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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Movie Review - The Green Hornet

Movie Title
The Green Hornet 
Year
2011
Genre
Action, Comic Adaptation, Comedy 

Story
Rebellious playboy & party animal Britt Reid (Seth Rogen), the son of LA’s most prominent and respected media magnate - James Reid (Tom Wilkinson) publisher of the Daily Sentinel, quickly grows up after James dies under mysterious circumstances. 

Britt inherits his father's vast media empire & estate but fires his father's entire staff except Kato (Jay Chou), who was his father's mechanic/techno wizard, who secretly is a martial artist of the highest degree and makes a mean cup of coffee!

Britt and Kato decide that they become crime-fighters (but with a twist as they pose as bad guys) after they had an accidental taste of heroism during an escapade of vandalism. They see this as their chance to do something meaningful for the first time in their lives. Kato makes them an indestructible super-car loaded with weapons and gadgets - the Black Beauty. 

The Green Hornet and Kato quickly start making a rep for themselves on the streets. Inadvertently, they attract the attention of Russian mobster Benjamin Chudnofsky (Christoph Waltz), whom Britt’s father was trying to expose before his death. 

To get Chudnofsky’s attention, Britt, with the help of Lenore Case (Cameron Diaz) as a criminal researcher and personal assistant, publishes Green Hornet articles in the Daily Sentinel regularly to raise the Green Hornet's profile. In his pursuit to do the right thing, Britt uncovers the truth about his father.

Acting
If you have seen any of Seth Rogen or Jay Chou's movies, you know what you expect. This is not a movie you'd expect to be listed or nominated for the Screen Actors Guild or Oscars. However, with that being said, these 2 guys ham it up enough to make it fun for audiences to go along for the ride. I must say, it was quite a fun ride!

However, I must say that despite his role as the hero of the movie, Rogen pulled off the extreme slacker look with or without his mask on! That was unfortunate.

The really excellent Christoph Waltz (who was so extremely effective and scary as THE villain in the Inglorious Basterds) had not much to really work with here and hence, despite his efforts, his character as Chudnofsky was not really memorable (or if he was, then it would have been for all the wrong reasons...)

Overall
Based on a comicbook (and tv series - starring the one-and-only BRUCE LEE as, who else - Kato, to boot! OK, go ask your dad or uncle about it.)

Having never watched the TV series or read any of the Green Hornet comics, I had not idea what the story was about and thus I had almost no expectations. Perhaps that's what made it work for me.

Hence, despite the grim tone and origin, the movie takes a tongue-in-cheek approach, which would not have worked for the Marvel (remember the Fantastic Four? Nuff said.) or DC characters (OK, we'd need to watch Green Lantern later this year to validate that)

Of course there are quite a number of plot holes big enough to drive a Kancil thru' such as:
- How did Kato or Britt manage to move at super speed during fights seeing as both of them are just ordinary joes (OK, filthy rich ordinary joes).
- Why would Kato follow Britt so loyally eventho' he was obviously not a very nice guy at the beginning, middle and pretty much throghout the whole movie.
- etc.

Not the best superhero movie out there but not the worst either (Remember Catwoman or Elektra?). However, it does make for a fun afternoon watch if you have nothing better to do (or you're stuck with a Twilight movie...).

Rating: 5.5/10

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