“It’s not dying that you need be afraid of, it’s never having lived in the first place.”
Cast: Seth Rogen, Jay Chou and Christoph Waltz
The Green Hornet
As far as superhero movies go, The Green Hornet falls flat in failing to amount to the potential it had. It’s a far cry from the revitalised comic book genre that has seen both Batman and Iron Man make their marks and at best, it’s just an action-comedy under the façade of a superhero movie.
When Britt Reid’s father dies, Britt is left in charge of his business, The Daily Sentinel, a front-runner of LA’s newspapers. He meets one of his father’s employees Kato, who he soon finds out is a highly technical mechanic. In a nutshell they decide to tackle LA’s crime by posing as a gang with advanced gadgets, hopefully uncovering other criminal gangs in LA and destroying them.
Under the guise of The Green Hornet and his sidekick, both Britt (Seth Rogen) and Kato (Jay Chou) aim to become more known to the public as to build a reputation. With the aid of The Daily Sentinel, it seems as though it was all meant to be. Enter the real villains. Chudnovski (Christoph Waltz) is the head of LAs biggest gang of criminals, often insulted and mocked due to his meek appearance and old age, he often needs an ego. When he hears of The Green Hornet he begins to do everything in his power to put a stop to this ‘rival gang’ before he loses the respect of his followers.
Seth Rogen doesn’t portray Britt in the way I’d hoped, he seems to play the same character that we see in every one of his movies. His attitude throughout is pretty chilled out, with an apparent lack of connection to the script. It was a bit disappointing to see this yet again, and unfortunately he’s starting to morph into a one trick pony. While in The Green Hornet he is a rather brash character with money and girls at his disposal, I’ve seen the same character in Knocked Up and Pineapple Express.
Christoph Waltz was a bit of a let down too. Compared to his role in Inglorious Basterds where he played the unforgiving “Jew Hunter”, his levels of malice and evil don’t shine through so well. This is most likely due to a completely different target audience though. The Green Hornet seems like it’s aimed toward a younger generation so obviously we can’t see the same type of evil from him, but a little more would have been great.
I enjoyed Jay Chou as Kato though there is a slight problem in understanding what he is saying all the time. His accent can be a bit difficult to overcome but as the movie progresses, it does become less of an issue. He is fantastic in his role as the quick moving, martial arts expert though.
Cameron Diaz plays a small part too, yet there is not much to comment on. She’s her usual pretty faced, indifferent self that had no real impact on me. I can barely remember any scenes with her. The highlight for me has to be the cameo from James Franco – though he only appears once and within the first 5 minutes. I just think he’s a great actor with an extensive career ahead of him, maybe they should have used him more.
I do have to say that the cinematography was great. I didn’t see it in 3D but I can see where Michael Gondry was going with the film. From the slow-motion fighting scenes to the full on car chases, it was fun to watch. It seems a bit out of his area though, having previously worked on Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Be Kind Rewind, so credit has to be given for that.
All in all, if you’re looking for a really good superhero film that does the genre justice, I would turn to Batman Begins, The Dark Knight or Iron Man. For a bit of light hearted fun about a couple of wannabe heroes though, you’ll like The Green Hornet.
Star rating: 6/10
Directed by Michael Gondry.
Running time 119 minutes.