The Green Hornet is a superhero who is basically another Batman. He is Britt Reid, a newspaper publisher, who takes on the role of the masked vigilante and fights crime to clean up the streets. Instead of being seen as a superhero, like Superman, he is seen as a criminal. The movie wasn’t all that, and Christoph Waltz, in his first role since playing Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds, is wasted. However, Chou is the film’s shining star. He’s funny, a great fighter, and has plenty of sidekick spunk to challenge his boss’s ego. Bringing up the rear was Cameron Diaz, and well, even in an action comedy, if the audience doesn’t care whether the protagonist gets killed, then it really isn’t worth the price of admission.
I never watched the Bruce Lee stuff before or heard the original radio show, so I wasn’t married to any idea of the character or plot. Also, I’m a huge fan of Michel Gondry and while I never expected the film to be great, I never thought it would be awful. Rogen has some pretty good screenplays under his belt, but this was just a medicore screenplay. Seth Rogan isn’t known for his heroic antics so it was odd seeing him in this sort of role. I’d advise him to just stick to low-brow pot comedies. I suppose that last point ties into one of the brighter points in the film as a surprise cameo at the beginning of The Green Hornet by a former Rogen co-star is one of the funniest parts of the film. Fights were pretty funny mostly Rogen runnning around trying to not die screaming like a girl as Cato did bad ass martial arts, but didn’t we see this already in Rush Hour?
The film plays it straight at times, and at other times it’s pure unhinged comedy, and the combination rarely works. This project had been in production for about ten years (no exaggeration), and after all that time, all that anticipation, this is what they came up with? More importantly, the movie begins with so many boring scenes and dull exposition that I was fidgeting after a mere half hour. Also, although I don’t mind a bit of tinkering when it comes to updating storylines, this movie was decidedly not about the Green Hornet. Gondry’s film isn’t going to revolutionize superhero movies, nor does it attempt to.
Bringing attention to my final point, The Green Hornet is being released in 3D, and despite the fact that there’s nothing about it that is remotely three-dimensional, nothing gets it, except for the animated closing credits. A serious waste of consumer money! Though the Hornet’s been around since the 1930s in various incarnations, including a TV series that featured the one-of-a-kind Bruce Lee as his sidekick Kato, the Hornet’s technically not a superhero at all. So what is there to be excited about? I believe Roger Ebert said it best, “The Green Hornet is an almost unendurable demonstration of a movie with nothing to be about.” Well said, and I agree wholeheartedly, as I rate this film a waste of your time. Pass.