Playboy Britt Reid (Seth Rogen) becomes the new publisher of Los Angeles' "The Daily Sentinel" after the sudden death of his father. Britt's party life is about to change when he and his driver and kung fu expert, Kato (Jay Chou), stop a robbery. With the help of Kato, Britt starts a new career of fighting crime as the masked superhero "The Green Hornet".Written by
Douglas Young (the-movie-guy)
When Chudnofsky is about to shoot Kato at point blank range his gas mask is raised off his face resting on his forehead. An instant later as he flies backwards it is covering his face. An instant later as he stands it is gone completely. See more »
[on the phone]
Tell the Mayor, I'm insulted. I would never jeopardize the journalistic integrity of this newspaper for some rent-a-mayor's political agenda.
[to his son]
So Britt, here we are again. Sent home after another schoolyard fight. I know you miss your mother. So do I. But I have to take care of 750 employees, and you have to take care of yourself. Still that seems to be asking too much.
But I was trying to stop some bullies...
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The Green Hornet is a very old hero character, dating back to radio dramas in the 30's, playing alongside The Shadow, Buck Rogers, and The Lone Ranger. (In fact, the Green Hornet was a spin off of The Lone Ranger... The Lone Ranger was the Green Hornet's grand-uncle, in the radio world.) Like his contemporaries he appeared in other media, including television. The television series, which featured 1/2 hour segments, starred Bruce Lee as Kato, and was his boost into celebrity. The great Bruce Lee martial arts movies might never have happened if it weren't for his gig on the Green Hornet.
The Green Hornet may have also been Bob Kane's inspiration for Batman in 1939. There are many similarities, which need not be listed here.
But alas, this feature film remake is a dull take on this old character, which deserved better treatment. I don't know exactly how Seth Rogen (who played Britt Reid and who has a writing credit) got a hold of it, but it's as though someone behind the scenes mistook the Green Hornet for a farce comedy like Get Smart and then failed to even make it funny.
The dialog had no horsepower at all, and while there were a few funny moments, after a while I got aggravated at the desperate attempts to make me laugh. Sometimes it seemed like the actors were derailed, trying to improvise, and it wasn't working.
There were two cool things about the TV series. 1) Kato, because he kicks butt. They got lucky, because Bruce Lee really was one-of-a-kind. 2) Black Beauty, their armed car that flips up from the garage floor and has guns built into it. While both of these aspects remained pretty cool in this movie, they were also elevated a little too far into the realm of fantasy. And it didn't need to be that way.
Not a good offering by director Michel Gondry, who gave us the brilliant and original Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind years ago, and it may mean that he's one of those directors who cannot improve -- or does not see improvements in -- a script. He therefore shines when he gets a great script and fails when he gets a bad one. Tim Burton falls into that category.
The movie villain was played by Christoph Waltz, whose character was no less dumb than Seth Rogen's. A bad choice for an actor who just won an Oscar for his brilliant role as Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds. What was his agent thinking? In all fairness, Waltz and his agent couldn't have known beforehand that The Green Hornet was going to be a sloppy script, and a sloppy execution. The super-hero wave is a big one at the movies these days, with one hit after the other, but they fail to remember other sloppy remakes of old radio heroes, such as The Shadow in 1994 starring Alec Baldwin, and The Legend of the Lone Ranger in in 1981 starring Klinton Spilsbury (who??).
The Green Hornet should have been a much more serious period movie set in the 30's about a man who is inspired to fight the mob in the fashion that his grand-uncle did as the Lone Ranger years earlier. That would have led to a serious Lone Ranger tie-in (a prequel as it were). Missed opportunities.
Save your $8, this movie isn't worth it.
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