The Green Hornet

The Green Hornet (2011) movie poster

(2011) director Michel Gondry
viewed: 06/24/2011

Misguided and broadly vacant, Michel Gondry-directed, Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg-penned superhero movie of The Green Hornet is a bomb.  Rogan, who also stars as Britt Reid (a.k.a., the Green Hornet), had written the much more successful Superbad(2007) with Goldberg, but this jab at genre comic adventure lands with multiple thuds and many swings and misses, with nary a connection throughout.  And Gondry, who has achieved quality in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) but whose track record is much more typically spotty (Human Nature (2001), The Science of Sleep (2006), Be Kind Rewind (2008)), brings verve to some visual sequences but flails miserably at the comedy.  It’s a mess.

Rogan’s Green Hornet is a typical Rogan character as the Green Hornet, a good-natured dude who parties and is really much more of a schlub than a hero.  Jay Chou, who picks up the role of side-kick Kato from the 1960’s television version of The Green Hornet from Bruce Lee, is the super-smart, super-talented, super-kick-ass real hero of the story, though for the film, he is the nameless sidekick.  It’s a modernization/bastardization of the story, played for comedy but is utterly half-assed in its conception.

Rogan’s bromance relationship swings from non-touchy-feely brotherhood to competition and rivalry between the two for their vigilante/heroism and the charms of Cameron Diaz, who has a nominal role in this broadly undefined piece of junk.

Frankly, it’s not worth babbling on about.  Gondry does manage some nice visuals in some of the fight sequences, some over-the-top elements of implied perception.  Kato is able to slow the whole world around him and move extra-fast to punch, kick, and swoop all over the place and the film’s only highlights are some of these clever but disposable sequences.

I did watch it with the kids.  Felix was interested in it.  Clara was extremely bored by it.  Nobody was impressed.  Clara did note the frequency of the use of “the S word” and it was interesting to pay attention to the language of the script that was written to be funny and portray character boiled down to a propensity for “shit”.


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