Green Hornet review

Conner Howard

The Green Hornet, directed by Michel Gondry, hit theaters Jan. 14th. Starring Seth Rogen and Jay Chou, the 3D action/comedy is a modern re-telling of the 1930’s radio show of the same name.

Seth Rogen plays Britt Reid, 20-something slacker and son of newspaper mogul James Reid (played by Tom Wilkinson). Britt is content to party all night, sleep all day, and embarrass his father in between. However, tragedy strikes (rather expectedly) one day when James dies from an allergic reaction to a bee sting.

And thus, we see the classic crime fighter story, reminiscent of heros such as Spider-Man and Iron Man, where the protagonist experiences hardship, re-examines their life, and decides to do something worthwhile with their time and resources. Britt teams up with Kato (Chou), his father’s mechanic, and the two decide to drive around in a ridiculously outfitted car and beat up mean people until they feel fulfilled.

This is where we see the primary conflict of the film arise. Britt takes on the moniker of “Green Hornet” and decides to pose as a criminal alongside Kato, while fighting to rid Los Angeles of crime. Of course, there could be no conflict without an antagonist, and organized crime boss Chudnofsky (Christofer Waltz) does not sit idly by while masked hooligans threaten his operations. The conflict progresses with the film at a respectable, albeit predictable, pace.

So how was the movie? Well, you might have gathered from the synopsis that groundbreaking plot and narrative are not what The Green Hornet is shooting for. The Green Hornet is meant to make you laugh and mutter “Woah, that was badass!” to your buddies and look pretty while doing it. I cannot say in all honesty that the movie delivered in the visual department. The 3D presentation added absolutely nothing to the experience. The special effects were overwhelmingly average.

In terms of pure entertainment value, The Green Hornet fared marginally better, but not by much. There were some parts I legitimately laughed at, but I spent the majority of the time chuckling quietly and waiting for the joke. The action sequences were mediocre and not very well developed, but at the end of the day, they did the job. I cannot say that they weren’t in any way fun to watch, but they could have been done better. A good deal of the movie carried that “could have been better” vibe.

One thing I can say the movie did well was the casting. I felt the characters were well casted on the whole, but Cameron Diaz’s role as newspaper secretary Lenore Chase did not impress me in particular. Diaz seemed to simply fill the space. I had my reservations about Rogen taking an action hero role, but the fumbling, amateurish modern incarnation of The Green Hornet and his loser playboy alter ego seem a good fit for him. Chou plays your typical martial artist sidekick without major fault, but he doesn’t make a significant impression through his acting. Possibly the best casting is found in Waltz’s portrayal of main villain Chudnofsky. Film fans may remember Waltz as the diabolical SS Officer Hans Landa from the 2009 release Inglourious Basterds. Waltz takes his role in The Green Hornet well, displaying impressive vocal and facial presence.

To sum up, The Green Hornet will not impress you with its predictable plot progression, incredibly pointless 3D presentation, mediocre actions scenes and not-quite-hysterical dialogue. In fact, there is very little here to be impressed by. However, it is far from the worst movie ever made and may be worth a look if you don’t have much else to do and you have $11 burning a hole in your pocket.