Movie and Film Reviews (MFR) Action,Comedy The Green Hornet (2011)

The Green Hornet (2011)

Holy smokes, Batman, was this film terrible! Oh, sorry, that was a misquote from Batman, not from The Green Hornet. My mistake. I almost forgot that I wasn’t watching a silly television show from the 1960s for a while. Maybe that would have been more enjoyable, as I’m still unsure of what The Green Hornet wanted to do with two hours of my life. I’m inclined to say “waste them,” but even that seems like too noble an effort.

The film begins with some rich man named Britt Reid (Seth Rogan) partying hard. Because that’s what rich people do, right? They spend all of their time and money partying, especially if they aren’t the ones responsible for the bills. His father (Tom Wilkinson) fills that role, and he’s sick of his son constantly making news in his newspaper. Apparently being a partyholic is embarrassing for your parents, or something like that. Britt doesn’t seem to care, and even seems to want to party just to spit in the face of his father. It’s a shame, then, that his father is killed off in the next scene.

Newscasts around the city claim it was a bee sting. I really hate bees, wasps, hornets, and all of those types of insects. Truthfully, they frighten me. Oh, sorry, did I go off on another largely unrelated tangent? My mistake. My mind can’t stay on The Green Hornet for too long. In a rage, Britt fires a bunch of people because he’s got nothing better to do, but wakes up the next morning to terrible coffee because his mechanic/coffee maker was among the casualties. This guy’s name is Kato (Jay Chou), and he ends up being quite the awesome person. The two quickly become friends, and then have a brilliant idea: They’ll become superheroes masquerading as villains because most superheros make it clear that they’re superheros and therefore the villains also know that and something something something random 3D scene.

This idea doesn’t actually hold much weight, as the duo don’t really do anything different from most superheroes. They target bad guys, they hide their true identities, and the bad guys want to kill them. The main villain here is someone named Chudnofsky (Christoph Waltz). Nobody can pronounce his name properly the first time, and he constantly worries that he doesn’t invoke fear into the hearts of people he meets. That’s how deep that character gets, and Waltz is wasted in a role that could have been played by a monkey. A monkey in a wheelchair that breathes fire. Man, that would have been a real villain.

Oh, but that would be unrealistic, wouldn’t it? Well let me explain something to you: This movie isn’t realistic anyway. Why can’t I have a fire breathing, wheelchair-bound monkey? Kato and Partyboy get a car that can do whatever they want! And Kato can slow down time and target specific things like guns and body parts with red-vision! And this is a film where James Franco appears in one scene, is the highlight of the film, and goes uncredited! Don’t come crawling to me and talk about being unrealistic! A monkey that was stuck in a wheelchair and could breathe fire would fit right in here!

I should mention at this point that Cameron Diaz is also in the film. She’s playing Britt’s secretary, although since she has a minor in criminology, he has her work on the case of the Green Hornet, which his newspaper has decided to call Britt when he dons a mask and visor. She ends up actually planning what the Green Hornet will do next, as Kato and Not-a-Superhero don’t have a clue as to what they’re doing. Not that this is fully realized either, as she only does this at random intervals, spending the rest of the film being fawned and fought over by our two “heroes.”

The Green Hornet is full of formulaic situations and action sequences. There wasn’t a single thing in this film that was original or that you haven’t seen before. The best moment was Waltz and Franco having a slightly humorous dialogue sequence in one of the first scenes, but that ended up just getting my hopes up. I’ll admit that the trailer didn’t make this seem like my kind of film — this sort of action-comedy just doesn’t appeal to me and Seth Rogan did not seem like he would make a good “hero” — but after the opening scene, I thought it might be okay. I was horribly, horribly wrong.

Out of the two main characters, Kato is by far the most interesting. Not only does he build awesome gadgets, but he also knows some sort of martial art, can slow down time but he can still move at normal speed, can speak multiple languages, has black hair, isn’t Seth Rogan trying to be a superhero, and so on. And yet Rogan, who co-wrote the script, doesn’t give him much to do, and even tries to have his own character claim that he’s more important to the team. Really, Rogan? You think your character, a party-addicted, spoiled rich brat who “kicked a guy a few times” (I’m paraphrasing) is better than someone who can speak at least two languages? Oh, and do those other things, too? I’m sorry, but I’m not buying it.

Another subplot gets introduced at the mid-way point, and it includes a man who is the district attorney and wants maybe to be mayor, but it’s also doesn’t get fully realized and gave us another element that wasn’t going to get finished. That’s what this film feels like: Something that was started, but never finished. It’s like so many high school English projects: The beginning works, but the student quickly became bored and went online, letting his pet monkey write the rest because it’s stuck in a wheelchair and breathes fire and he figured that if it can breathe fire, it can write an English project. But this tactic fails and the student hands in an incomplete project because fire breathing wheelchair-bound monkeys don’t exist, you idiot!

Let’s conclude: This is not a good film. It had one good scene within it, and that good scene actually made me think that The Green Hornet had some potential. Maybe it did, but it squandered it early. The characters are underdeveloped, the plot is mundane, all of the scenes have been done better elsewhere, and few points of the film actually get a proper arc with a conclusion and some movement. And it takes 108 minutes for this mess to play out! Until fire breathing monkeys can finish my homework, I won’t recommend this film.

1 thought on “The Green Hornet (2011)”

  1. I have to agree with Matthew that the Green Hornet was a very disappointing movie. Seth Rogen is a brilliant actor but this movie was a joke, it was as though the director was running out of ideas and was asking points from primary school kids.

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