"The Green Hornet"
Crime/Gangster and Adaptation. Rated PG-13. 1 hours, 48 minutes.
by Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group
Chou and Seth Rogen in Columbia Pictures' The Green
Hornet - 2011
Seth Rogen dons a green
mask and rides around in a tricked-out Black Beauty with Taiwanese
pop star Jay Chou in the big screen adaptation of the 1930’s
radio drama, “The Green Hornet.”
Rogen reteams with Evan Goldberg to write the script. The two
most famously co-authored the hilarious “Superbad.”
Rogen reportedly dropped 30 pounds to play Britt Reid, newspaper
mogul by day, the Green Hornet by night. Chou plays his sidekick
Kato, who really does most of the crime fighting. The relationship
between Reid and Chou serves as the main focus of the film. Reid
is just coasting through life, until his father, owner of The
Daily Sentinel, played by Tom Wilkinson, passes away, leaving
his son in charge of the paper.
also inherits his father’s servants, and this is where he
meets Kato, who is a super genius when it comes to building and
customizing automobiles, martial arts, and coffee making. This
guy shouldn’t be changing the oil filters, he should have
a job with the FBI or NASA or something much more impressive-sounding.
The two form a bond, and decide that something has to be done
about what is going on in their city. The bromance has its ups
and downs throughout the film, culminating in a lengthy, drawn-out
hand-to-hand battle that trashes much of Reid’s mansion.
However, the differences are worked out in time to take down the
The main villain is crime lord Chudnofsky, portrayed by last year’s
Best Supporting Actor, Christoph Waltz. Waltz seems to have fun
playing the feared drug lord, but the role doesn’t fit him
nearly as perfectly as the one from “Inglourious Basterds”
for which he won his Oscar. At least he is present for the film’s
most entertaining and humorous scene, a confrontation with a rival
drug dealer, that ends with Waltz making sure everyone knows who
is still in charge.
The film follows many superhero movie clichés, almost to
a point that one could call this a spoof of the genre. I am a
fan of Rogen, and love “Knocked Up” and “Superbad,”
but he just seems out of place in this type of movie. His sidekick
definitely belongs though. English is clearly not Chou’s
first language and it is sometimes hard to understand what he
is saying. However, he is booming with charisma and the audience
will always be willing to root for him. The car Kato customizes
and drives, the Black Beauty, is also impossible to hate, and
really takes center stage in the climactic car chase.
Despite its flaws, “The Green Hornet” is still a fun
time at the movies, with a decent mix of action and comedy. Is
there enough for a potential franchise here? Not sure. It seems
like enough viewers are enjoying it to ensure a $100-120 million
theatrical run. If it reaches that goal, I am sure the studio
will ask Rogen to write a sequel.
Green Hornet's Black Beauty is on display at the 2011 NAIAS
credit: Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group
Green Hornet movie poster