Green Hornet, The (Review)

(1/14/11; Action, Comedy, 3D)
Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, Christoph Waltz, Cameron Diaz
SCR: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg
DIR: Michel Gondry
MPAA: PG-13 for sequences of violent action, language, sensuality and drug content.
1 hour 59 mins
BOX: $98,695,089

This is such a misfire that it’s hard to peg whether it’s a franchise-launcher or a parody. Rogen, a dubious choice, plays Britt Reid, the millionaire son of a newspaper editor (Wilkinson) who inherits his empire and decides to renounce his partying playboy ways and do some good.

With the help of Kato (Chou), the Green Hornet begins to make his mark on the city of Los Angeles. He quickly attracts the attention of Chudnofsky, played with zeal by Waltz as a gangster in the middle of a mid-life crisis in an industry run by young criminals. As interesting as ageism in the crime world sounds, that’s only one of many clever thoughts that get tossed into the blender.

The first half of this movie is decent but once the plot actually kicks in, one gets the sense they made it up as they went (Rogen is credited as co-writer). I’d give it more of a pass if Seth Rogen’s Britt Reid were even remotely likable or good at a single thing, but he’s an ass most of the time and a failure as a crime fighter. It’s Kato, with all of his cool gadgets, who is the brains of the operation.

Rogen acts like an entitled prick at the beginning and he only gets worse. At the film’s most unbearable point, Britt becomes jealous over Lenore Case (Diaz), a secretary who barely tolerates him, and picks a fight with Kato. Before it’s over, they have destroyed the entire house in a sequence the movie can never recover from.

As far as Diaz is concerned, I have no idea why she’s in this film.

Avant-garde director Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) manages to give us some noteworthy visuals but his strength is not in choreographing action sequences. The 3D is pointless, save for a few background shots and conference rooms. That’s right; the most eye-popping 3D is saved for the excitement of a big glass table.


Author: Dennis Willis

Dennis Willis is an award-winning producer, TV host, producer, director, editor (he preferred Avid until a torrid affair with Adobe Premiere, and the rest is history), author and film critic (print and radio). Dennis produced and hosted the TV programs Reel Life, FilmTrip, Soundwaves (1983-2008) and produces the annual Soundwaves Xmas program. He is currently the film critic on KGO Radio in San Francisco, and a member of both the San Francisco Film Critics Circle and the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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