“ Genre: Action & Adventure / Theatrical Release: 2011 / To Be Announced / Director: Michael Gondry / Actors: Seth Rogen, Cameron Diaz, Christoph Waltz, Jay Chou, Tom Wilkinson ... / DVD released 2011-05-09 at Sony Pictures Home Ent. UK / Features of the DVD: Anamorphic, Colour, PAL, Widescreen „
The Green Hornet, I have to admit, never really sounded like it was going to be a great film when I first heard of it.I suggest that you watch this movie by purchasing the DVD so you can check out all the extras that they put on it and you will not get that by trying to download it from the web.The plot is very far fetched but the overall tone of the films makes this acceptable. We all know whilst watching that things like this wouldn't happen or work in real life, but because the film is a comedy and doesn't take itself seriously, this doesn't really matter.Jay Chou's Kato is the real hero, inventing crazy gadgets and displaying an awesome fighting ability.so, the buzz is that Green Hornet is... OK. It's a shame that if had had the courage of its convictions and dared to be different, it could have been brilliant. so dont buy just rent it .
Seith and his sidekick are outstanding in their action scenes and comedy moments in this movie. They just blend really well together when they decide to fight the bad guys and get them from selling the drugs on the street. Seth's Father has a masive heart atack in the beginning and he ends up taking over his Fathers newspaper company and Cameran Dias shows up on the scene with her sexiness magnetic personallity and wows the fire out of both Seth and his sidekick; a kickass China Man that has special abiliities with martial arts. They end up fighting over Cameran Dias and I cannot blame them because she is most definately a hot number in the movie itself.
I suggest that you watch this movie by purchasing the DVD so you can check out all the extras that they put on it and you will not get that by trying to download it from the web. The story line is supper strong in my honest opinion and I am certain that you will enjoy this movie from beginning to end. I hope that you will check the DVD out and see why I feel it is an awesome movie that is full of action packed scenes combined with extreme laugter.
I am not a comic book fan but I really seem to enjoy comic book films and TV series from the Superman and Batman films from the 80's/90's upto the recent Avengers stuff. I am not, however, a fan of this film.
I simply don't like films that seem to be constantly telling you that you have to laugh and you have to find every joke funny, it becomes tedious and boring after a while.
This does not mean that most people will not like this film.
The feel of the film is more family orientated but there is too much adult humour for it to be. If you like American Pie films and The Hangover this may be your sort of thing.
Seth Rogan and Jay Chou are really good actors, the film is well written and the concept is good.
A bit of story stuff
Britt Reid is a rich, carefree playboy whose world changes when his overbearing father passes away. Bumbling his way through trying to take over the newspaper business he was left and creating a friendship with fathers mechanic Kato, Reid accidently becomes an anti-hero. No sudden powers are given to him, he simply becomes an accidental almost Bruce Wayne (but not quite). With the help of Kato he gets everything a super or anti-hero needs....the gadgets. Nice car with all the bulletproof extras, gun that knocks people out with gas rather than firing anything etc.
And then there is the love interest, enter Cameron Diaz as the new receptionist. Both characters are immediately smitten with Reid coming across as the baffoon with too much money and power and Kato being the sweet but overworked assistant.
Does Reid get the girl in the end? Does the bad guy get his comeuppance? I actually have no idea.
After too many obvious jokes and silly fight scenes (I was expecting the 'kapow' flashes of the Batman series all the time) I gave up, I couldn't watch any more and it bored me.
This is nothing against anything in the film itself, everything was well done, it just simply is not my thing unfortunately. Do not let this put you off watching it, especially if you like comic books and comic book films. Give it a go yourself and see what you think.
If you love watching movies and are ready to just sit and enjoy a really comedy with your family, this is the movie you should pick! Its a fantastic movie! with Seth Rogen in it, all you can expect in unstoppable laughter! He along with Jay Chou make a fantastic tag team that take down a bunch of gangsters. Its really a fantastic movie! Enjoy watching it!
I remember just before watching this film, thinking to myself after looking on IMDB movies at the rating, that it looked like a terrible film. This was re-enforced by my brother, telling me that he watched it at that it was "lame". So, poor expectations, I sat down to watch this film, which I had heard very few positive comments about.
AND HOW I WAS BLOWN AWAY. The comedy in this film is similar to the comedy style in anchorman, or pineapple express. That sort of mad, useless actions that just happen to work out in the end. For example, green hornets assistant accidently shoots him with the knockout gun, and sticks him in a coma for a week!
Or how about when the bad guy enemy decides he too will wear a mask and a cape, and he has great difficulty explaining to his henchmen why exactly a drug leader will done a cape, and only be referred to as "bloodnofsky".
I do recommend this film. If you liked pineapple express, I am pretty confident you will like this film. And I must say its nice that someone made a super hero movie, but gave it that comedy touch, what with Iron man, spider man, Thor, and now the avengers coming out, its nice that there is a "laid back" hero movie.
So why the negative reviews?
I think that this film is not to be taken seriously. Its a comedy, not an action film, and I think that a lot of the people who told me it was terrible were expecting an action film. So in order to get an idea what this film is really like, please forget about it being an action film, because as an action film it does sort of fall apart. Think of it more as a comedy film.
This film I would gladly watch again, and enjoy all those laughs over and over!
I went to see this at the cinema randomly when there was nothing else on. To be honest I hadn't seen the trailer and had no idea what it was about. I also wasn't expecting much from it as I hadn't heard much about it in the media.
The film is directed by Michel Gondry and it based on the original Green Hornet radio show from the 30's. It was released in 2011 and is now available on DVD. I watched it at the cinema when it first came out but have since bought it on DVD for £10. It is probably cheaper than this now though.
The film tells the story of a millionaires son whos father dies after an allergic reaction to a bee sting. The fathers LA newspaper then gets handed over to son Britt Reid (Seth Rogen) as his mother is already deceased. The spoilt party animal of a son then fires off all the house staff except one maid following his fathers funeral, but then has a change of heart and decides to re-hire his fathers mechanic Kato (Jay Chou). The pair then have one too many drinks and visit the graveyard where a memorial statue of Britts father - James Reid (Tom Wilkinson) - stands, and they decide to cut the head off it! Shortly after this they witness a couple being mugged on the quiet street and Britt then discovers Kato is a martial arts expert as he fights off the large group of men single handed.
They then decide to start fighting crime together and create a persona called the Green Hornet. Seth uses his fathers newspaper to publicise the Green Hornet as a warning to the serious criminals. Britt employs Lenore Case (Cameron Diaz) as his assistant. With her qualifications in journalism and criminology she gives them advice (unaware of how they are using it) They then use this info to try to take down Benjamin Chudnofsky (Christoph Waltz) a Russian gangster.
Kato develops loads of cool gadgets to use as weapons and also customises on of James' cars to be used as their main vehicle which they call 'Black Beauty' as well as fashioning masks for them both to wear to hide their identity. The pair soon find themselves out of their depth and we learn whether they can take down Chudnofsky.
The plot is very far fetched but the overall tone of the films makes this acceptable. We all know whilst watching that things like this wouldn't happen or work in real life, but because the film is a comedy and doesn't take itself seriously, this doesn't really matter. Because the plot isn't supposed to be too serious I didn't get a major feeling of rooting for the characters and also didn't get that involved in the story but again this didn't really matter as I don't think it was the films intention. Instead of an engaging realistic plot, it presented a hilarious story which I genuinely enjoyed. Some would say it was a bit silly but I didn't mind this and found it very laid back and a refreshing change from most of the more serious films that I usually watch.
The film focuses on the main plot as described above, however there is also a sub-story involving assistant Lenore whether both Britt and Kato like her and are both trying to win her over. This was also very amusing and added slightly to the film making it less one dimensional in terms of plot. The plot itself develops at a decent pace and I think it's the kind of film that it easy to watch as everything is presented to you without you having to think. Despite this the ending does involve a twist which was a pleasant surprise.
The main themes in the plot are martial arts fighting scenes, gadgets and comedy. I love all of these themes so the film suited me well, however if you're not a fan of these things it probably wouldn't be for you. The film definitely fits into the 'feel-good' category and I left the cinema feeling satisfied and entertained.
Its hard to be too judgemental about the acting in this film as the whole film is a bit of a satire and isn't supposed to be serious. Therefore the acting also didn't need to be serious or too realistic, in fact this would have spoilt the film. Therefore I would say that the acting wasn't that great, yet in an odd way this worked for the film.
In general I don't really rate Seth Rogen who is the main character in the film, I feel he can only play one role which happens to the role within this film. So he was funny and it did work, but I still wouldn't say I am a fan of his or think he is a great actor. I thought Cameron Diaz was ok in the film but it wasn't her best performance, but then it probably wasn't the best role she could have been given.
The other actors in the film were again quite funny and I enjoyed watching them, but there weren't any amazing performances as the film didn't allow for this. James Franco also makes a brief appearance in the film as Danny 'Crystal' Clear.
The effects in this film were really good and I was really glad we saw this at the cinema where we could appreciate the effects. The whole film was set well and almost every scene looked like a lot of work had been put into it production wise. I have heard that a lot of money was put into producing the film and it is easy to understand why when you watch it and I really enjoyed this element of the film and thought it made it a really good experience.
Apparently the car used throughout the film ' Black Beauty', was created using 29 different modified Imperial Crown Sedans. This highlights the extent the film went to create a realistic image and I think it definitely paid off.
I really enjoyed this film and found it really funny. It isn't a deep or realistic film so you can't go into it expecting that, but it is thoroughly entertaining providing you don't take it too seriously. If you like sophisticated fighting scenes and gadgets you will definitely enjoy this film.
Despite the fact that I find superhero and comic book movies incredibly hit or miss I still seem to persist in watching a wide range of titles. After the recent success of Iron Man 2 and Captain America I found myself settling down in front of the TV during the week to watch Seth Rogan take the lead role in The Green Hornet. It's not a comic book I'm familiar with and as such I had no idea about what the storyline would be or whether I'd even enjoy it, but thanks to Lovefilm I was able to find out.
Rise Of The Hornets
Growing up with a millionaire father has its downsides, but Britt Reid seems determined to celebrate the upsides and live the life of a Playboy. When his father is killed Britt becomes the new owner of the Los Angeles Daily Sentinal, the only problem is he doesn't have a clue what he's doing. That is until he and his Dad's former driver stop a robbery and he uses the Sentinal to promote the activities of his new alter ego, The Green Hornet a masked crime fighting hero. Of course like everything else he is out of his depths and only survives through Kato's help and now the Cities top gangs want him dead. Can Britt and Kato bring an end to the crime and corruption before it brings an end to them?
Not As Good As It Could Have Been
The concept of the film could have worked but the execution just wasn't quite good enough. A lot of the ideas for the movie had been done previously in other, better films and that detracted a little from the appeal. In director Michel Gondry I felt they had opted for a strange choice here. He isn't a director with experience of comic book movies and although I'd enjoyed Be Kind Rewind, I wouldn't really have chosen its director for this type of movie. In fairness though he does a good job with the special effects, especially the explosions and the car scenes, which all look very realistic and add a rather more fun element to the movie.
Personally I felt it was let down a little by the script and the constant bickering that had been forced on the two lead characters. For the majority of the film the two leads, Britt and Kato, don't seem to trust or even like each other and that doesn't really create a very believable combination. There is too clear an issue between them, which I felt didn't really get resolved properly. It's a shame because despite a rather predictable script and the tension between the leads it is quite an enjoyable film. It's not great but it is entertaining and for that reason it works in spite of its problems.
If the choice of director had me surprised then the lead role being given to Seth Rogan was even more of a shock. Now let me put that into context, Seth is a great comedy actor, but I'd never really considered him as an Action movie star. He does take to the role of Britt quite well and adds some of his own unique humour to the role, which does work. In the role opposite him is Jay Chou an up and coming Taiwanese actor who I'd not previously come across before. Like Seth he takes to the role of Kato well, but it's the unresolved tension between the two even before the love interest is introduced that drops the quality of this film.
That love interest is played by Cameron Diaz, giving a very assured performance as Britt's new PA. She gets involved with Kato causing a slight increase in the tension between the two. As always her performance is decent but she doesn't really add much more than a pretty face to the plot. The real star of the piece for me was Christoph Waltz as the crime king pin Chudnofsky. His determined attempts to kill the Green Hornet were good and his presence in the film gives the viewer a character they will love to hate.
Could Have been Better
Whilst it isn't a bad film it could have been a lot better with a touch more plot and character development. It is entertaining though with good special effects, fight sequences and car chases that take the edge off the films worse points. It is never going to be a classic and if they don't make a second it's one of those films that will be forgotten about, it is however a good way to spend 2 hours of a Winter's evening with an easy going, simple to follow movie
** film only review ** The Green Hornet, I have to admit, never really sounded like it was going to be a great film when I first heard of it. I am a fan of Seth Rogen and enjoyed quite a lot of his hilariously immature 'coming of age' films that many will be able to relate to on some level.
This, however, is an entry into perhaps, the 'better left forgotten' category.
Now, don't get me wrong. it's not a BAD film. It's just that, well, it's not very good.
It makes Seth Rogen's entry in the league of superhero films, and whilst it is stylish, the action scenes are fluid and entertaining, and the dialogue can be quite funny, it is definately missing something. Now, I know, I know - some of you will say 'Well, it's a superhero film - it's MEANT to be a bit shallow and a bit like a popcorn film'. But you see, I disagree. I wanted this to be good. I'll be the first to admit I'm a Marvil fan over DC any day but some of the stuff they have been producing lately have made me stand up and take notice (the new Batman series in particular). I wanted this under-rated and quite gritty superhero story to come to life! It's a great concept, in a similar vein to Kick-Ass, but with a sidekick who can actually fight. It seems as though they've made a film where the main character takes no responsibility but takes all the credit.
The film revolves around a newpaper magnate's son, Britt Reid (The Green Hornet, played by Seth Rogen), who teams up with his father's aide, Kato (played wonderfully by Jay Chao), who is a master at technology, martial arts and making the perfect coffee (yes, really). They decide to help their city by becoming masked crime fighters. The Green Hornet picks a fight, and Kato clears up the mess, whilst their cool gear and gadgets are paid for by Britt's vast inheritance.
I wish I could say that there was a little more to the film than this - but in watching it, all I saw was one spoiled rich kid, wanting to fight crime. The morals and precent leading up to Britt and Kato becoming masked vigilantes seemed weak and silly. It seemed just like any other generic cash-grabbing entry into the popularity of superhero franchises, and that's all it seemed like, to me.
Sorry, you may disagree with me, and I will admit I didn't know too much about the Green Hornet before this, but it sure didn't leave me wanting to know any more. And that, in itself, tells me all I need to know - that to me, it was flimsy entry into the genre and one that, ultimately, will be forgotten.
The Green Hornet is a masked crime fighter who first appeared in a 1930s radio show. Most people familiar with the character however recognise him from the sixties TV programme which featured the legendary Bruce Lee as Hornet's right hand man Kato. Supposedly the Green Hornet is a distant relative of the Lone Ranger... I guess having a minority as your side kick runs in the family. I've been watching a lot of super hero movies lately so I decided to give this one a go, especially as it brought something new to the table. Unlike other hero themed flicks the Green Hornet concentrates on comedy over action. Will the decision to go with laughs pay off? Let us find out.
Britt Reid is a male version of Paris Hilton. He spends his time partying it up, doing nothing constructive and spending daddy's mega bucks. Things change when his old man croaks after suffering an allergic reaction to a bee sting. Reid inherits ownership of his father's newspaper The Daily Sentinel which gives him the opportunity to do something worthwhile with his life. After deciding to fulfil a childhood dream to become a costumed hero, he uses the paper to publicize his exploits as the mysterious Green Hornet. Naming yourself after the creature responsible for killing your dad may be in poor taste, but who cares it's a cool moniker as far as hero names go. If you don't like the Green Hornet alias you can buzz off (no pun intended.)
Cleaning up the city streets is a task too big for one nincompoop to accomplish, but thankfully Reid is aided by his employee/best friend Kato. Together they make a formidable team. Kato is a genius when it comes to designing gadgets and martial arts whilst Reid provides the finances and erm... morale support? The duo initially have a blast saving the day and battling crime, but it isn't long before their activities grab the attention of Russian kingpin Benjamin Chudnofsky. How will the fledgling vigilantes cope against the threat of the mobster with the tough to spell surname? Can the odd couple stop arguing amongst themselves to take down the gangster and get away with their lives? Time will tell.
Funny man Seth Rogen, who co-wrote the film, plays the role of Britt Reid aka The Green Hornet. His character is pretty much a buffoon who lets his partner do all the work. I think they may have been playing off the fact that in the sixties TV series Bruce Lee's Kato ended up stealing the show with his flashy fighting skills. Watching the film reminded me a little of the Inspector Gadget cartoons I used to love as a child. The main character stumbles along from danger to danger and gets all the plaudits for a job well done even though the viewer knows that it was the humble side kicks who saved the day. Silly Dr Claw... you could have ruled the world had you ignored the trench coat wearing clown and targeted the dog and lass with the pigtails instead.
Jay Chou who plays Kato is the straight man of the group. Reid provides the comic relief whilst his Asian partner gets down to business kicking arse and designing weapons like the gas gun the Hornet. The chemistry between the pair is what is meant to carry the movie, but unfortunately they don't seem to gel that well. You'll get some chuckles when the two are interacting, but as far as buddy comedies go their team up doesn't work as well as say Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker in Rush Hour. When the jokes work it's good, but when the gags fall flat you'll wish that Kato would dump the annoying Reid who is more of a hindrance than a help in their mission.
Supporting characters include Christoph Waltz as the villain Benjamin Chudnofsky and Reid's secretary Lenore Case played by Cameron Diaz. When we first see Chudnofsky he comes across as a ruthless enemy, but as the film progresses he degenerates into a silly cartoon like character who shoots henchmen due to insecurities that no one fears him. Diaz was alright although to be honest she didn't do much other than create a love triangle between herself, Reid and Kato that didn't go anywhere. With a few small tweaks to the story her character could have been written out of the movie completely. I was surprised that they splashed out the cash to hire Diaz for what was a minor role. A lesser known actress would have sufficed for the part in my opinion.
As someone who has never seen the TV series I cannot hazard a guess as to how a fan of the show would receive this version of the Green Hornet. From what I hear the sixties programme played things straight so I would assume they wouldn't approve of this sillier adaptation of the character. Despite focusing on comedy there is some action to enjoy although the martial arts on display gets ruined by overuse of slow motion effects. Those seeking thrills will probably get more enjoyment from the car chase scenes featuring the Black Beauty. As far as vehicles with gadgets go that thing can give KITT from Knight Rider a run for his money.
In the end The Green Hornet turned out to be a rather uneven film. My rating of the movie kept fluctuating from scene to scene. Something cool would happen and I would consider awarding the film four stars, but then I would start to lose interest lowering the rating to a potential two. On the whole I think the film deserves three stars. It is worth catching on TV if you are fond of Seth Rogen comedies and if you have a passing interest in superheroes. I wouldn't buy the DVD at full price though. If you really want to sample the DVD contents I would suggest waiting for a price drop or renting it. As far as movie heroes go Green Hornet gets a C from me... barely missing out on a "bee" minus.
"The Green Hornet" is your same old typical Hollywood remake. Non-stop explosions, CGI, shot in 3D. And it is also your same old typical Seth Rogen comedy. Seth Rogen acting like a retard and scattered raunchy humor. While "The Green Hornet" is a ridiculous movie it's also an enjoyable one. It's not painful to watch. The action scenes were awesome. It's not really as bad as anyone else is saying. "The Green Hornet" is completely fun and ridiculous.
The biggest problem here in "The Green Hornet" is Seth Rogen's portrayal of Britt Reid. He's not playing Green Hornet. He's just playing himself all the time with fighting. If he's not around in one scene the movie is quite serious. The slow-mo fights and the car chases were awesome. How about the 3D? The 3D was good especially when there are sparks coming out the screen
If you want a family fun film then this is a safe bet.
This was almost as good as the original TV series with the main actor Seth Rogen being very good in the main role. Jay Chou was never going to be as good as Bruce Lee, but he did an OK job. The villain was pretty good though, he did bring the comedy to this movie. This is a movie that starts of fast and keeps that pace throughout the movie. It keeps you on the edge of your seat. For a comic book movie the The Green Hornet is quite good, even though it is a bit corny. The nerds will enjoy this. The movie is kinda like all other comic book movies. The stars father dies, he is a bit of a womanizer, and he fights crime with his driver. You kinda know whats gonna happen before it happens but that is a problem with most comic movies. If you have nothing better to do on a Friday night, watch this.
*** Film only review ***
The story begins when useless playboy Britt Reid (Seth Rogen) suddenly inherits his father's newspaper, The Sentinel, following his untimely death.
At first, Reid is content to let his employees run the paper while he continues his hedonistic lifestyle, until his morning cup of coffee fails to please. Discovering his fired mechanic, Kato, is also the coffee maker, Reid spends time with him. There's a lot more to Kato (Jay Chou) than meets the eye: he's a technological genius and martial arts expert. The pair bond over alcohol and their issues with Reid's late father, and a friendship of sorts is forged.
A late-night prank turns into a spot of vigilante justice, which gives Reid the idea to use his money and Kato's skills to form a masked crime-fighting duo.
In the meantime, underworld gang boss Chudnofsky (Christolph Waltz) is having a bit of a midlife crisis and becoming conscious of his image. He doesn't take kindly to the Green Hornet stepping on his toes...
I'd never heard of the Green Hornet before watching this film, so have no idea whether it stays true to the character's earlier incarnations.
Of itself, it's a paint-by-numbers storyline from the superhero genre, albeit lifted by some twists on the theme. I quite liked that the 'hero' has nothing but his money to bring to the table, at least in the beginning. Rogen, although slimmed down for this role, doesn't fit the action hero mould too well, but maybe that's part of the point about the Hornet? The Reid character would be completely unsympathetic as the spoilt by riches (if starved emotionally) playboy, even with the 'daddy issues' introductory scenes, but Rogen's genial on-screen persona pulls it back a bit. The character is still an utter, overprivileged numpty, however.
Jay Chou's Kato is the real hero, inventing crazy gadgets and displaying an awesome fighting ability. Fight scenes in the movie are choreographed well and excitingly. Chou is personable and engaging on-screen.
Cameron Diaz plays Lenore Case, who unwittingly becomes the brains of the operation. She also is the cause of tension between Reid and Kato, who are both attracted to her. Although older than both her co-stars, Diaz makes a good romantic interest: her character is feisty, intelligent and independent. I like how her part of the story ends, although over all she doesn't have a lot to do in the movie.
Christoph Waltz as the underworld leader, Chudnofsky, plays his part with menace and a good measure of humour. But again, he doesn't have that much to do and to an extent it felt like he was going through the motions.
The Green Hornet doesn't really seem to know what it wants to be, as a sometimes uncomfortable mix of genres. It didn't go far enough to be a parody of the superhero genre, and isn't convincing as a straight action movie. I'd probably describe it as an action/comedy, although it's not exactly a laugh a minute.
It's had a terrible panning, which is mostly well-deserved, but I didn't hate it. In fact, I quite enjoyed it! It's not a movie I felt the need to switch off or bemoan the 119 minutes of my life I wasted on watching it, anyway. I'd say it's one to watch with few expectations and a glass of something.
It's available to rent or buy from all the usual DVD rental places & retailers (currently priced £9.97 from Amazon).
Product details (as per Amazon):
* Actors: Seth Rogen, Cameron Diaz, Christoph Waltz, Jay Chou, Tom Wilkinson
* Directors: Michael Gondry
* Format: PAL
* Language English
* Subtitles: Arabic, Catalan, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, Hindi, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish
* Region: Region 2
* Number of discs: 1
* Classification: 12
* Studio: Sony Pictures Home Ent. UK
* DVD Release Date: 2 May 2011
* ASIN: B003D3NUNA
Eterrnally unsure of what to expect next from the juvenile comedy machine that is Seth Rogen, and equally unaware of what The Green Hornet was all about, I went into this with the knowledge that the slightly chunky actor had shed some pounds in order to become a superhero for his latest film. I was really unsettled, but knowing that I'd never really been let down by him before, I was quite looking forward to it.
Rogen plays Brett Reid, the spoilt and lazy son of multimillionaire businessman James Reid. The depth of this plot extends to this: when his dad dies in mysterious circumstances, Rogen teams up with James' assistant Kato to fight crime. There you go, in a nutshell. I'd like to say there's something a bit deeper to it, and the plot involving a local Russian mafia businessman does provide us with some acting clout in the form of Christoph Waltz, but really it just doesn't what genre it wants to fit into.
There are some entertaining scenes, and when they're deliberately trying to focus on the comedy rather than anything else, it kind of works. The problem is that the majority of the film is completely divided between an action superhero movie and Rogen's comfort zone of silly comedy. Okay, so I laughed a few times: I do that watching You've Been Framed, but it doesn't make it the best TV programme. The large part of the film I spent wondering when it was going to kick into gear. Rogen's usual ability to turn the most mundane character into life seems to have disappeared along with his gut, and his new svelte slim physique certainly comes in handy for some of the tighter outfits he ends up wearing, but the whole vigilante by night thing just doesn't cut it for me.
Conversely, jay Chou's portrayal of Kato is pitched just right, as far as I can tell. He's a somewhat silent but deadly character, martial arts skill like no other, and this is shown well by the use of slow motion filming and even the pre-emptive calculations by Kato as if we're seeing him map out his moves in his head before he does them. On these occasions, the action is very impressive, and I enjoyed them. In another film, I'd have said they were excellent. Here, though, they're kind of lost on me as the underlying fact is that any moment you expect Rogen to come out with yet another juvenile comment, or stutter when trying to chat up the love interest of the film, Lenore Chase. The clash between Rogen's juvenility and Cameron Diaz's portrayal of Chase just doesn't work at all. I felt there was no chemistry, and in my opinion someone just got it wrong in the casting stakes. In Knight and Day, Tom Cruise showed that by aiming at an injection of comedy into his usual action roles worked well. Rogen is a prime example of how it just hasn't worked going the other way round. Diaz plays the bland female in amongst it all. The difference is that here it just doesn't work.
I had flashes of hope at points, and the occasional scene does show that Rogen's potential for a more serious character performance is certainly on the cards. I do admire him as an actor, and I know it sounds like I'm slating him something rotten here, but it's just that I expected so much more from him. Previously, he has shown me that he knows exactly where his niche is, and exactly how he should play the characters given to him. Here, though, I just felt the balance was all wrong, and although it wasn't all his fault, the fact that he's the lead role highlights it on his head more than anyone else's. I really hope we get a shock soon and he gives us a straight role, no comedy, just sheer acting skill, as I know he's got it there. This time, he has tried the action and comedy mix, but leaning on the former as the focus and donning a superhero outfit just hasn't worked - especially as he doesn't even have any superpowers..............
I'm sure by now you've guessed that I didn't really like this film. A few moments here and there gave it a certain sense of credence, and it wasn't hard to follow what was going on, but when special effects, a comedy giant, some impressive martial arts and a reliable quality actor such as Waltz can't turn it around, you just know there was something wrong with this in general. Can't recommend it.
Have you heard the buzz? There's a new superhero in town. Will it have crowds swarming to the cinema? And, having handed over £10+ to watch it, will it leave them feeling stung? It's time to bee-hive, stop with the rubbish stinging insect jokes and review Seth Rogen's Green Hornet.
The film follows the adventures of Britt Reid, playboy and heir to a newspaper fortune and his sidekick Kato. Despite being a bit, well, rubbish, young Britt decides to make a difference, fighting crime and taking on local kingpin Chudnofsky.
Despite trying to introduce something a bit different, Green Hornet treads a well worn path for a comic book conversion, covering the character's origins and key moments (the creation of the all-important suit). At the same time, it injects a dose of tongue-in-cheek humour, never resorting to parody or satire, but never taking itself too seriously, either.
Whilst this more humorous approach does bring benefits, it also means that tonally, The Green Hornet is very uneven. It seems unable to decide whether it wants to be a straight superhero film, full of action and fights or an ironic, postmodernist look at the whole hero genre. At times it is one, at times, the other; and at times, it tries to be both things simultaneously.
It also suffers in that it has been pipped to the post in what it is trying to do. We've already had one ironic, post-modernist superhero film featuring an inept "hero" being constantly rescued by a "sidekick" (Kick-Ass) and, whilst not perfect itself, Kick-Ass was easily the better film.
When Green Hornet decides what it wants to be, it works quite well. The action sequences (usually car chases and fist fights) are well handled. Like so much else in the film, they don't bring anything new to the party, but they do add some interest and excitement. The fights involving Kato are particularly satisfying.
Similarly, when it concentrates purely on the humour, it makes for an enjoyable watch. Some of the interplay between Reid and Kato is laugh out loud funny, their inept antics and constant bickering will raise a smile; whilst there are a few more subtle digs at the whole superhero genre which will please many.
The real issue comes when it tries to mix both within the same scene. It's almost as though Seth Rogen (as writer) and Michel Gondry (as Director) couldn't quite decide whether to make it an action-comedy or a comedy-action and it's here that the film becomes a little lost and confused. Unfortunately, there are all too many of these. For every good action sequence or laugh out loud moment, there are moments of dull plot development which slow the pace considerably and render large parts of it rather dull to watch.
The key cast do their best to keep the energy up, although the pedestrian script defeats them at times. There's not doubt, though, that without the central pairing of Seth Rogen (Britt Reid/Green Hornet) and Jay Chou (Kato), the film would fare far worse. The script does have a slightly lazy tendency to result on them constantly falling out to gain easy laughs, but their constant bickering, sniping and general unsuitability for heroing remains fun for the most part. True, Rogen is initially very annoying (his surfer dude tendency to say "whoa!" to everything grates). Yet, as the film progresses, so Rogen (and Reid) settle down and become much more fun. Rogen even looks in surprisingly good shape for the role if you only know him from his "flabby loser" look.
Jay Chou as the put-upon Kato is simply endearing. Even when you see how lethal he can be in a fight, he manages to exude an air of vulnerability which makes him likeable character. Certainly, Kato is easily the character the audience will identify with most readily and (like the Bruce Lee-starring TV series) is the real star of the show.
Rogen and Chou work surprisingly well as a double act. After some initial stumbles, there is a genuine sense of chemistry between them that provides much of the film's heart and almost all of its laughs. There are some priceless scenes, as they bicker and argue and blame each other for everything, whilst still managing to thwart crime. Their humour is often underplayed and a little too hit-and-miss but when it works, it is very, very funny (arguably, the film's high point is the scenes when Green Hornet wakes up after accidentally gassing himself).
It's a shame that the rest of the cast is wasted. Cameron Diaz is clearly there just to add a bit of star wattage, disappearing for large chunks of the running time and not left with a great deal to do when she does appear (although it is positive to note that she is not lazily cast in the usual "damsel in distress" role.)
The same is true of the fabulous Christoph Waltz as bad guy Chudnofsky. Waltz is criminally underused - pun definitely intended. His softly spoken, slightly sad little man makes for a great villain - both amusing and deadly. In some ways it's similar to his Hans Landa in Inglourius Basterds, yet at the same time, very different. Yet, like Diaz, Waltz only appears in relatively few scenes and never really gets the chance to develop his bad guy. Indeed, the lack of any "proper" nemesis is a further drain on Green Hornet's.
As usual, the 3D element is simply Hollywood's latest gimmick and adds little (other than extra cost) to the film. There are two exceptions: a stunningly realised sequence when we step into the Hornet's mind as he pieces the mystery together. Brave and very unusual for an action movie, it works very well and almost justifies the use of 3D. The other sequence that benefits from the presence of 3D is the end credits - a series of brilliant, comic book style panels that really capture the spirit of graphic novels. Having witnesses these, you can't help but feel that if the rest of the film had displayed even a tenth as much imagination, then Green Hornet would have been very, very good indeed.
So, the buzz is that Green Hornet is... OK. It's a shame that if had had the courage of its convictions and dared to be different, it could have been brilliant. Hornet works best when it takes the superhero genre and gives it a little twist. Sadly, it does this all too rarely and the end result is something that ends up being a little tame. Mildly fun to watch once, but it's unlikely it will ever get more than one spin in your DVD player.
Rent, don't buy - or else you're likely to feel you've been stung.
The Green Hornet
Director: Michel Gondry
Running time: approx. 119 minutes
© Copyright SWSt 2011
When carefree and wealthy bachelor Britt Reid loses his father in a sudden and mysterious fashion he is left with a media empire he has no idea how to run. Worse still he has sacked the one man who makes a decent cup of coffee! Re-hiring coffee maker and gadget creator extraordinaire Kato turns out to be the best decision he has ever made as in a drunken stupor they decide to become masked superheroes for the night. Unfortunately, for them they have attracted the attention of a local crime lord who has decided to make killing them a priority. How can they hide from this new enemy? With their new found notoriety do they even want to?
As you can see this isn't a thinking persons film. It is fundamentally a slapstick superhero movie played for laughs for the large majority largely thanks to main star Seth "Knocked Up" Rogen's role as executive producer and main star. Michael Gondry might be the Director of "The Green Hornet" but anyone expecting a cerebral film such as "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" is set to be severely disappointed. Gondry's presence is almost totally absent from the film and it is clear that this is Seth Rogen comedy vehicle. That isn't to say this is a terrible film, just don't expect it to be an award winner at the Oscars!
Superhero movies always seem to work better when the hero doesn't give off a sense of invincibility and you certainly couldn't accuse Rogen's "Green Hornet" of that. This bumbling figure is carried along by the impressive martial arts skills and James Bond's "Q like" gadgetry of sidekick Kato played with some vigor by Asian popstar Jay Chou. Taking on the mantle of Kato is no mean feat when Bruce Lee took the role in the 1960's TV series. However, Chou pays homage to Lee in a number of ways and his action scenes are definite highlights in terms of turning "Green Hornet" into a more credible movie.
More of a buddy movie than anything the interplay between Rogen and Chou is what makes the film ultimately worth your time. The chemistry they have is great and they share some great comedic lines and fight scenes which add charm to what would otherwise be a run of the mill action flick. Unfortunately, there is an issue however with how the film flows. There have been a lot of cast changes to this film over the many years of it's pending release and I think they have taken there toll as the film jumps from action to comedy and doesn't seem to know what it wants to be. This film reminds me a lot of Jackie Chan's buddy movies whether it be with Owen Wilson in "Shanghai Noon" or Chris Tucker in "Rush Hour". Unlike, these films though it isn't clear that this is supposed to be an out and out comedy and I found myself confused as to whether I should be laughing or not.
This is a shame because despite being disjointed the moments of comedy and action are pretty great. The gadgetry on show is exciting and amusing while the action sequences although resorting to the cheap tactic of bullet time and slowdown hit the mark. The performances apart from Rogen and Chou are largely dialled in with Cameron Diaz playing the ditzy love interest she has in a million and one movies. Christopher Waltz playing the hammiest villain you will ever see (complete with terrible Russian accent) is either brilliant or terrible depending on whether he is playing it for laughs or not.
All in all "The Green Hornet" is a weird one. Undoubtedly entertaining it is so patchy that it seems to have been shot and stapled together seemingly in no discernible order. Worth a watch but undoubtedly a throwaway DVD rental at best.