21 February 2012

Movies: The Green Hornet

The Green Hornet (2011) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0990407/

Comedy Action Adventure

Based on the Green Hornet character from the old radio plays, movie serials and 1966 TV series. Supposedly.
Britt Reid grows up into an irresponsible man-child under his father's disapproving eye. Upon his father's untimely death by bee sting Britt inherits his father's news paper business. Britt discovers Kato, his father's vehicle maintenance man (and barista), is a martial-arts expert and engineering genius. Together they decide to fight crime by pretending to be criminals.  Perhaps it goes without saying that Britt is practically useless and Kato does everything.

I've been putting off watching this film for a long time, however curiosity got the better of me.

Stupid curiosity.

I should have procrastinated indefinitely.

I was shocked to see it was a two hour film. 45 minutes in to the picture I wanted it over. But I stuck it out to write this up for the two or three people that read my writeups.  $10 sez my wife won't even read this.  Lucky for her (and me) she didn't watch the film with me.

Comedy? Barely. I see it attempts to be comedy, but mostly falls flat. I cracked a smile during the Britt vs. Kato fight, it had funny moments. Then again that scene reminded me of the Clouseau vs. Kato fights in the Pink Panther films, although those scenes were funnier. Just a passing resemblance.
And I cracked a smile when Chudnofsky said, "Heh. I'm ungassable". Weak, I know, but that's it. I didn't even have to use up all the fingers on one hand to count that up.
Action? plenty. Mindless and over the top mostly, but not unexpected for this film. Kato's personal 'bullet time' methods were laughable. Not in a funny "ha ha" way. Yes I realize it ties in directly to a Green Hornet pratfall later in the film, but the payoff wasn't worth it.
Adventure? I guess if stuff happens from point A to X to L to B one could call that an adventure. Generally predictable, shallow, silly. And yes - I was implying the story wandered all over the place despite happening sequentially.

Surprisingly this is the first film I've watched with Cameron Diaz in the cast where Diaz is not the most annoying thing about the film. And that's saying quite a bit. I've rarely appreciated her presence in any film. I do have to admit my favorite Diaz role was in the film "Vanilla Sky", but that's because Tom Cruise asphyxiates her character.

Seth Rogan delivers pretty much what I anticipated in the role of Britt/Green Hornet. What I mean is from a distance he probably isn't the right guy for the role, but in context of this script and film what does it matter.
Tom Wilkinson as Britt's dad? Wilkinson is an amazing actor and eats roles like this one for breakfast. Christoph Waltz really sells Chudnofsky in the film with the right balance of deadpan humor. The Wilkinson and Waltz roles could easily have been cardboard caricatures but but they were able to bring some depth to them. Edward James Olmos did fine with what little he had to work with.

The film doesn't put me off on the concept of the Green Hornet, I would like to see the 1966 series at some point. But watching this film was not the best use of my time.

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