The Green Hornet

Comic book movies have died if all we have to look forward to is more adaptations in the vein of The Green Hornet.  Michel Gondry directed Seth Rogen in an adaptation of this classic 70’s hero.  The Green Hornet has been a passion project that Seth Rogen has been trying to produce for a few years and I admired him for trying to follow his dream but this film falls apart in the first 10 mins.

The Green Hornet is about how a spoiled rich guy named Britt Reid decides to become a masked vigilante who fights crime.  The crime fighting aspect of the film was inspired by the death of Britt Reid’s father who fought corruption using his daily newspaper The Sentinel.  Jay Chao plays Britt’s sidekick and friend Kato who acts a guide to Britt on his quest for justice.  Arguably, Jay Chao has the strongest performance in the film.  He has screen presence as an action star but there is a small hint of vulnerability that is on display during points of anger and when he is explaining how he came to work for James Reid.

The Green Hornet fails as a film not only because Seth Rogen’s portrayal of the titular hero is flat, but also because while the story makes sense on paper, its translation to the screen is disjointed, clumsy, and lacks any real depth.  I didn’t feel bad for Britt Reid once in this movie.  Every word spoken by Britt made him seem more unintelligent and not worth rooting for or caring about.  In comic book movies, that is what I look for.  I want to able to invest in the hero’s journey wherever it takes him and this movie just showcased one-note jokes and a few moderately enjoyable action sequences.  For a film with so much potential, I am sad as a critic to know it has been squandered.  Teenagers may enjoy this film but may not bother buying it when it’s released on DVD.  The Green Hornet was all buzz and no sting.

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