Review – The Green Hornet
When it comes to Superhero movies it seems every single avenue has been explored, you’ve got the mainstream heroes Spiderman, Batman and Superman. Graphic novels like Kick Ass and Watchmen have deconstructed our mainstream heroes. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any more confusing Scott Pilgrim Verses The World blows everything out of the water and proves you don’t need tights to be a comic book hero. Well things are going to get even more confusing with the ‘Green Hornet’ a superhero effort based on a 1930’s radio serial that was turned into a television show in the 1960’s with the help of martial arts guru Bruce Lee and almost 70 years later is turned into a Hollywood blockbuster. Like I said, every avenue has been explored but to ease your headache I’d like to reassure you that ‘The Green Hornet’ is less a superhero and more a James Bond style vigilante minus the class. In the ‘The Green Hornet’ Britt Reed (Seth Rogen) is the heir to a media empire and enjoys partying on his dads dollar but when his dad mysteriously dies he decides to do something more meaningful with his life and teams up with his dads mechanic/coffee man Kato (Jay Chou) to fight crime and the evil kingpin Chudnofsky (Christoph Waltz).
‘The Green Hornet’ is a lot of fun with some great on screen chemistry between Rogen and Chou as Britt Reed/The Green Hornet and Kato. Seth Rogen manages to pull off his usual ‘goofy guy’ act but steps it up a notch to give Britt Reed a bit of personality to separate him from the cookie cutter hero archetype. Kato is the action man and Jay Chou does a great job as the kung fu expert that also acts a bit like ‘Q’ in James Bond coming up with all different gadgets to get the team out of trouble. Both actors bounce off each other well and handle their comedic scenes as well as the action. As for the other performances, Christoph Waltz has fun playing the bad guy trying to remain relevant when masked vigilantes start getting all the attention and Cameron Diaz is on ‘eye candy’ patrol as a secretary who has all the answers but not much to do. The action in ‘The Green Hornet’ is over the top and a lot of fun, director Michel Gondry injects some originality into every scene that gives the genre a breath of fresh air. In the past Gondry has directed films like ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ and ‘Be Kind Rewind’ so ‘The Green Hornet’ is a big departure from his usual low budget quirky style of filmmaking. Gondry proves he can deliver big popcorn movie action that puts other so called ‘action directors’ to shame. Another thing that really stands out in ‘The Green Hornet’ is the films ability to not take itself too seriously, like ‘Kick Ass’ it makes fun of the whole concept of Superheros and vigilantes, everything is over the top and you don’t need to go into detail – you press a button on a car and a rocket fires out of it, how simple is that. ‘The Green Hornet’ does suffer from some pacing problems with too much time spent filling out the story and delaying the action and an attempt to involve Cameron Diaz as a romantic interest is an epic failure and goes nowhere despite some set up.
Unfortunately it’s sad to report that ‘The Green Hornet’ is the victim of some bad 3D conversion. If you can, see the film in 2D. The 3D was bad and can be disorienting at times, it does nothing to enhance the film and is more proof that 3D conversion does not work. Overall ‘The Green Hornet’ is big popcorn action with the right mix of comedy and originality to get it over the line, just try and avoid the 3D like herpes.
The Popcorn Junkie