The Green Hornet (4/10)
by Tony Medley
Run time 118 minutes.
Not for children.
This is a movie for people who
find thinking laborious and just want to turn off their minds and float
downstream watching and listening to loud special effects. I must admit
that the only superhero comic books I ever read were Superman and the
Captain Marvel familyI might have read some Batman, but they didnít
capture me and Batman isnít really a superhero anyway, is he?
The Green Hornet
started as a radio show and morphed into a comic book. I did not read
The Green Hornet, but my understanding was that he was like the other
guys and he had a sidekick, Kato (here played by Jay Chou), who was a
martial arts expert. Unfortunately, Chou, a musician, is horribly
miscast, and this film does nothing to dispel the rumors of his gayness.
The martial arts scenes are quick cuts, so it didnít take any special
skills (like those of a former Kato, Bruce Lee) to perform in this film,
even if he wasnít doubled. One thingís for sure, heís no Lee.
In this film Seth Rogen plays
The Green Hornet, so you know right off the bat that he isnít the same
insect from the radio of the comic books. Rogen plays him as less than
athletic, kind of an enthusiastic boob. Thrown into the mix is Cameron
Diaz, I guess to get some sex involved. But the only sex in this film is
that sheís female and rejects advances from both the Hornet and Kato.
There are two good
performances, however. Christoph Waltz is back in front of American
audiences again after winning an Oscarģ for his stirring performance as
a bad Nazi in Inglorious Basterds (2008), once again playing a
villain, Chudnofsky, who is the guy who runs all the criminal activities
in Hornetís city. And Tom Wilkinson gives a fine, albeit short,
performance as the Hornetís dad, James Reid.
But the acting is just a
sideline to this loud action film. It is replete with blazing guns and
people jumping all over the place killing each other. It is a paean of
violence, if that isnít too oxymoronic.
The last half hour is
particularly loud and violent, if not annoying (well, I found it
annoying; those who are attending just for this sort of thing could
enjoy it). There is more depth in just one line (any line) from All
About Eve (1950) than in the entire two hours of this film.
The story? Director Michael
Gondry doesnít need no stinking story, so I wonít take the two seconds
of your time that it would take to relate it. But I will say that it is
insubstantial enough to qualify for a superhero film.
One final comment. The MPAA
rates this PG-13. Show one female nipple in a film and it automatically
gets an R. Show violent fights and death and you get a more family
rating. Violence is less important to these people than a nipple. Go
figure. If Iím rating this, it gets an R for pervasive violence. But
letís face it, without the violence there is no film. It certainly canít
survive on humor.
January 11, 2011