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Movie Review: The Green Hornet - Unexplainable

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Movie: The Green Hornet (2011)
Starring: Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, Cameron Diaz
Director: Michel Gondry

The Green Hornet is a movie that defies explanation. It simply doesn't make sense. There is no reason why this movie was made. Not many people were clamoring for a remake of the 1960's Green Hornet TV show. Beyond that this action/comedy is directed by Michel Gondry whose previous works include "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and many documentaries. Not that he's a bad director but a strange choice for an action/comedy. Then there is Seth Rogen in the lead role. Really? Seth Rogen as a hero? Seth Rogen carrying a film? It just doesn't add up.  The setup is also weak and strange. Brett Reid (Seth Rogen) is the spoiled son of a newspaper tycoon who resents his dad for never paying much attention to him. We are supposed to feel sorry for him but he comes off as a very unlikable person. When his dad unexpectedly dies Brett must take over his father's newspaper The Daily Sentinel. He has no interest in the paper and fires all his dad's previous workers. After he misses his daily coffee he finds out that he fired his dad's coffee maker and mechanic Kato (Jay Chou). It turns out he was armoring his dad's car and that he also is an expert at Karate. This illogically leads to the two of them creating Black Beauty and driving around fighting crime. Why? No one in the film is quite sure why they are doing this except that it is "cool".

The movie doesn't get any better from there the plot wanders aimlessly from one random action scene to another. The duo take on many random criminals for little to no reason at all. All of this is interspersed with unfunny male bonding scenes where Brett goes on and on about how cool it is to be a super hero.
We get it it's cool to have a car that can kill random bad guys. There is also the on going joke that really it is Kato that is the hero and not Brett. This is way overdone, they repeat the same type of jokes throughout the film until it becomes unbearable. The action scenes are okay but nothing that you haven't seen in many other action/comedies. Plus they seem to have no connection to the other scenes in the film. Seth Rogen seems to be phoning it in with a lazy, stumbling performance. Sometimes it's like he is padding the running time by just talking and talking for no reason. Jay Chou is a little better as Kato but he has very little dialogue. He's the Jackie Chan of the film.  All their random battles finally catch the attention of crime boss Chudnofsky (Christopher Waltz) who is neither menacing nor funny. In this movie's version of L.A. all the crime and corruption is controlled by the Russian mafia. Now that's pretty stupid even for a comedy.

Cameron Diaz shows up as Brett's secretary for some reason. She serves mainly as something for Brett and Kato to fight about. Cameron has zero chemistry with either Seth or Chou and in the end that part of the story goes nowhere. It feels like they just wanted to have a female character in the film. They didn't bother to give her much personality or anything to do. She is supposed to be an incredibly smart journalist and criminologist but it never comes in handy. She's just there.

The Green Hornet is movie making at it's worst.  A movie that should've never made it to the big screen but did because of the potential profit. I've never seen the TV series that the movie was based on but it must have been much better than this remarkably cynical ploy of a movie. You can buy The Green Hornet on DVD or Blu-ray at our DVD shop.

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February 12, 2011 at 6:54 PM

I did see this show when I was younger and it was stupid. I didn't have high expectations for the movie and you confirmed it. Five dollars saved.

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