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Gavin Grades The Movies

The Green Hornet

Prior to this year, did anyone really know of The Green Hornet besides our grandparents that loved the old radio show?  Not me.  I vaguely knew what it was but often it got it confused with The Shadow.  Because of that, this seems like a highly unnecessary relaunch of the pulp characters as a way for the movie studio to squeeze money out of a new franchise.  So they hired Seth Rogen and shot it in 3D to make it seem fun for kids in hopes of doing just that.  Frankly, I think they missed the mark.  Through no fault of Rogen's, the movie was campy and rather dull.  Now, I enjoy campiness in films but it has to be done right.  I'll either laugh at you when you're campy by accident or laugh with you when you do it on purpose.  I think The Green Hornet attempted to do campy on purpose but didn't take it far enough.  Taiwanese actor Jay Chou makes his American debut as the Hornet's sidekick, Kato.  He's actually pretty good.  He has charisma, action chops and a pseudo knack for comedic timing.  I mean he holds his own against Seth Rogen's improv, which is no easy task.  He reminds me of a young Jackie Chan.  Cameron Diaz appears as the only female in a meaningless character that offers very little substance to the film.  One of the saddest aspects about The Green Hornet to me was the decision by Christoph Waltz, who's fresh off of winning an Oscar for Inglorious Basterds, to appear in this.  His performance is so bad that it makes me think twice about hailing him as one of the best actors from Europe working right now.  It almost seems like he realizes what a bad decision it was to be in The Green Hornet and doesn't even try to muster up a decent performance through the whole thing.  However, he wasn't helped at all by a stupid script, which Rogen was responsible for.  The good news about Rogen improvising so much in the film is that it cuts out most of the written screenplay.  But what I don't get is why director Michel Gondry let this fail so badly and didn't put his classic stamp of personality on it.  This is the guy that gave us Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Science of Sleep!  The creativity that he put into those two great movies are completely void from The Green Hornet.  Although the problem with most comedic action films is that the comedy is lame but that's not the case here.  The best thing about The Green Hornet is that it's funny...at times.  What fights against it is everything else.  The action is absurd, the story is moronic and the overall film falls short in virtually every area it was going for.  Even with the gimmicky 3D effects found in the movie, it stings more than it satisfies and overall disappoints. The Green Hornet  (Rated PG-13) Gavin Grade: C-

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01/13/2011 7:18PM
The Green Hornet
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01/17/2011 6:39PM
Clair W. Frost
..............................Scope out the full trailer of as the masked crimefighter The Green Hornet in theaters January 14..The superhero flick will buzz onto Imax screens simultaneous with the films domestic 2D and 3D release on the Martin Luther King holiday weekend. and Christoph Waltz also star..WHAT DO YOU THINK of the Green Hornet so far? ........ The Green Hornet buzzed away with the top spot at the weekend box office.
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