No Bat-Nipples? Hey, this won't be so bad after all!
I may not be an expert on comics or superheroes, but I enjoy the movies that they're based on. Seeing a movie based on hero helps me or other people decide whether or not to pursue to read more stories on him or her and see what else they have done with their lives. The Green Hornet however, didn't start out in comics, he first started out as a radio show, then comics, then a hit TV show in the 60's (along the same time as the Batman TV show starring Adam West), and now in 2011, the Hornet makes his debut on the big screen. Does he still hold up now as he did then? Well....kind of.
The film stars comedy Actor Seth Rogen, best known for his work in such raunchy comedies as Knocked Up, Superbad, and Pineapple Express, so when you hear that he's playing as a mask-wearing vigilante in supped up sports car, it'll raise your eyebrow. He plays Brit Reid, spoiled rich boy who's the son of a big time publisher played by Tom Wilkinson. His father is fed up with how Brit goes on being the biggest playboy in LA, and continues to tell his son to start on with his life, but shortly after his father is killed by a bee sting, and this is the push to give Brit a chance to become a better man. And all that happened in the first ten minutes into the movie, I guess Seth Rogen (who wrote the movie) didn't want a lengthy origin like other heroes had. After the funeral of his father Brit meets Kato, a mechanic hired by his father, who may not all that he appears to be. After some heavy drinking, and some story time, where they both thought Brit's dad was a total dick, they decide to go out in disguises, and vandalize his father's monument. However they run into a spot of trouble when they come across some hoodlums attacking a couple, and they spring into action. After their heroics, they head home and see that their vandalism was caught on tape and the news labeling them as masked villains. Brit gets the idea that if they continue to do this, they could infiltrate the real bad guys and take them down from them inside. So its agreed, and they go on their guerrilla style of crime fighting.
So now that we've met our protagonists, who's our antagonist? Why it's Academy Award winner Christoph Waltz, he plays a Russian crime boss, who happens to have a German accent, named Benjamin Chudnofsky. Chudnofsky is first seen making a deal with a crime boss newbie Danny "Crytal" Clear, who James Franco gladly agree cameoed to play him. He says that he's the one who controls all the gangs in LA, but Danny states that Chudnofsky is old news and isn't scary. He respectively disagrees with Danny, by pulling out a twin-barrel 9mm handgun, shooting his bodyguards and then blows up the place. Well after all that I think he may be a tad scary.
....Oh, and Cameron Diaz is in it too.
Let's start with the good things about the movie, like the comedy. Yes, this movie has a good amount of laughs, it was written by Seth Rogen, did you expect it to be all serious like The Dark Knight or something? I'll give Seth some credit, that he knows how to write a comedy, we've seen it before in some of his past films, such as Superbad and Drillbit Taylor. But when it comes to writing a superhero film, I kind of falls short. He did however, give some good action for Kato and for Chudnofsky. Those are the next two things I liked about the film, Kato who was not really a "bad-ass," but the next thing below it...."kick-ass?" He had some great action scenes throughout the film, but most of the time he went into some Matrix-like bullet time and he seemed to have some kind of Terminator vision to help point out stuff that can be used in his advantage. Then there is Christoph Waltz who played Chudnofsky. At first, I was skeptical on this casting, I mean the man played a Nazi detective nicknamed "the Jew Hunter," but after what I saw he changed my mind. He was a convincing villain and hopefully he can get casted in future comic-book films.
Now, the stuff I didn't like. I'll admit, Seth Rogen would not be my first choice to play this character. In my opinion, The Green Hornet is a type of character similar to Bruce Wayne from Batman. He's a wealthy man with a good amount of resources which he puts to use by fighting crime. To me, that should be played by someone who could be a tad serious, but also have some kind of sense of humor, seeing how the old 1960's TV show had goofy situations. Seth Rogen doesn't do a terrible job, he just playing what he usually does in movies, he plays himself. He lets his comedy slip out too much, when he's supposed to play a masked vigilante, and I think that's what hurt him the most. When I did some research for this movie, it turns out the Greg Kinear was interested in doing this movie way back when this movie was planned in the mid to late 90's. That would have been a great choice to play the Green Hornet, but, what can you do?
This movie had some big problems, but overall, it was still mildly entertaining. If they had a better casting for the lead and if Seth Rogen took the role a bit more serious, then maybe the movie would be more entertaining, but as of now, it's one big.....eh.
Oh and P.S., another thing I found out before this film was released was that Kevin Smith, the director of such films as Clerks, Dogma, and Zack and Miri Make a Porno, was supposed to write and direct this movie, but things fell through and the studio got someone else. He did however turn to his friends in the comic book industry and turned his script into a comic book series. I've read the first volume, and I got to say it's not that bad. If you ever find yourself in the Graphic Novel section of Barnes & Noble or Borders, or if you end up in your local comic shop and find it, pick it up and give a read.