The Good, the Bad and the Noisy
After deciding to fight crime by impersonating criminals, spoiled brat Britt Reid and his recently deceased fatherís former assistant Kato hide behind masks and new identities in The Green Hornet. Unfortunately, as novices in this area, they need all the help they can get. So who do they turn to? Brittís new secretary, of course, a woman supposedly knowledgeable about crime. To be successful in their efforts, the trio must take down a ruthless crime boss whoís worried about his image. Playing the key roles in this ultra-noisy film, Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, Cameron Diaz and Christoph Waltz try to bring their characters to life -- but the results end up uneven at best.
In his portrayal of wealthy Britt Reid/The Green Hornet, Rogen (Observe and Report) -- who mistakes yelling for acting here -- fares the worst, while Oscar-winner Waltz (Inglourious Basterds) delivers a humorous and highly watchable performance as the mercurial villain Chudnofsky. (The opening scene featuring Waltz and James Franco in a brilliant cameo is the best one in the movie.) As Kato, Chou (Star Trek) plays second fiddle to Rogenís lead, but he seems much more at home in this campy action flick. Diaz (What Happens in Vegas) contributes her trademark smile and effervescence to the role of Lenore Case, an intelligent new hire whoís constantly befuddled by her boss and his chief minion.
Because the miscast Rogen dominates practically every scene here, itís not easy to enjoy The Green Hornet. My husband said he imagined Will Ferrell in Rogenís place and was able to sit through the film with that in mind. Maybe such a mental trick would have helped me too, but I doubt it. The unnecessary 3-D treatment also hindered my appreciation of many sequences. As most of my readers know, my eyes have trouble adjusting to 3-D. However, the new 3-D glasses work for me now, and The Green Hornet is the second 3-D film Iíve seen. Like with Gulliverís Travels, I felt the process detracted from the filmís story and character development. Yet we had to pay more to see it. Arrrrgh!
Still, story and character development are not what The Green Hornet is all about. The thin plot attempts to tie together -- sometimes amusingly -- such areas as newspaper journalism, crime fighting, male bonding and political corruption, but the filmís emphasis clearly lies on expensive gadgets, loud explosions, violent fight scenes, big shoot-outs, speedy car chases and special effects. Viewers who enjoy those particular movie elements will probably love this film.
(Released by Columbia Pictures and rated ďPG-13Ē for sequences of violent action, language, sensuality and drug content.)
For more information about The Green Hornet, go to the Internet Movie Data Base or Rotten Tomatoes website.