The Green Hornet is Michel Gondry‘s newest film based on the characters created by George W. Trendle and Fran Striker. It stars Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, Christoph Waltz, Cameron Diaz, Tom Wilkinson, Edward James Olmos, James Franco and Edward Furlong.
After the death of his father, media mogul James Reid (Tom Wilkinson), party animal and general nuisance Britt Reid (Seth Rogen) takes over the family newspaper, albeit without any actual interest. But when he teams up with his father’s former assistant Kato (Jay Chou), a genius with all kinds of machines and martial arts, and they find that they could become superheroes, Britt uses the newspaper to his advantage – but with consequences he didn’t see coming. Mostly in form of the city’s villain Chudnofsky (Christoph Waltz).
The Green Hornet has much to commend it. And then there is Seth Rogen.
Here’s what’s good about the film: Michel Gondry really plays with his usual long shots and it works perfectly. I also liked what is already referred to as “Kato vision”. When Kato’s fighting, it generally reminds me of Stephen Chow (who was attached to the project at some point). I don’t know if that’s a nod from Gondry, or a kind of remainder of Chow’s involvement, but it works very well.
The relationship between Kato and Britt was also very well done: You know why they’re friends (though I wouldn’t necessarily want to be friends with them) and it’s nice to see their relationship develop. Christoph Waltz was amazingly funny and James Franco’s cameo was brilliant. [I barely recognised Edward Furlong, though.]
Unfortunately what I didn’t expect was that I would be sitting in a total Seth Rogen movie. [If I had known that he’d written the script, I might have been better prepared for that.] That means that the world in this film is populated by man-children, who look to smart women for general guidance and motherhood [seriously, there are mommy issues there, it’s astonishing] and are annoying as hell and don’t take responsibility and after all that expect a cookie because they didn’t kill anybody. I can’t get on board with that.
The script and the plot were the weakest link in the film. There were a few laughs, but not as many as you’d hope. The showdown with the USB stick that can’t be uploaded in the super-car (that has a fax machine for crying out loud!) was too ridiculous even for this film. [Also, it’s the time of the smart phone – he probably could have uploaded the whole thing directly to youtube.]
Summarising: If you like Seth Rogen movies, by all means…