The Green Hornet

  • 2011-01-20
  • By Laurence Boyce

Director: Michel Gondry

The character of masked vigilante “The Green Hornet” originates in 1930s, a time when heroes were straight and true, making sure that they helped old ladies across the street in between stopping criminals and brushing their teeth after a long day of protecting the world from evil. In the modern era we can’t have heroes unless they have multiple personality problems and are virtually indistinguishable from the bad guys they fight.

Thus, in this modern remake, Seth Rogen is brash and boorish as Britt Reid, rich playboy turned newspaper editor, who fights crime for reasons that are actually rather hard to tell. He’s partnered by Kato – the true brains of the outfit, who creates all the weapons and generally manages to save “The Green Hornet” in the heat of battle. Faced with the machinations of the evil Chudnofsky (Christoph Waltz, who is just about the best thing in the film) Reid and Kato must stop fighting for the attention of the beautiful Leonore (a wasted Cameron Diaz) long enough to save Los Angeles from being engulfed in crime.

As it’s directed by Michel Gondry, responsible for such genre defying pieces as “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” the expectation was for this to be a surreal delight that subverts expectations and ideas. But Gondry’s typical style seems to be constrained by the conventions of the superhero genre and it renders everything rather a muddle. The plot veers from the outrageous to cliched, goes from glossing over plot points to long scenes of exposition and sees Rogen seem unsure if he’s playing a comedy or a drama. It’s just all rather messy and feels like a series of fight sequences as opposed to a coherent piece of work.

There are some good ideas here but they’re buried under masses of conventional superhero dross and half hearted execution. This is one vigilante who should really just leave all the hard work to the police.

Now showing  in all three countries.


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