The Green Hornet (2011)

February 21, 2011

Starring: Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, Christoph Waltz, Cameron Diaz, Tom Wilkinson
Director: Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Be Kind Please Rewind, Human Nature)
Quick Thoughts: When Seth Rogen was starring in “Undeclared” a decade ago, I didn’t really envision him becoming an A-list movie star and I certainly didn’t expect him to star in a superhero film. Boy how times have changed. It’s still hard to accept Rogen as a superhero, but The Green Hornet isn’t really one of the most beloved comic book icons. Surprisingly enough, Rogen makes it work, both as a writer and an actor. Rogen penned the script with good pal Evan Goldberg (Superbad, Pineapple Express) and turn The Green Hornet’s story into something worth watching. Rogen plays Britt Reid, the spoiled, unambitious son of a billionaire newspaper mogul. He spends his days sleeping in until the afternoon, waking up with girls he doesn’t recognize and slouching around after another night of hard partying. His world is shaken up when his father dies suddenly and he finds himself at the head of the family business. Reid ends up befriending one of his father’s employees, Kato, a young man with an amazing skill set that includes martial arts mastery and ridiculous engineering abilities. Inspired by Kato’s prowess, Reid takes up the identity of The Green Hornet and together they set out to take on the city’s underworld.

The Green Hornet is a perfect mesh of comedy and action. Kudos to the production team for turning a film about a C-List superhero and it something that’s consistently funny, fast-paced, and entertaining. In a lot of ways, The Green Hornet asks the question: What if Kick-Ass had Bruce Wayne’s resources and a Tony Stark/Bruce Lee hybrid for a sidekick? Rogen is perfectly cast as Britt Reid, playing our inexperienced hero with naivety and a sense of wonder about what he’s doing. Wanting so desperately for a rush in his life that he’s willing to ignore just how easily he could be killed. Jay Chou makes for a good sidekick and does solid work throughout the film, putting his martial arts skills on display. He does Bruce Lee’s former roll justice. Christoph Waltz, who won an Oscar for his role in Inglorious Basterds last year, doesn’t have quite as much to work with this time around, but manages to give a cold-blooded killer a believable sense of humor. James Franco has an awesome cameo at the beginning of the movie that is straight up hilarious. The special effects in this movie are a little cheesy at times, but don’t take away too much from the film. I enjoyed The Green Hornet. It’s not The Dark Knight, but it’s much better than I ever thought it would be and is at least better than any of the superhero movies that came out last year.
Viewings: 1
Replay Value: Might actually improve with multiple viewings. Comedies tend to do that.
Sequel Potential: I’m down.
Oscar Potential: January movies don’t tend to get much Oscar buzz.
Nudity: None
Grade: 6/10 (Recommended)
Recommendation: A surprisingly solid and funny action flick about a superhero no one really cares about.

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