THE GREEN HORNET (2011)

TMG SCALE 4.5
Starring Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, Cameron Diaz, Christoph (Inglourious Basterd) Waltz

So disappointing.  They took a good super hero legend and made it a farce. This film failed as a comedy and sure failed as a super hero movie. And why did they even bother with 3D?  Why pick Seth Rogen and not go all the way to Will Ferrel for this film? Only Jay Chou as Kato, made this film worth sitting through. For all the years this movie was “in production” and all the actors and directors on and off the project, the result was perhaps predictable.  This film lacked definition and vision.

TMG never gives movie “reviews.”   Reviews are really just movie spoilers and more akin to high school book reports.  While we often give postage stamp versions of the plot or storyline, the Art and Joy of  Movies is about movie commentary—a term we coined.   If you are familiar with our site and radio show, we tell you what we think; what value the movie had; what message it contained or how we were entertained, or not. That being said, this movie had some fun chases, a few laughs, and some great cars and gadgets, but otherwise was just a farce.  The only thing this movie will lead to is hundreds of college guys going to emergency rooms after failing to successfully replicate Kato’s beer cap removal technique.

I really had no idea going in that this effort was constructed as 100% slapstick comedy—though the pick of Seth Rogen was perhaps an over the top clue. I expected some humor for sure.  The original Superman had humor, but it was well done and balanced.  Certainly, Christian Bale took Batman to a cool new level of brooding superhero in The Dark Knight (2008). I did not expect the Green Hornet to go that deep,   but I sure expected some drama, some tone, some meat to it. It had no substance.   TMG just adores Cameron Diaz but she was totally miscast here.  Only Chou as Kato gave some hints of how this movie could have been quality made.  We needed a Michael Keaton or George Clooney type  to play the Green Hornet. And why was the talented James Franco wasted in a little cameo and not even credited? His acting and one great scene with Christoph Waltz was one of the best in the film.

The problem now is it will be hard to produce a decent sequel or a prequel since the original is so off base. TMG was a huge fan of the old TV series, The Green Hornet. I hope they bring some reruns back so a new generation might enjoy them.  Bruce Lee is turning over in his grave proud of Jay Chou, but sad Chou had to appear in such a bad reprise.

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