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<< Entertainment >>

New Movie Review

"The Green Hornet"

Action/Adventure, Crime/Gangster and Adaptation. Rated PG-13. 1 hours, 48 minutes.

Photo by Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group

Jay Chou and Seth Rogen in Columbia Pictures' The Green Hornet - 2011

by Michael Stark
mjstark333@msn.com

|

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.

Britt 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 bad guys.

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.

OVERALL RATING: C+

Related Story: The Green Hornet's Black Beauty is on display at the 2011 NAIAS

 

Photo credit: Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group

The Green Hornet movie poster

 

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