Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Green Hornet - Movie Review


Starring Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, Cameron Diaz, Christoph Waltz, Tom Wilkinson, Edward James Olmos and James Franco.
Directed by Michel Gondry.

Seth Rogen & writer partner Evan Goldberg reinvented action-buddy comedy with Pineapple Express when they made it about a pot-smoker and his dealer on the run. It was a messy romp. Now Rogen's trying to do the same thing with superhero movies, but fortunately he leaves the marijuana at home. Kato & the Green Hornet will have to settle with getting drunk with each other.

As a comedy, it's not funny enough, and as a superhero movie, it didn't work either. I appreciated that it didn't aim for fake earnestness like, say, Elektra, but that it also didn't degenrate into pun-happy neon camp like Schumacher's Batman.

Rogen, that Fozzie Bear of an actor who's the same in pretty much everything, plays Britt Reid, son of a multimillionaire (naturally), wasting his life with partying. One day Dad dies, and now Britt is heir, and his primary responsibility is running the Daily Sentinel, the only insanely-profitable newspaper left in America. Britt decides to team up with Kato, his dad's driver, to fight crime, but in order to get close to the criminal underground, they'll pretend they're bad guys. He uses his paper to help villify the Green Hornet.

Chou does kick butt as Kato, but it seems torturous for him to speak English. Cameron Diaz shows up as the token female interest and the movie grinds to a halt for all of her scenes. Christoph Waltz never quite hits the right comedic notes as Chudnofsky, a crime boss going through an identity crisis.

The 3D added absolutely nothing except the increased price of the ticket.

As my wife said as we left the theater, "Jack Black could've played the Green Hornet."

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