Wished it just kicked more ass.
Seth Rogen plays Britt Reid, the son of the owner of one of LAs major newspapers The Daily Sentinel. After his father’s death he inherits his newspaper and meets his mechanic Kato (Jay Chou) , who is not only his mechanic but also developed weapons for Reid Sr. They then decide to take on LA’s criminal underworld by posing as bad guys while Britt using the moniker The Green Hornet. But the city’s biggest and only crime boss Chudnovski (Christoph Waltz) doesn’t like people assaulting his criminal dominance.
The Green Hornet is a film that has been moved around many times, and even though that would be a bad sign right away for some projects, this one was different. Although, not all that different really.
The film is directed by Michel Gondry who is most known for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Be Kind Rewind, and many crazy-cool music videos. This seemed like an odd film for him since it’s kind of different from what he’s used to, and to be honest I don’t think he really does much here although he tries too. I must say that he does a good job here of showing off some really cool action sequences that actually add a lot to the film. Gondry makes the scenes look cool, even though they seem rather pointless, but that distinctive flair he has it what makes it a tad better than other action sequences. I didn’t see this in 3D but I can see why they chose Gondry, cause it looked really cool in 2D, I can only image how cooler it would have looked if it went that one dimension.
However, the script is where the problem lies here. The comedy wasn’t as funny as I was expecting, because it is very inconsistent. Sometimes I found a joke that I chuckled at, other times I found myself feeling very awkward because a joke or one-liner just wouldn’t stick well, and all I could do was sit there and squirm at it. I rarely ever found myself bursting out in laughter, and that’s what disappointed me cause this film looked like it had plenty potential to be hilarious. It also had plenty times to be something new and inventive, instead it just went for the regular super-hero film route, that we have all seen time and time again. By that last act, you almost feel as if there’s too many things going on, and it just gets so wrapped up in itself.
I usually can stand Seth Rogen‘s bumbling, nerd shtick, but here he was just way too unlikable. Britt Reid is this spoiled brat, who doesn’t get all the attention that he wants, so he does mean things, and although Rogen has this signature likability to him that usually works with any character, here he just was such a dick that I couldn’t stand him after awhile. Jay Chou does a pretty good job here although he has that problem that Ken Watanabe had in Inception, and that’s we can’t quite understand what he is saying. He’s adorable (no homo), and looks like he’s got the stunt skills to actually pull all of these moves off, but it’s hard to fall in love with this character when you don’t know what is comedy, and what is not, because he isn’t all that understandable. Christoph Waltz was perfect in Inglorious Basterds playing a villain, and here he’s not so bad playing a less-than noticeable role as a villain. I liked how Waltz played Chudnovski, this hot-tempered yet insecure kingpin and gives him this goofiness that has us not take him as seriously, and I think that works because the film doesn’t really take him seriously also. Cameron Diaz’s character, Lenore, was a character that I think they could have left out, but with her scenes, you can tell she’s trying her hardest and does alright. And who cannot forget cameos from James Franco and Edward Furlong, who plays a meth addict, and actually looks like he’s been trying some as well.
Consensus: The Green Hornet has moments of fun, with good comedy and stylish action, but the script lets down this cast, and promised us a new take on the superhero genre, even though it turns out to be the same as they all are, and you can’t help thinking this could have been so much better given the talent involved.