. He gets himself into all sorts of trouble by bumbling his way through fight scenes with hoodlums and bad guys. If it wasn’t for his trusty sidekick Kato and his robotic ninja moves, Reid would have died like 2 minutes into this film. Hence the Inspector Gadget feel to this film. Reid drops weapons, missed targets, trips and falls, and does all sorts of other things like that only to have Kato bail him out like Penny used to do. The comedy if you can even call it comedy comes in the form of bickering between the two crime fighters. They fight over plans of attack, women, nicknames, and it barely even registers as funny. Hence the Rush Hour feels to this film as the two leads from different worlds can’t get along.
I am a big fan of Seth Rogan as he is a hilarious guy; he just bit off more than he could chew with this film. His portrayal of Britt Reid as this odd bumbling character never connects with the viewer on any level. His stupid attitude and antics grow tiresome as the movie wears on and the character will appeal to very few. His sidekick Kato played by Jay Chou is average in the role as he struggles to deliver his lines. The two of them generate virtually no chemistry as polar opposite personalities which ultimately ruined this movie. Reid’s secretary Lenore Case played by Cameron Diaz is so forgettable in this movie you will have troubling remembering she was in this film a minute after it is done. Lastly the villain Chudnofsky played by Christopher Waltz is a campy mess of a crime boss making this film a complete fail across the board in terms of characters.
As the film proceeds the viewer is treated to a couple of okay fight scenes where the unlikely duo fights criminals across the city. The slow motion break down of the fighting is not great but offers something to look forward to in a film that offers little else. The story is typically weak and even the gadgets seem straight out of the 1960’s. A suped up car that has a flame thrower and spy hunter rims is not going to impress anyone. Even Reid’s gun shoots knock out gas pellets making you think he is going to be battling hippy protesters at Woodstock instead of an enemy that kills at will. The end of the movie just seals the deal as you won’t care what happens to anyone in this film as they battle Chudnofsky and his evil henchmen. This is based on an old school character and trust me that character should have stayed in that old school era.
Director Michael Gondry should stick to what he is known for (Be Kind Rewind, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) for his foray into the action world is less than stellar. To be fair, just like the Fantastic Four this character is too dated to do well. The comedy is misplaced and ill timed and the casting and characters are all sub standard. The action is about average and comes at infrequent intervals. Over all he did a poor job with this film.
I cannot recommend this film for we are in the golden age of the superhero movies and this character is too retro to work.
T Factor+ If you like Seth Rogen as an actor than this could score higher on the rating scale.
T Factor – If you like solid superhero characters than this could score lower on the rating scale.
If you liked this film reel recommendations: Daredevil, Captain America.