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Friday, January 21, 2011

Review: THE GREEN HORNET




The Green Hornet is an amalgamation of two completely different movies forcefully meshed into each other to create a whole new monster. To paraphrase a quote from Goldeberg’s and Rogen’s previous film:
This is like if that superhero Tony Stark shit met that Chinese Kong Fu Chop Suey I had - and they had a baby. And then, meanwhile, that crazy Pineapple Express stuff we wrote two years ago and that guy from Inglourious Basterds met and had a baby. And by some miracle, those two babies met and fucked - this would the shit that they birthed.
The Green Hornet





In other words: this is a whole new level of Frankenstein. That fact that it works in its own strange way is the result of good teamwork between screenwriters Goldberg and Rogen, director Michel Gondry, stars Rogen and newcomer (for American audiences) Jay Chou, and a miracle.

Had it not been for this miracle the film would be a mess filled with dialogue of Apatowian length and direction, as well as prolonged action sequences that are a few seconds short of becoming boring. Yet, both are edited to the exact point where they remain entertaining. My guess is that we owe this to Gondry who is experienced in directing unusually quirky films and working with actors like Jack Black (in Be Kind Rewind) who if let loose can become more self destructive than Rogen.
If you seen the trailers or are familiar with the TV series staring Bruce Lee, you know the premise: this is a superhero where the sidekick is better than the superheroe at everything he does. Seth Rogen is Britt Reed (AKA The Green Hornet) a spoiled rich boy who decides to become a superhero because otherwise he would be wasting his potential. To do so he teams up with Kato (Chou) his father’s mechanic. Rogen is his usual fast-talking, nonsensical, egotistical self. Once again how this manages to work in the movie is a mystery but somehow it does. Jay Chou is the first pop star (yeah, apparently he is big in China) that can act probably delivering the best performance in the film. The film also has Christoph Waltz (form Inglourious Basterds) as the villain. The role works, as a prolonged cameo. But it is a waste of Waltz’ talent; it is more in line with his work in Der Humpink than in Basterds. As for Cameron Diaz being in this movie, I still can’t figure that one out. Very little is done with her character, which was clearly intended to be played by someone much younger.
Yet besides its shortcomings the film works. It is good fun as a popcorn movie and you will not feel disappointed that you spent your money on it. However, as far as spending the extra 5 dollars for 3D I must warn you that this is a converted film meaning it was not shot 3D nor meant to be seen that way. It is not as bad as Clash of the Titans 3D but it does not add anything to the film.

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