Wednesday, February 09, 2011

The Green Hornet was more fun for me than for you


Its not often that I am in the critical and popular minority on a film but in the case of the Green Hornet, it looks like I am bucking my trend for being somewhat reliable to someone. It seems like I am one of the only people who likes this movie. Critics panned it and most audiences just thought that it was OK. By no means do I think this is a great film, but it’s a lot of fun, it made me laugh, it didn’t take itself too seriously and it had enough visual pizzazz and quick pace to keep me interested. Most of the complaints I hear is that the Seth Rogen thing is way overdone, but since I have never really seen any of his earlier films (raunchy comedy’s not my thing) I guess I wasn’t sick of him enough.

The Green Hornet is based off the television show and has roughly the same plot. A rich newspaper tycoon Britt Reed (Rogen) takes on the underworld of crime with his sidekick Kato (Chinese pop star Jay Chou). Just like the TV series, It’s Kato that does all the hard work coming up with all the inventions and being the one who actually fights the crime. In fact, you really have to wonder why the Seth Rogan character is in it at all. But here’s the catch. That’s the charm. He really is completely unnecessary, and half the fun is watching his out of control narcissism and self assured ways that have no basis of merit. It also goes a long way in paving the way for the films central theme of acceptance and reliance, even in a partnership that is wildly uneven and diverse.

There are other small bits here. Cameron Diaz as the hot older secretary has some comedic chops but the scene-stealer is definitely Christoph Waltz (as Chud-nof-sky). As the reigning crime lord, he hams it up in the subtlest of ways that take his character way over the top. His accented imbecile of a mastermind lends neither humanity nor complexity to his role, just plenty of laughs. Michel Gondry is in rare form here. It’s refreshing to see his quirkiness applied to such a different style of film. This is no ‘Eternal sunshine of the Spotless Mind’, and in this case that is a very good thing. We’re looking for stupid fun and that is what we get. There is even a heavy dose of satire as we see a sendup of every final action shootout scene played out at the end that is so over the top you laugh at the absurdity of the violence. Perhaps that’s the films greatest achievement, being so overtly over the top that if you get it, it just seems to work. Well, at least for me.

Final Consensus:
See it now!!!!
See it in theaters!!!
Rent it on DVD/BluRay!!
Wait for it on TV!
Don’t Bother

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