The Green Hornet
The Green Hornet Trailer
1960's Green Hornet Intro
The Green Hornet....and his man...Kato! Well, he's not actually his man, as they're relationship is platonic...oh hell you folks get what I mean.
Will the Green Hornet's movie survive one of Stevennix's reviews? Will Green Hornet fans support the film after countless of scrutiny online? Stay tuned kiddies for this exciting edition of...THE GREEN HORNET! (Green Hornet Theme song plays in the background)
Definitely one of the most unique superhero movies ever made....but is that a good thing? Based off the popular superhero, the Green Hornet, Britt Reid (Seth Rogen) is a flashy rich playboy, or self proclaimed playboy I should say, that ends up inheriting his father's newspaper company after his tragic death. For those of you thinking that his father's death is what ultimately inspires him to become the Green Hornet, then you'll be sadly mistaken. Sure, it does play somewhat of a factor, but not the same way you might think. If anything, despite how it's been portrayed in the trailers, this isn't a simple story of a hero avenging his father's untimely demise. No, in the film, Britt's father is allegedly killed by a bee sting or at least, that's what we're led to believe for most of the movie.
After Britt inherits his father's media empire, The Daily Sentinel, he shows little interest in running it, as he's conflicted with a lot of emotions. A part of him is glad his father is gone because he was always kind of a jerk to him, as a child. Displaying in one scene, his father says to him, at the age of ten, "Trying doesn't amount to anything when you always fail." From what I could gather from the movie, Britt's dad was a great media journalist and philanthropist, but he was kind of a douche. Gee, no wonder why Britt is conflicted about him.
Yet, another part of him feels guilty because of the overwhelming shadow his father's legacy casts, as he wonders if he'll be ever be able to fill his dad's shoes or not. However, it's during Britt's mourning he meets Kato (Jay Chou), a ex mechanic and servant to Britt's father, who surprisingly hates the old guy as much as Britt does. Needless to say, this causes them to immediately become friends. Unlike the original TV show, Britt and Kato have more of a brotherly relationship in this movie. Often displaying the same type of behavior brothers would have towards each other like sibling rivalries, and jealousy issues; especially when it comes to Britt's new secretary, Lenore Case (Cameron Diaz). Sadly, as talented and as lovely as Cameron is, she pretty much serves as nothing more than random eye candy in this movie; which is such a waste of talent if you ask me. However, like all sibling rivalries, Britt and Kato inevitably find a silver lining to their relationship.
Anyway, without giving too much away, a unsuccessful prank by our crime fighting duo causes Britt to come up with the idea that they'll become superheroes who act like criminals, to get close to the bad guys. This way, nobody will suspect they're really the good guys. Does their plan work? Or is Britt just being a arrogant pompous a** with this half baked scheme? I can't say, as you'll just have to see the movie to find out. However, I will say this much, I think The Green Hornet purists out there will probably loath and detest this movie. Not because it's awful per say, but because it takes a lot of liberties with the franchise.
One of those liberties is obviously the portrayal of Britt Reid. Although I never listened to the original radio show before, I know in the original TV series Britt was highly resourceful. Sure, he lacked the same martial arts expertise as his partner, Kato (formerly played by the legendary Bruce Lee), but he was always highly intelligent enough to assess any grim situation that might have came their way. In this movie, Britt isn't that resourceful. If anything, he's kind of an a**, as the film portrays him to have more in common with Inspector Jacques Clouseau, the bumbling idiot protagonist of the "Pink Panther" series. However, at least in that series, you could always justify Jacques' mindless stupidity with the notion of good intentions; whereas Seth's Green Hornet is literally just a freaking a**. Then we get to Jay Chou's character, Kato.
Which don't get me wrong, I don't think anyone could ever play Kato the same way Bruce Lee did. In fact, with how the story is set up, Jay Chou doesn't even try to play Kato the same way Bruce Lee did either. No, like Heath Ledger in "The Dark Knight", Jay Chou takes an iconic character and manages to put his own spin on it. Not that I would ever dare compare Jay Chou's performance to Heath's performance in "The Dark Knight", but that's probably the best analogy I could think of to describe how Jay portrays Kato in this film. Although, Kato still is a martial arts expert, who drives a cool car, and kicks serious bad guy a**! However, he's a lot more comical and vocal in his subtle portrayal of Kato, as he's virtually portrayed as a human Swiss army knife, as Britt puts it. A man that ingeniously is not only a one man army, he's also something of an inventor, artist, weapons expert, mechanic, tailor, detective, and can make one helluva a cup of coffee. Why does Kato need the Green Hornet again exactly? Oh well, I guess it wouldn't be much of a action comedy if they didn't have the bumbling sidekick for comic relief. Or in this case, the bumbling comic relief posing as the would be hero, while his sidekick takes care of all the real work.
Although I can't say I agree with some of the changes, I do think that the chemistry between Jay Chou and Seth Rogen is great. Making great use of the sibling rivalry the characters share, along with Britt's ego of wanting to be the big shot hero while secretly being jealous of Kato's abilities; setting up many of the comical situations throughout the movie.
As for my thoughts on Christoph Waltz, I have to say I was a bit disappointed. Don't get me wrong, I love the guy as an actor since I saw his performance in "Inglourious Basterds." However, in this role, I thought he hammed it up too much around the ending. At the beginning of the movie, he was at the top of his game, as his character was intimidating, cunning, and manipulative; which is everything you'd want from your antagonist. Yet as the film progresses towards the end, he soon turns from being a complete mafia lord bad a** to an insane demented weirdo. Of course, I don't blame him entirely for how his character was portrayed around the end, as I'm sure the writers and director, Michel Gondry, are to take partial blame for this as well.
The cinematography in action sequences were brilliant, as all the other criminal cronies were moving in regular motion while Kato and the Green Hornet moved in slow motion was not only a stroke of genius, it also helped intensify many of the action sequences. Plus, it was nice see this film do somewhat of an homage to one of "The Green Hornet's" original TV episodes.
As I said before, most purist fans will probably be outright pissed about some of the liberties taken with the franchise but if your willing to give this film a chance, then you might actually enjoy this well choreographed action comedy. Sure, it has it's flaws, as I felt the writers could have done a better job developing some of their characters better, and making the Green Hornet at least a bit more likable. Hell, even Inspector Jacques Clouseau, from the "Pink Panther" series, had some redeeming qualities, in spite of being a total a**. However, the chemistry between Jay and Seth more than make up for the flaws of this film. Plus, I love Gondry's ingenious use of action cinematography.
Overall, I thought "The Green Hornet" movie was okay. It's not bad enough to deserve the online scrutiny it's getting from it's purist fans, but it's not great either. Definitely worth a rental when it comes out on DVD at a rating of two and a half out of four, as I wouldn't pay to see this in a theater if I were you. The film is good, but it's not that freaking good.