Went to go see the Green Hornet today with moderate expectations. In a market already saturated with superhero movies, it can be tough to make one that stands above the mediocrity. I’m not sure this one promised excellence, which is good since that way there was no promise to break. It was mindless fun in its own way, but far from anything a cynical theater community needs to be wowed these days.
Lets start with the positive. I actually thought that the movie was well directed. Michael Gondry seemed to love what he was doing from behind the camera, and his passion showed on the silver screen. Especially entertaining were the action scenes. Probably helps that his cinematographer is John Schwartman of of many notable Michael Bay films. I had heard good things about the “Kato vision” employed by the filmmakers, showcasing Jay Chou’s character’s heightened ass kicking abilities. It was fun to watch Kato’s super human martial arts through his own mind’s eye, although it was a special effect that didn’t get much screen time.
Speaking of Chou, the multitalented Taiwanese breakout star, he was a fun actor to watch. Sure his thick accent bordered on the indecipherable once or twice, but he proved to be a more than apt action star with surprisingly effective comedic timing.
James Franco had an awesome little cameo, and Seth Rogen himself did a decent job as the eponymous Green Hornet as far as his comedy stylings go (although the character was such a douche that it was hard to root for him throughout the movie). It helped that he was going up against the totally wasted Christoph Waltz who delivered such a lackluster and ridiculous performance that it’s tough to remember he’s a recent oscar winner.
But I would imagine that a lion’s share of the blame has to go to Rogen himself who cowrote the script, and his limited experience and vocabulary are put in the spotlight. As much as I love Seth Rogen, it seems that a little bit of humor can go a long way. He writes his character of Britt Reid as if if the audience is supposed to hate this guy. The time tested redemption formula so often used in movies is wasted on a guy so dislikable that even when he decides take make his mark on the world, he still manages to piss off everyone in the most asshole way imaginable.
My final assessment: pretty sweet as a mindless action moive, but not much in the way of other redeeming qualities. You’ll probably be disapointed if you go and spend $10 on it at the theater, but give it a try when it comes out on DVD.
Have you seen the movie? What did you think about it? Let me know in the comments below!