"The Green Hornet" Movie Review

1/17/2011 Posted by Admin

"The Green Hornet"

Movie Review

Directed by Michel Gondry, Written by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, 119-minutes, Rated PG-13.

By our guest blogger, Matthew Schimkowitz

After a nightmarish production, "The Green Hornet" finally comes to theaters, and given its many troubles, the film isn't half bad. Director Michel Gondry's unlikely team-up with Seth Rogen tries its hardest to give audiences a good time by mixing Rogen's off-the-cuff style with Gondry's inventive eye. However, the film's strengths become a weakness, as the comedy gets in the way of the plot, slowing each scene before it has a chance to get started.

The Green Hornet is actually rich playboy, Britt Reid, who, after the death of his father, apathetically takes up the family business as the editor of the Los Angeles Sentinel newspaper.

But all that's about to change.

After accidentally stopping a robbery, Reid, along with his father's mechanic and coffee maker, Kato (Jay Chau in the role that made Bruce Lee a star), become crime fighters posing as wrongdoers. In Reid's control, the Sentinel prints story after story on the Green Hornet to put LA's criminal underworld on high alert. That is until the underworld puts the pressure back on Reid.

Part of the problem with "The Green Hornet" is the character himself. There's no real motivation for Britt Reid to take on such a challenge, and Rogen's slacker persona doesn't help things. The actor doesn't have that superhero charisma to convincingly imbue a sense of duty in the character, so the film relies on his humor.

Rogen brings the jokes, but often, the film spends too much time showing him and Chau goofing around. These scenes tend to run far too long without going anywhere. Rather than snapping to action, Kato and Reid take their time, joking or fighting with each other. The team is frequently funny, but they rarely progress the plot.

Gondry spends so much time with Rogen and Chau that we never get to know the peripheral characters, particularly the criminally underused Christoph Waltz. As a villain, Chudnofsky (Waltz) is a one trick pony, with his only characteristic being a frequently verbalized fear of not being taken seriously. His image troubles are funny at first, but by the end of the film, they render the character unrealistic and boring.

"Green Hornet" is both funny and exciting, but Gondry has a hard time mixing the two. Generally, the cast takes their time setting up the next scene, but never seems to get to it, slowing things down immensely. There are many funny and action-packed moments, but at nearly two hours, “The Green Hornet” overstays its welcome.

Grade: B-

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