THE GREEN HORNET
General Release 2011
119 minutes approx
Britt Reid/The Green Hornet -
Lenore Case -
Christophe Waltz -
James Reid -
Mike Axford -
Edward James Olmos
Directed by -
Written by -
Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg
Britt Reid never measured up in his father's eyes. Son of a publishing magnate, he has wasted his life on partying and more partying, so when his father dies and he learns of the skills of mechanic Kato, Britt decides to indulge his dreams of being a superhero, but one who is believed to be a villain. As the Green Hornet steals all the headlines, the real crime lord of Los Angeles decides to target him directly.
In the pantheon of superheroes, THE GREEN HORNET isn't one of the greats. He had his own TV show, following on from the radio show that is credited here as the source, but without special powers he relied on his martial arts expert partner and the firepower and technology built into his indestructible car. He is a conglomeration of so many other heroes. The wastrel playboy of BATMAN, the publishing background of SUPERMAN and the powerless man dependent on technology of IRON MAN. There's the obligatory ditzy female assistant who's smarter than most everyone and a dodgy DA to boot.
Whilst it is liberally stealing its influences from all over the place, the film forgets to take only the good parts. The plot is stitched together from all these elements and never manages to make a cohesive whole of them . It doesn't help that Christoph Waltz's villain is not memorably scary, which is ironic since the script has him worrying about not being scary enough throughout.
Christopher NOlan's dark reworkings of the BATMAN mythos has taken the superhero movie into the depths of the soul, so writer/star Rogen and his writing and directing colleagues go for bright, over-the-top action. There is plenty of stuff being blown up and shot to pieces throughout. This is a wish-fulfillment story about a rich kid who gets the world's best toys and is designed to appeal to all the would-be superhero kids out there.
Unfortunately, it's not likely to appeal to many other people. The comedy is too broad and the characters never really manage to get under the skin enough to matter at all. And if you can't care about the good guys then why should you care about the film at all. Cameron Diaz is wasted, but not as much as Edward James Olmos as the editor of the newspaper at the centre of everything.
Michael Gondry tries to throw a little bit of style in there, but this is a comic book movie and there's a pattern to that which you can't really play around with too much.
In the end, it's not exciting enough, not deep enough and not funny enough to expect this hornet to get anywhere beyond this origin story.
THE GREEN HORNET
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