Saturday, 11 June 2011

DVD Review: The Green Hornet

Rating: 4.5/10 - Forgettable

The Quest is a typical form of plot outline that tends to focus on a hero who has to learn new things, and learn how to be who they are. It’s about the inner journey. They always have new tools, new friends, and one evil antagonist waiting to tear their hearts out too. This plot has been played out over and over, most likely because it not only looks awfully like real life on a grand scale, but also because it’s comfortable. Predictable. Of course, we only care about the hero if he reforms.

Director: Michael Gondry. Screenplay: Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Producer: Neal H Moritz. Executive Producers: Evan Goldberg, Michael Grillo, Ori Marmur, Seth Rogen and George W. Trendle Jr. Cinematographer: John Schwartzman. Editor: Michael Tronick. Score: James Newton Howard. Distributor: Columbia Pictures. Starring: Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, Christoph Waltz, Cameron Diaz, Edward James Olmos and Tom Wilkinson. Running time: 119 Minutes.

The premise of The Green Hornet is simple enough, mega-billionaire playboy loafer Britt Reid (Seth Rogan) comes into the family fortune, a newspaper business The Daily Sentinel, when his father dies. His father was mean to him, as shown in two scenes, the latter of which had me whole heartedly agreeing with Mr Reid (Tom Wilkinson) – his son is a good for nothing sponge. Does Britt see his father’s death as an opportunity for greatness? As if. The only reason he stumbles upon the super-genius Kato (Jay Chou) is because he throws a hissy fit for a cup of coffee with a leaf pattern. Britt Reid is in need of a solid eight-hour work day, clocking in and clocking out, but he decides instead to become the masked super-hero The Green Hornet after stumbling upon and ending an attempted mugging. A life in crime fighting is what he needs. Using the media resources to hand, he builds up the enigma of The Green Hornet, assisted by his secretary (Cameron Diaz). Naturally this has the criminal mastermind Chudnofsky (Christoph Waltz) stocking up in cement boots and horse heads ready to combat this mysterious avenger.

Here’s the problem. The hero of the story, for far too long in the story, is Kato. The toys, cars and devices are his, he’s got the moves, he’s got the smarts. Britt Reid is just plain arrogant, childish and an all-round buffoon. In a scene where he accidentally gets knocked comatose for eleven days, I wished it was for the rest of the movie. But Reid’s the hero. He has to be redeemed. Too little, way too late.

The Green Hornet is billed as an action comedy. Action there is. Comedy there isn’t. Cameron Diaz is completely wasted in her role as the more than competent damsel who has to put up with Reid’s lack of social skills. Jay Chou mumbles through his lines. Seth Rogen is Seth Rogen, displaying none of the charm that we’ve seen before in Zac and Miri Make a Porno. The only decent scene is at the beginning with a cocky James Franco playing thug ‘Crystal Clear’.

Verdict: If you like gadgets, James Bond has better, if you like action spoofs, Megamind is better, if you’re into action, any number of movies are better. An awkward hybrid that just doesn’t come together. Wait for the TV re-runs.

The Green Hornet is available now on DVD and Blu-ray.

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