Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Seth Rogen and Jay Chou
THE GREEN HORNET (2011). Director: Michel Gondry.

When his newspaper publisher father dies, Britt Reid (Seth Rogen), an irresponsible playboy, not only has to take over his paper, but decides to fight the corruption in the city by taking on the costumed identity of the Green Hornet, with his father's valet, Kato (Jay Chou) by his side. Their main antagonist is a mobster named Chudnosky (Christoph Waltz). An opening scene, in which Danny Crystal Cleer (an uncredited James Franco) has a confrontation with Chudnofsky and makes incredible age discriminatory remarks only to discover that the latter is hardly over the hill as he suggests, is the only good scene in the movie; everything after that is downhill. Seth Rogen, completely unattractive and unappealing as Reid, is a former stand-up comic with a few undistinguished projects to his name; The Green Hornet is his vanity project, as he stars, co-authored the dreadful screenplay, and served as executive producer as well. The movie has nothing but contempt for its source material, and thinks it's so much hipper than what came before, but in reality it's just plain bad. Rogen and his associates certainly should have realized that the campy Batman sitcom approach of the sixties is passe, and that nowadays super-hero movies are generally played straight. This is even worse than the 2008 Spirit. It is also much worse than The Green Hornet TV show [which was played straight] and has none of the entertainment value of the two Green Hornet cliffhanger serials. Aside from the scene described above, there is not one single memorable moment or element to this movie, which is simply tedious; Rogen is irritating and awful in the title role.Director Gondry betrays absolutely no flair with action sequences. Dreadful.

Verdict: The good news is that there will never be another Green Hornet film from the folks who made this one; the bad news is that there will likely never be another Green Hornet movie. Half a star.

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