The Green Hornet
Directed by Michel Gondry
Starring Seth Rogan, Jay Chou, Christoph Waltz, Cameron Diaz, Tom Wilkinson, David Harbour, and Edward James Olmos.
Man, oh, man, the Green Hornet seems to be one of those films I’ve been tracking ever since I started tracking movies. First rumor I heard about a Green Hornet movie was back in 1995, when Entertainment Tonight announced that George Clooney was in negotiations to play Britt Reid. And then, being a Kevin Smith fanboy, there was Kevin Smith’s brief involvement about 6 years ago or so. Then we had the announcement that those hotshot comedy writers Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg had signed on to develop it, with Rogan to star. What kind of superhero movie would these two come up with?
Britt Reid is a shiftless party boy…the son of a famous and much-beloved newspaper editor, although the father shows very little love for his son. Then, Reid is finally forced to grow up when his father is found dead one morning. While grieving, Reid strikes up a friendship with Kato, his father’s former mechanic and an engineering genius. When a night of drunken vandalizing results in Reid and Kato stopping a mugging, Reid gets the idea for him and Kato to become crimefighters. So they begin patrolling the streets as the Green Hornet! However, their activities soon draw the ire of Chudnofsky, the criminal kingpin of the city, and before long the Green Hornet and Kato are in over their heads. Can they get their stuff together and save the city?
What I Liked
As we all know, the coolest part about the 1960s TV was Kato, and once again, Kato is the coolest thing in the movie, as played by Jay Chou. The comedy is very hit and miss, but the hits are good. Christoph Waltz is also rather good as Chudnofsky, the criminal mastermind who’s starting to face an existential crisis. And, of course, the fight scenes are spectacular.
What I Didn’t Like
So, this film was written by a couple of comedy writers, and starred a comedic actor. And that’s part of the problem. This film couldn’t quite figure out how goofy it wanted to be. Some times, it’s very goofy, sometimes, it gets very serious. Cameron Diaz is pretty much wasted as Lenore Case, Britt Reid’s secretary, as she seems to only be in the movie to give our heroes something to fight over.
Meh. It’s good but not great. I did find it to be a satisfying way to kill a Saturday afternoon.