19 January 2011

The Green Hornet (3D)

Hornet Stings, in a Good Way

To say The Green Hornet is a bad movie would be wrong. To say it was a great movie would be equally wrong. I had low expectations when entering the cinema to see the latest from director Michael Gondry and writer Seth Rogen. The news and buzz surrounding The Green Hornet did not help it. It was pushed from its December opening to January for reshoots and 3D work after poor test screenings. I was afraid of wasting my time and money on this film. I got free tickets to one of many of the St. Louis screenings. So, my money was safe. All I had to lose was time.

I am too young to know the original show starring Bruce Lee. So, I have no frame of reference of what this show should be, just what it is. There were many articles about this movie before it came out. Many said that they did not care for Seth Rogen playing a super hero. Some stated that they had the same stunt driving coordinator that worked on The Fast and the Furious. Many talked about how bad the movie was as a whole. I had all this in mind when I went.

I enjoyed The Green Hornet. I found it very entertaining. My time was not wasted. I thought a few of the 3D scenes were stupid, but for the most part they worked. The car stunts and action was great. As for Seth Rogen as a super hero, I think the point of the movie is that he wasn’t one, but wanted to be one. This movie serves as the “origin” and “training” of Britt Reid. My only complaint about the movie is the realization that Seth Rogen cannot act. He is just Seth Rogen being Seth Rogen as The Green Hornet. I do not see an Oscar in his near future.

The Green Hornet opens with a flashback to James Reid, played by Tom Wilkinson, ripping the head off of an action figure belonging to a young Britt Reid. It was next to pointless, other than to show that James is all about business, and that business is the news. Next, we get the hilarious cameo by James Franco, who could win an Academy Award in February, and our introduction to Chistoph Waltz, who won one last February, playing the movie’s central villain Chudnofsky. The scene was hilarious to say the least. Chudnofsky was brilliantly played by Waltz. It

So, from here the movie really is about Britt Reid becoming Batman and Kato becoming Robin, but really Kato is Batman and Britt is Robin. The plot is overly told to you, as if you are not smart enough to figure it out yourself. I found that a bit insulting. It centers on our “heroes” acting as villains to help draw out the real villains. It was a decent plot. I have no idea if this was the plot of the original series or not, but it was at least an original idea by today’s standards.

Early in the production, Seth Rogen and Michael Gondry made a big deal of having the car stunt coordinator from The Fast and the Furious. So, I was expecting awesome action scenes and chase scenes with the cars. They did not disappoint. The action was good enough. The car sequences were good. The fight scenes were good. I just didn’t understand why in the first fight scene, the kicks “stretched” the screen. It is hard to explain, but it only happened in this scene. It was as if they filmed it, looked at it, decided it didn’t work, and forgot to take it out.

The story telling might have been a bit uneven, but as a whole, it was an enjoyable two hours. I did enjoy seeing Edward James Olmos on the big screen. Cameron Diaz was forgettable. Wilkinson was decent in his quick ten minutes or so. Newcomer Jay Chou was excellent as Kato. There was also a quick cameo by Edward Furlong. Verdict: Worth the time and the money, but I cannot say it would be worth paying the additional cost for 3D.

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