Let me be honest, I was a wee bit skeptical of this re-hash of The Green Hornet franchise. So I wasn’t in any hurry to drop down my hard earned money. I wasn’t sure if I could take Seth Rogen seriously as an action star or how well Michel Gondry could deliver a $70 Million movie. Suffice to say, I was pleasantly surprised.
The Green Hornet came into being in the 30’s, then progressively made it’s way onto television. The most popular translation being the Bruce Lee and Van Williams series from 1966-1967, this would be the first big screen adaptation of the character.
This is the origin story of the title character and the adevntures along the way. We follow Britt and Kato as they becomes masked vigilantes and pose as villians in order to push the crime lords out of the city. The story is decent and unfolds nicely, but it seems to fall flat to me.
Let’s get one things straight, Seth Rogen is not trying to reinvent himself as an action hero. He still plays that grown adolescent who makes wise cracks throughout much of the film. He plays the character with an open mind, knowing that he is still a comedian. Which actually works nicely with his character.
Jay Chou plays Kato, a role made famous by Bruce Lee. He’s descent for what his role demands, action and charm. I felt as if Kato was the lead with Britt being more of a sidekick, seeing as how Kato does most of the action. Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds) plays the movies villian and nails it. He plays a terrifically maniacal man with the intent of defending his reign as the cities number one crime boss.
We do get a lot of action, more so torwards the end. I was impressed with the choreography and Gondry’s vision, creating speed ramped fight scenes that thrill. At times it does seem a little over the top which somewhat clashes with the realistic approach to the genre, but I’m not one to complain.
Not to mention the Black Beauty, Britt’s car. Which is one of the best parts of the film, lending itself to some terrific car action. Guns, explosions, ect.
The only real issue is I don’t feel that they knew what kind of movie they were making, is it an action film or a comedy? Action comedy? It dips in and out of genre too quickly which makes the makes the pacing a little uneven.
I have to give credit to Michel Gondry, who up until now what known for his overly dramatic and artistic films. Eternal Sunshine, The Science Of Sleep — all great films; but it seems like he did this one for the paycheck as opposed to a passion project. We get a few hints at Gondry’s signature style, but it becomes overshadowed by the clicheness of it all.
All in all I had a great time with this movie, it had genuinely thrilling action and a lot of great laughs. Chemistry between all the characters seemed organic, unfortunately it seems a little half assed to me. In no way does this mean that you won’t enjoy yourself, so I would recommend it to anyone looking for a sure fire good time.