Canister X Movie Review #33: The Green Hornet (2011)
Written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg
Directed by Michel Gondry
Runtime 119 min.
2.5 out of 5
Irresponsible and party-it-up guy Britt Reid (Seth Rogen) is living the life as the son of the well-to-do publisher of The Daily Sentinel, but when his father is found dead after a fatal bee sting, Britt’s life is changed. Since he never liked his father, he goes to the cemetery and, meaning to sabotage his dad’s memorial, he and his dad’s mechanic, Kato (Jay Chou), end up saving a couple people from being mugged. Later, Britt convinces Kato that the two of them should pose as criminals so they could get close to real criminals and bust them.
Kato agrees and Britt adopts the identity of the Green Hornet. His target is Benjamin Chudnofsky, a Russian mob boss who is trying to unite the crime families in Los Angeles. Soon the Green Hornet and Kato find themselves neck-deep in the city’s underworld.
Sometimes it takes a criminal—or one posing as one—to catch a criminal.
I don’t know, man. I was super jazzed when I found out they were making this movie because I’m a big fan of the 1960s TV show starring Van Williams and Bruce Lee as the Green Hornet and Kato. I thought, hey, imagine doing an updated version where it could be a mob story with all sorts of intense drama, action and be a kind of Sin City, you know, with Green Hornet being an antihero and all?
Instead, I got a goofball comedy out of what was supposed to be a serious idea. I blame Seth Rogen, who I usually don’t mind. He was one of the writers on this movie so obviously wrote to his strengths versus what the character was really about.
The costumes were cool, the action was fantastic, Chou’s martial arts was aces—but they got the Green Hornet wrong and took the gist of him and then did their own thing. Too bad. This really could have been a hit had they done the original series justice and then tweaked it for a modern audience.
Maybe sometime down the line they’ll do another one and do it right. In the meantime, if a straight-up, not bad superhero movie is your thing, check it out, otherwise there are other lesser-known-superhero movies I enjoyed more like The Phantom and The Rocketeer.