|Index||3 reviews in total|
Not to be taken at one sitting. Spread out over a week or two it is much easier to get involved. Some good characters, plot that is not too nonsensical. Head bad guy Watkin went on to be Perry White in the Superman serials. Keye Luke affects an oriental accent he didn't have. Comic highlight (unintentional) is Ferronti, the gangster in the last couple of chapters, who is a walking greasy cliche. All in all, fair Universal product. Don't pay more than ten bucks for it, tho...
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Despite some very impressive production values, THE GREEN HORNET STRIKES AGAIN! is a bit of a letdown when stacked up against the first serial. While this may be due in part to the recasting of The Hornet himself, it's also clearly due to some of the writing: our hero is constantly being distracted and slugged when he looks away from somebody he's got covered; in fact, it happens so often in this serial that it becomes a cliché by the last reel. At one point, apparently shot during an exchange of gunfire, he goes down- only to pop up, unhurt, in the very next chapter. If he was, in fact, "just playing possum," he certainly picked an odd time to do so (right in the middle of a pitched gun battle). These are the kinds of little inconsistencies throughout that make THE GREEN HORNET STRIKES AGAIN! a watchable but ultimately fairly routine serial (though it's certainly superior to THE SHADOW serial with Victor Jory in the title role).
I'm giving this serial, "The Green Hornet Strikes Again", the same
score that I gave its predecessor, the original "Green Hornet" serial
movie--7/10 stars. Opting for the same score is an easy call since this
serial follows the exact same formula as the original, albeit with a
different actor assuming the lead role.
The gist of the film is that Brit Reid is a newspaper editor who assumes the mantle of a vigilante crime fighter, the Green Hornet. Armed with only his wits, a mask, and a gas gun that puts people to sleep upon firing, the Hornet fights lots of adventures, all related to one devious racketeer scheme. Each episode ends with a cliff hanger scene, and each new episode begins with the previous chapter being resolved, usually because something fortuitous happened that wasn't shown at the close of the previous episode.
I have to say that I did find these stories to grow on me a fair bit as I watched these two serials. One thing that came to mind is that the Green Hornet is essentially a very similar character to DC Comics' Golden Age Sandman--at least in terms of the crime fighter himself, although the alter ego is a bit different. The Hornet was first a radio serial starting in 1936, while the Sandman made his debut in comic book form in the summer of 1939. The first of these two serials was released in 1940, so it's a curious thought as to how much the Sandman character took its cue from the Hornet radio show, as well as how much these Hornet movie serials may have been influenced by the Sandman comics.
Whatever the case, all in all I'd give this serial 7/10 stars. Like the original, it's extremely well made and fun. The only reservation I have is that it does get a bit repetitive, and that despite its fun it's certainly a niche product that won't appeal to just anyone in a modern audience.
Oh, and before you go spending money on this serial, look for it on YouTube. I watched the entire fifteen chapters there for free!
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