The Green Hornet

Buzzing Headache

         
 

18 January 2011| No Comments     by Sean Chavel

 

Poorly pieced together and overflowing with repellent vanity. The Green Hornet is too much of Seth Rogen attempting to take credit for everything on-screen and not letting the time for anyone else to create their characters. Without having experienced much of the old incarnations of this superhero legend, this is undoubtedly as you watch it a bastardized version of the 1930’s radio character and the 1960’s Bruce Lee television program. Well it’s just about a bastardized version of anything that is the superhero movie, that is the buddy-buddy movie, and the ironic violence movie which has become a genre. It’s supposed to be a slinging but bloodless fantasy and yet gratuitous bloodbaths flood everywhere. It’s so post-modern it’s sick.

If you watch it and wonder why Rogen’s character Britt a.k.a. Green Hornet is a vain rich brat that chews up all the dialogue it’s because Rogen co-wrote the movie. Kato (Jay Chou) is the one with all the martial arts talent and wants to be an equal. Instead he’s put down as Britt as an inferior sidekick and as a subordinate, and when they both vie for secretary Lenore (Cameron Diaz, wasted in ditheringly written scenes) Britt feels entitled even though Kato has more connection with the 37-year old blonde babe. When did Rogen, uh, Britt decide he likes women older than himself anyway?

To fight crime the duo poses in the media as bad guys themselves so they can get an inside track with their competition (Christoph Waltz as a recycled “Hans Landa” crime lord). Kato has an Iron Monkey-esque way of dispatching enemies while Green Hornet just beats them gracelessly, or waits for Kato to get his back. A day later, the newspaper plant fights and explosions are near forgotten. Michel Gondry (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “Human Nature”) is the last director you’d expect to turn something out that is so CGI-heavy and unevenly edited. But it’s the character chemistry that stinks. Britt and Kato have a master and butler type of relationship together from the beginning and then nothing left to talk about by the time the movie is halfway through. You would think Kato would desert Britt and go perform superhero heroics in another city far away from Britt.

Two years ago, Seth Rogen went balls-out bi-polar for “Observe and Report,” which I happen to think is the great white trash movie of our time, with a performance that was as unpredictable and blistering as early DeNiro (really). The movie’s greatness was that underneath the torrent of chaos and hostility it took bi-polar disorder seriously, and in doing so, subversive hilarity destroyed all taboo barriers. Since then Rogen has taken bigger-than-before liberties in playing egotistical, loud guys that are attention-calling in archetypal wiseass Rogen-ish jokes. In “The Green Hornet” he is a loud jokester prick but this makes him also too coarse and selfish to play a hero.

It was a worsened unhappy experience because I had to view the film in dingy, foggy and obtrusive 3-D. This makes everybody’s work look twice as bad as it really is, but then again, the last thirty minutes is all clatter. The faster and noisier (oh, how kinetic!) it gets, the slower and more grinding the experience becomes. There truly is little out there that is more nauseating than ultraviolent comic book violence. Ultraviolence aimed for kids.

108 Minutes. Rated PG-13.

ACTION & ADVENTURE / SUPERHERO MOVIE / BOMBS AWAY 

Film Cousins: “Flash Gordon” (1980); “The Blues Brothers” (1980); “The Mask” (1994); “The Incredible Hulk (2008).

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Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of flickminute.com, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.

 

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