Curving the grade – Considering it’s been over three months since the last comic book adaptation on the big screen, I guess we should all rejoice. But, that’s only if you were one of the few people that actually bothered to see “Red” back in October. And the same could almost be said for both “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” and “The Losers,” two films that were better than advertised. In fact, that might be the mantra for most of this genre outside the major franchise’s like “X-Men,” “Spider-Man,” “Batman” and “Iron Man.” So, in that respect, a film as ridiculous as “The Green Hornet” maybe should be graded differently, as sometimes a film can be so bad that you wind up enjoying it for all its flaws.
As the legend goes…there once was a 28-year-old slacker by the name of Britt Reid (Seth Rogan) who one day inherited the LA newspaper The Daily Sentinel after his father (Tom Wilkinson) died of a wicked bee sting. Having absolutely no clue how to run a newspaper or not really caring to learn, he went about his business as usual, which was partying and wasting his life away. After vandalizing a memorial statue of his father, Britt and his newfound sidekick, Kato (Jay Chou) stumble upon a mugging in progress and rescue the victims before the police got there. The next thing you know, the two decided to become real-life heroes posing as criminals. At first, this plan seemed flawless, but when they met local mobster Benjamin Chudnofsky (Christoph Waltz), who had a plan to unite all the LA criminal families under his direction, everything changed. Not only were Britt and Kato in trouble with a “real” criminal, they had no clue how to stop him creating a multitude of issues for everyone involved. It was then this entire story went from weird to outrageous as the two ‘wannabe’ heroes attempted to stop Chudnofsky from wrecking the city they vowed to protect.
Who was in it and do we care? Believe it or not, the cast in this is not as bad as it looks. With that said, I could have done without Cameron Diaz and Christoph Waltz who each added absolutely no value to this undervalued script. Some might expect that from Diaz, given some of her lighter roles over the years, but Waltz? This guy was just nominated for an Oscar two years ago, so to see his next role in something as idiotic as this is mindboggling to me. That’s not to say he should only do dramatic roles, but he had no business being in this film given the way it all was built. In fact, I’m surprised Seth Rogan was even in it, but he has a way of making something bad look good and that certainly was the case here. I was impressed in what he was able to do in his role as Britt Reid, a.k.a. The Green Hornet, as without him this film would have never even been green lit, no pun intended. Rogan’s comedic timing is better than it seems as I broke out laughing more than once. That’s important, because his costar, newcomer Jay Chou, was atrocious as Kato. I’m not sure where they found this guy, but outside his martial arts skills, he was almost invisible next to Rogan’s fluffy character, which is just sad. So, it’s a good thing a film like this doesn’t depend on the cast, as they would pretty much failed outside of Rogan.
A chaotic nest – Make no mistake about it, “The Green Hornet” is a popcorn flick, so let’s not try to paint it any other way. Sure, it’s built around a superhero theme, but that doesn’t drive this film. Stupidity drives this film in a way I never thought was possible, which I guess is to the credit to Seth Rogan who helped pen the script. And who knows, had he also directed it, it might have turned out a little better than it was, as I was not overly impressed with director Michel Gondry. Add in the 3-D aspect, which was almost nonexistent and you almost have a wasted superhero flick as far as action and special effects go. But, where that failed, the comedy prevailed which was a nice surprise actually and very unexpected. Maybe that was due to the premise, which was solid, but either way I’m glad Rogan was around as this dimply would have been even more of a waste of time without him. Especially when you figure the film runs past 120 minutes, which is ludicrous for anything this fluffy. So, while I would love to just tear this film apart, it’s almost not worth it given the fact it sort of made fun of itself in the long run.
Bottom Line – For those that want to see something with zero to no quality, and yet still enjoy yourself, “The Green Hornet” is for you. As for me, I walked in with expectations absolutely buried, which was the smartest thing I could ever done, as going in any other way would have resulted in an even bigger waste of time.
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