30 April 2011 4:09 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The Green Hornet; Chico & Rita; Confessions; In Our Name

There are few things more depressing than watching a genuinely inventive director being overpowered by the machinery of a franchise blockbuster. Take The Green Hornet (2010, Sony, 12), the long-gestating big-screen spin-off from the 30s radio serial and 60s TV show which is technically "Un Film de Michel Gondry" although frankly you wouldn't know it from watching the movie. In fact, the real driving force here is writer-and-star Seth Rogen playing slobbish Britt Reid, whose campaigning news mogul father (Tom Wilkinson) dies suddenly after a suspicious insect bite. Initially uninterested in his grand paternal legacy, Britt is stung into action by the inventive fighting skills of coffee-maker-cum-handyman Kato (likable Taiwanese pop sensation Jay Chou) and embarks upon a knockabout reign of clumsy crime-fighting vigilance, kept alive only by his super-agile sidekick.

The Green Hornet had been knocking around for a long time before the arrival of Gondry, »

- Mark Kermode

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