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The Green Hornet (DVD)
Member Name: Mephit
The Green Hornet (DVD)
Advantages: some good fight sequences, some laughs, nice gadgets
Disadvantages: movie not sure what it wants to be
*** 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
Summary: Watch with few expectations and a glass of something