Guess who’s back…back again…SportsGuy’s back…tell a friend…
Cheesy, outdated intro aside – welcome, boys and girls, to another one of my movie reviews – in fact, my first 2011 film. I hope everyone (in the States) had a great MLK Jr. Day – I know I did – spent the day with the family, before we decided (on a complete whim) to see the film I am about to review right now – The Green Hornet, directed by Michael Gondry, and starring Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, Christoph Waltz (a.k.a. THE GOD), and Cameron Diaz.
Basic Non-Spoiler Plot Summary: Britt Reid (played by Seth Rogen) is a 28-year-old playboy, the son of James Reid (played by Tom Wilkinson), the owner and publisher of the Los Angeles newspaper The Daily Sentinel. When Britt’s father is suddenly killed from his subsequent allergic reaction to a bee sting, Britt inherits the family business, and fires his entire house staff with the exception of his maid and Kato (played by Jay Chou). After getting drunk and getting into some vigilante trouble one night, Britt gets a thought – he and Kato should become crimefighers who pose as criminals in order into infiltrate real criminals. And, with that, the Green Hornet, and his “unnamed sidekick” are born…
The Pros: For those of you that like your bullets constantly flying, asses getting kicked, and shit getting blown up, you’ll definitely enjoy The Green Hornet on some level. What I liked most about this aspect, though, is that the film didn’t go overboard with the action, like The Expendables did (where every other scene had something getting blown up) – the action was kept relatively small in the beginning, and it got bigger and louder as the film progressed, leading up to the end where just about everything on-screen was getting blown up.
Plus, if you are also a fan of Seth Rogen and his comedy, you will also get a kick out of this film, like I did. Rogen just has that uncanny ability during his comedy scenes to act so casual, as if he were right there sitting next to you, shooting the shit. He still nails his line delivery every time, making jokes (when told by anybody else) normally unfunny seem hilarious. However, as I was watching him on-screen as the film progressed, I couldn’t help but think “Adam Sandler.” What do I mean by that? I’ll explain later in the “Cons” section.
Finally, I wanted to talk about Christoph Waltz, a.k.a. THE GOD. For those of you new to my reviews, I began calling Christoph Waltz “THE GOD” after seeing his star-making performance as Colonel of the SS – “the Jew Hunter” – Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds (actually, I started referring to him as “THE GOD” in Issue #9 of The Wide World of Sports-Entertainment, where I previewed last year’s Oscars in my “Epitome of Randomness” section). While his performance as Benjamin Chudnofsky in The Green Hornet does not come anywhere near that of Hans Landa, I still enjoyed it, nonetheless, though I somehow feel that he wasn’t allowed to give the character the full potential that he would have liked; while the character was badass, it wasn’t as badass as one would expect a character of that nature to be, or as one would expect THE GOD to portray him. But despite that, he is able to pull off a believable bad guy so well – a skill that many actors have yet to master. I just wish that Waltz would have gotten a little more screen time than he did.
The Cons: There come many instances throughout this film where you have to suspend disbelief. A lot. It’s not so much the action sequences I’m talking about (since this is, after all, an ACTION MOVIE), but the logic of certain decisions the characters made during certain situations just baffled me It’s one of those, “wouldn’t it have been easier if you’d have done that instead of this” type of thing, and it can really take you out of the movie.
Now, about Seth Rogen and this “Adam Sandler” business – for some reason, midway through The Green Hornet, the name “Adam Sandler” popped into my head as I was watching Seth Rogen on-screen. After the film ended, I referred back to that instant, and I tried to make sense of it. Finally, it hit me – I wasn’t necessarily comparing Seth Rogen’s humor to Adam Sandler’s – I was mentally predicting how Seth Rogen’s career was going to go if he didn’t eventually shake up his routine.
Allow me to elaborate – I’m a big Adam Sandler fan – still am, actually. However, even I am man enough to admit that his routine (the “man-child,” as I call it) has not changed since 1998, and has affected the films of his later years (see: Grown-Ups). Have you ever heard the phrase, “if you’ve seen one Adam Sandler movie, you’ve seen them all”? That’s exactly what this refers to – the fact that Adam Sandler refuses to change his act, making him, for lack of a better word, STALE. Will Ferrell is slowing going down this path right now, and I fear that Seth Rogen will be going down this path soon if he doesn’t do something about his image and his routine. I mean, as hilarious as he was in The Green Hornet, there were instances where I had flashbacks to Knocked Up and Pineapple Express. It almost seemed that Seth Rogen wasn’t trying to play Britt Reid – Seth Rogen was just being Seth Rogen, which is all fine and dandy – I mean, it’s still funny right now (I’m still laughing my ass off), and he’s still gonna continue to make money off of it (like Adam Sandler does) – but how long will it be before audiences simply get tired of the “same old shit” and label Rogen a thing of the past?
Finally, more Christoph Waltz, please!
Conclusion: Personally, I’m not too familiar with The Green Hornet and his backstory (allies, villiains, etc.), since I haven’t read any of the comics or watched the TV series (I had the opportunity to catch a marathon of the original TV series on SyFy last week, but I decided against it – wasn’t really in the mood). So if this film adaptation got anything wrong, I wouldn’t know a thing about it. But what I do know is that if you are looking for a film that has lots of action – bullets flying, asses kicked, shit blown up – and comedy, or you’re just looking to have a good time at the movies, then look no further than The Green Hornet. Certainly not the greatest movie in the world, but it’s got it where it counts – in entertainment value. Recommended for Adults and Teens.
Final Score: *** (3/5)
And that’ll do it. As always, any questions, comments, or feed back in general, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or simply leave a comment in the comments section below.
Look out for more reviews in the near future, Issue #24 of The Wide World of Sports-Entertainment within the next few days, and the return of my TV Recaps for The Office and 30 Rock THIS THURSDAY!
Until next time, I’m out!
Review – The Green Hornet 
Cinephile extraordinaire, a budding filmmaker, and host of Forced Perspective. A resident of NY/NJ, he spends most of his time looking for new movies to watch and learning the craft of filmmaking. You’ve probably also seen him hanging around Madison Square Garden and Yankee Stadium at some point. If you see him approach your movie theater, be sure to let him in – he’s the guy in the Yankees cap!