The Green Hornet
- Director:Michel Gondry
- Cast:Nicolas Cage, Cameron Diaz, Seth Rogen
- Release Date:January 20, 2011
- Running time:119 minutes
- Film Worth:$9.50
- FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
Despite the talent involved, this ends up an underwhelming superhero flick marred by dull action and non-existent chemistry between the cast.
As The Green Hornet messily unspools, if you listen closely enough, you can just faintly hear the sound of a dead horse being flogged. Surely, this will be the final piece of evidence needed to prove that the superhero genre has been well and truly tapped out? Upcoming examples of the genre such as Thor and Captain America are admittedly a little different because they're pieces of an existing masterplan that's already been laid out via other films such as Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk. The quality of Christopher Nolan's Batman films, meanwhile, is beyond reproach, and his superhero movies have truly risen above the genre. But when Hollywood chooses to revamp a dusty, musky, cobwebbed old property like The Green Hornet, the alarm bells should start ringing. What's next? The Spirit? Oh, wait a minute, they've already done that...
At least The Green Hornet looked good on paper: it boasts a script by comic firebombs Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (Superbad); visionary filmmaker Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind) is in the director's chair; and Oscar winner Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds) is on board as the bad guy. In the beginning, it works. The story of hard partying rich kid Britt Reid's transformation into the masked crime fighter The Green Hornet, and his rocky relationship with his martial arts expert employee and sidekick Kato (Jay Chou), is initially played out with enjoyable snap (helped immeasurably by an early unbilled cameo from James Franco).
But things get tiresome pretty quickly. Michel Gondry's action sequences are sloppy and dull; the echoes of superior films such as Iron Man, Batman Begins, Kick-Ass and Kill Bill are so loud as to be deafening; and Cameron Diaz' super-smart secretary character feels completely out of place, and the attempted love triangle between her and the two lead characters is so underwritten and poorly played that it barely registers.
The main problem, however, are the lead characters themselves. As Britt Reid, the usually charming Seth Rogen is wholly insufferable. Not helped by the fact that his character is a selfish, rude, demeaning, self-absorbed turd, Rogen is totally at sea here, and his smart-arse dialogue only serves to make Britt seem like even more of a shit. Meanwhile, the sweet and physically impressive Jay Chou's dialogue delivery as Kato is stilted and at times practically incomprehensible. As with the film's plot though, it's again the sidekick who is the most likeable of the two performers. Rogen and Chou's chemistry, however, is near non-existent, rivalled only by the lack of heat that they generate with Diaz.
With The Green Hornet, creative driving force Seth Rogen has not only delivered a decidedly underwhelming superhero flick, he's also engineered his own disappointing transformation from nice guy everyman into big budget studio player. Unlike most superheroes, he was far more interesting before he donned a mask and started kicking the shit out of bad guys...