Last January we saw The Green Hornet splat on to the screen as a film adaptation of the popular 1930â€™s radio series. Seth Rogen and Asian superstar Jay Chou star in this somewhat fun-filled Action/Adventure Comedy as they tear up the streets of Los Angeles in their Super Villain, meant to be Hero, disguises.
The film begins with Chudnofsky (Award Winner, Christoph Waltz), the cityâ€™s crime lord, sporting a two barrelled gun and exerting his dominance by blowing up the nightclub of a rival, thus setting the scene of this superhero story to be.
Seth Rogen plays Britt Reid, a lazy, spoiled and not your usual Hollywood attractive bachelor, whose primary goals in life are partying and annoying his father, James Reid (Tom Wilkinson). James is a respected, multi-millionaire owner and Editing Chief of his own newspaper, while Britt spends his time maintaining a direction-less existence and using his fatherâ€™s car collection as a way to impress the ladies. Upon the untimely and perhaps mysterious death of James, Britt inherits the legendary newspaper; a prospective career he neither wants, nor cares about. He soon meets his fatherâ€™s rather talented mechanic, Kato, played by Jay Chou, and the two form an unlikely bond.
After a drunken evening, the men head out into the city to cause havoc only to inadvertently end up fighting some muggers. Perhaps a little too excited over their apparent heroic efforts, Britt and Kato decide to fight crime for fun, posing as villains and claiming to take over whilst secretly identifying the true threats to society. It doesnâ€™t take long before their mediocre triumphs begin to attract the attention of Chudnofsky, and Britt and Kato quickly find themselves way in over their heads.
After being pumped full of CGI action, there is not a lot to be said about the direction of this film. Michael Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is as good as The Green Hornet is bad. Despite his reputation for the imaginative development of characters, this film fails to see any chemistry.
Also having gone through the painful experience of the Hollywood birth canal, the acting in this film is just as flawed. Incapable of giving his character any depth, Seth Rogen indeed plays himself in his role as Britt and his quintessential wise-cracking charm is definitely out of place. This is especially true next to the talents of Cameron Diaz, which are clearly wasted in this film. She makes an appearance as Britt's new secretary, Lenore Case, yet she has nothing to do. Her character merely functions as a rather predictable plot device that has no real purpose other than to force the story forward.
Jay Chou makes his American film dÃ©but with The Green Hornet, and to many he is an unknown, which is unthinkable in contrast to his fame in Asia. However charismatic he may be in the role, Kato is underutilized, inevitably compromising the integrity of the film.
As a villain, Christoph Waltz does humorously well in playing the crime lord, Chudnofsky. Unfortunately, everything you need to know about his character is revealed in the first scene, making him forgettable amidst the evil villain clichÃ©.
Although The Green Hornet does have the occasional funny moment, typical of Seth Rogen, it also has some inexplicable narrative holes. With a few explosions and fewer laughs, it is hard to find something to praise.