THE GREEN HORNET (2011)
Seth Rogen tried to go the superhero route with this 2011 updating of the classic Green Hornet character. The playboy/hero first appeared on radio and then in a short-lived TV show, that starred Bruce Lee as his karate kicking sidekick, Kato. Update finds rich playboy brat Britt Reid (Seth Rogen) inheriting his father’s newspaper and his mechanic/assistant, Kato (Jay Chou). Through a series of events, Britt decides he and Kato should become superheroes, but who go under the ruse of being criminals. Their first target is Russian gangster Benjamin Chudnofsky (Christoph Waltz), the bringing down of whom isn’t as easy as the rookie superheroes first think.
Flick is written by Rogen and Evan Goldberg and directed by Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind director Michel Gondry. As such, it is a very mixed bag. The good points are, the action scenes really move, are very exciting and fun and Seth Rogen and Jay Chou have good chemistry, with some of their camaraderie being amusing to watch. The bad points are, the scenes between the action often drag, too much time is spent with Rogen and Chou bickering, when it is far more fun to watch them working as a team, and a very uneven script which can’t decide between comedy and being a serious hero flick. Our heroes occasionally kill bad guys, which doesn’t fit the more wholesome character the movie’s based on and also adds to the uneven tone. Green Hornet showed potential for a franchise and Rogen is surprisingly fine as a hero, but mediocre box office put a stop to that. Maybe a less artsy director would have better suited the material, someone who can pace things better and who can give the dialog scenes more snap. Gondry makes the action move and things are photographed nice and colorfully, but that’s about it. A tighter script with a more consistent tone would have helped, too. A decent enough rental for a lazy Sunday, but could have been so much more. Also stars Cameron Diaz as love interest Lenore Case and Stranger Things’ David Harbour as a dirty D.A.