New In Theaters Review: The Green Hornet

Britt Reid (Seth Rogen) is the son and heir to James Reid’s (Tom Wilkinson) Los Angeles newspaper company. All he does is party and sleep with multiple women, and has no plans for his future. When his father dies unexpectedly, Britt is left with the decision of what to do with his life. He meets an employee of his father’s named Kato (Jay Chou), who was in charge of maintaining his father’s large car collection. The two of them realize that with the resources that they have of Britt, now owning the newspaper and being extremely rich, that they could do something worthwhile with their lives. With crime on the rise, Britt comes up with the idea of becoming crime fighters, who pose as villains to get close to the real criminals. Kato builds a virtually indestructible car, which he names Black Beauty. He equips the car with every weapon possible and this will be their ultimate crime fighting machine. Britt hires him an assistant named Lenore Case (Cameron Diaz), to find out who is the top criminal in the city. She discovers that it is a man by the name of Benjamin Chudnofsky (Christoph Waltz) who has taken over all of the gangs in Los Angeles and is now in control of the whole city. Britt and Kato don masks and costumes to disguise themselves and thanks to Kato, Britt names himself the Green Hornet, and he and Kato go out and start destroying Chudnofsky’s drug making factories. This of course gets the attention of Chudnofsky, who then declares an all out war on the Green Hornet. Can Britt & Kato handle the challenges of being superheroes, or have they gotten way over their heads?

Now as some of you may know, the Green Hornet started on radio and then had a television show that only lasted for a few episodes in its first season. The original actors to portray the duo were Van Williams and Bruce Lee. There have been many tries to bring this duo to the big screen for years. It actually took Seth Rogen and his writing partner Evan Goldberg 4 years to finally get it to happen. What they came up with was a more humorous script, than your average action packed superhero movie. I have seen episodes of the old television series, as well as when the Green Hornet and Kato made a guest appearance on the Batman television show. I thought that it was a great crime fighting duo, with Bruce Lee leading the way with his martial arts mastery. So basically I was looking forward to this becoming a motion picture. I have also been a huge fan of Seth Rogen, but had my doubts about him taking on the lead role as Britt Reid aka Green Hornet. I was excited about the actor who would be taking on the role of Kato, as I have seen him in other martial arts films and thought that he would be a good choice. What I didn’t expect, was how much comedy would play in this adaptation. I should have guessed that would be the case, being Seth was writing and staring in it, but I thought that it would be more action than anything else. I was wrong.

The movie is basically a buddy movie, with a lot of comedic scenes, with some action thrown in. Jay Chou, who plays Kato, wasn’t even used to his full potential, in my opinion. The movie never really got me too excited for what was going on, on the screen or in the storyline for that matter. Now I’m not saying it was a total fail, but it definitely wasn’t what it could have been. Christoph Waltz was pretty cool as the villain, as he always wanted people to fear him, even though he was considered old school by criminal standards in the movie. I felt Cameron Diaz wasn’t necessary in the movie and the part should have been played by someone younger in age. To have Rogen and Chou competing for her affection, just seemed quite silly being that they were both so much younger than her. The comedy in the movie wasn’t all that gut busting, which was a surprise, being that Rogen was the star. The action was short and limited, and for all the abilities that the car had, it was really disappointing as to how it was used. The effects in the movie were also a disappointment. During one fight scene, they used an effect to enhance the scenes battle, and it was really rather corny. Luckily it was just used in that one scene. This was a big budget movie, with a straight to DVD feel. There was so much that could have been done with this premise, which seemed to just be over shadowed by the comedic parts of the movie. I gave this movie 1 ¾ punches out of 4. It should have been made into a straight action flick, minus the comedy. It runs 1 hour and 48mins. It was rated PG-13 for sequences of violent action, language, sensuality and drug content. The film was written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg from source material (radio serial) from George Trendle. It was directed by Michel Gondry. The film was produced by Original Film. It was distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing.

“Everything that seems exciting or beautiful is not necessarily great or valuable” – William Shakespeare
Next movie review: TBD

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