Film Review – Green Hornet
It’s obvious to me that the 2011 film version of The Green Hornet won’t strike the sort of chord with viewers that a film like Iron Man or it’s brethren did. Those films were a bit more straightforward and followed an established pattern for an origin story and didn’t skew too fair outside of mainstream sensibilities. With the Green Hornet as your main character you’re faced with a few problems, the main one being that today’s audience doesn’t really know much about the character outside of having a vague recolection of his existence. Critics called Iron Man obscure so take that in for a minute when you realize that Green Hornet made it to the screen.
The few people who do have a knowlege of the Hornet will probably not care for this incarnation. Its sensibilities are distinctly modern and while the TV show of the sixties seemed to be a more stern-faced alternative to the campy excess of the Batman series, the tables have been turned and we get overly melodramatic pseudodarkness through The Dark Knight and The Green Hornet strives only to be a fun adventure/actioner film that doesn’t really aspire to be anything special in the terms of refined cinema.
Seth Rogen plays his character well. I say this within the context of the film. He’s not what you would really expect out of a superhero, but that is what the film plays upon. The idea that a schlub like this gets drawn into a superhero world and only really succeeds because of blind stupidity and the talent of his chaeuffer/executive assistant Kato played by Jay Chou who, despite some handicaps with the english language, is one of the more entertaining parts of the film.
That really is the crux of the thing. It’s fun. Don’t look for that much more out of it. I know the pedigree of Michel Gondry causes you to squee a little inside that it’ll be more than a quick, fun ride but his flourishes are really few and far between. This one is probably the most mainstream minded film you could possibly imagine him directing. Hopefully it’ll do well and he’ll get a little more sway to work to his content in the near future.
Bottom Line. It’s better than Kevin Smith’s new comic book but not quite as good as Matt Wagner’s, if you needed a reference point.