The Green Hornet is the tale of Britt Reid, a careless, party-going rich kid who lives in the shadow of his father and carries plenty of resentment for it. the premise is hinted at along the lines that his intentions are good and he wants to do right, but that he just doesn’t. Admittedly this does fall a little flat on its face because we see more of the carelessness of his character in the beginning rather than the ambitions; I know this is for character developmental purposes but it would have been good to have just a little more of each side of Britt’s personality.
Britt’s father, the head of a powerful newspaper (do those even exist anymore?) passes away and Britt is left holding the keys to the kingdom through bitterness and resentment Britt sits in a state of stagnation, doing nothing with his life and angry for it.
After a temper tantrum that leads to his meeting with his father’s mechanic, Kato, the two become friends and decide to go “do something crazy”. Thus, The Green Hornet is born. The tale takes the viewers on a wild ride as the pair begin to see the criminal underworld of Los Angeles, first hand, with car chases, shoot outs and bare knuckle brawling.
The cast is fairly well-rounded with names that are familiar, but few that would make people sit up en masse. Cameron Diaz suplies probably the largest namedrop in the cast as the sassy secretary Lenore Case, while Jay Chou does a wonderful job as sidekick and full time ass-kicker Kato, and Edward Furlong (remember him? the kid who could have been John Conner for life if he didn’t throw his career away?) has a role in there too.
The obvious star that would make or break this film is Seth Rogen. Again, I usually see Seth as a pudgy goofball who makes vagina jokes, that’s the kind of role he excels at otherwise he wouldn’t keep getting roles like that, so I retain that I didn’t have the highest hopes as a full-on hero role for him. Well, fortunately Seth showed he could not only fill in the role, but he added his own charm to the character of Britt Reid. If Seth tried to go with the wealthy, charming lady-killer that one would expect of this character then audiences simply would have been bored; we already have a current Bruce Wayne, we don’t need two. So Seth turned Britt into a more up-to-date rich kid who parties his life away without care or concern, feeling like a male counterpart to celebrity face-palms such as Paris Hilton and the like. Britt plays off of Kato’s amazing skills wonderfully, adding a nice modernized touch that Britt knows that Kato is the real deal on the team even if he opts not to vocalize it; not something that writers would have done too frequently in the 1930s and 40s due to the unfortunate outlook on ethnic differences at the time.
Sorry, I’ll do a political rant another time.
Ultimately, Seth really knocks it out of the park with his re-visioning of Britt Reid, he’s witty and realistic and knows how to kick just enough ass on his own to get by until Kato comes to save the day; and also huge applause for the shape Rogen got himself in for this film, dude looks great and deserves to be commended for how well he got himself in shape for this role.
I did not see this movie in 3D, so I can’t comment on how it felt like the screen was coming out at me, but one could see with the naked eye where the 3D implementations would have been and it no doubt would have looked neat to see some of those moments in the third dimension.
Despite seeing the movie in “regular D” the visuals were still pleasing, the CGI was subtle and mixed well into the real world. The costumes, props and sets were very slick and had a beautifully polished look to them without going overboard on excessive CGI.
The music was a great fit in this movie for the most part, there was a scene while a certain song is playing that felt like it went on too long and had me thinking “this song isn’t that significant to the film to deserve this much time” but it wound up being a set up for a gag that played off quite nicely. Otherwise the music was all a very nice fit in to the film and felt in the right place in Seth’s L.A.
The sound engineering itself was also very well done as the bangs of gunfire and the booms of crashes and explosions felt impactful but not deafening; a lot of action movies suffer for making their explosions and action sequences so excessively loud that it actually takes away from the enjoyment, but this film knew where to draw the audio levels so that the romps stayed entertaining and not painful.
The Green Hornet will, by no means, be up there in the current superhero movie genre with franchises like Iron Man and Batman, but it was still a very entertaining action comedy that blended the two very tastefully. Though this is an overhaul of these classic characters, it’s a well done overhaul that brings them into the current day with believable characteristics and traits that makes them all likeable; even the sleeziest villain in this film has a charm about them that makes you want to see more of them and you look forward to the next time they’re on screen.
This movie probably won’t be winning any Oscars, but it’s still a very enjoyable action-comedy that’ll leave you satisfied, I give it a recommendation.