It’s a weird hybrid: part super-hero 3D action film, part dumbass buddy movie. It’s also a cultural parable: the Chinese guy Kato (played by Taiwanese Jay Chou who does a great job playing a guy from Shanghai) is the one with all the smarts and ability. But should you see it?
The white guy Britt Reid (Seth Rogen) is the useless, flaccid rich kid born with a silver bong in his mouth. Surprisingly, there’s an argument between the two about who’s going to be the superhero. Reid thinks The Green Hornet – he wanted to call his superhero The Green Bee – is the champion. Kato thinks they’re a team. Look at the bigger picture, folks.
In fitting with the craziness of ‘The Green Hornet’, in promoting the film Rogen says he based his character on Paris Hilton.
Talking to MTV.com, Rogen admitted, “We kind of based him off (sic) a male Paris Hilton, as embarrassing as that is to say. That is what we looked at – those people who are the sons or daughters of people who have accomplished great things. We probably give them a little more credit than they’ve gotten in the past and we explore why they’re such jerks and why they act out. Maybe it’s because they didn’t get the attention they wanted. We wanted to start out with a guy who was the last guy you would ever expect to be a superhero and slowly make that guy a hero instead of starting with a guy who’s already pretty morally centred, just doesn’t quite have the idea yet.”
Well, you sure did that.
Although ‘The Green Hornet’ isn’t anything surprising, there are some cool parts – Christoph Waltz, namely, who reminds us what a good actor can do. His supporting role as the dangerous gangster Chudnofsky is a brilliant mix of sympathy, stupidity and violence. Cameron Diaz hits the screen and bores us immediately, but then, accused of being too old by Reid, immediately gains our sympathy back. Suddenly, the film seems almost believable for an instant. But it is not supposed to be believable. It is supposed to be amazing. And it almost is.
What is stunning are the set-ups of the action sequences, the Green Hornet’s car – The Black Beauty – and even Tom Wilkinson, who is given a thankless role as Britt Reid’s editorial dad.
Oh, and did I mention this was all in 3D? It’s in 3D. Yep.
Should you see it? Probably. Don’t expect anything new or utterly mind-blowing, but the hybrid of dumbness and excitement – especially poignant for those of us who remember the real, I mean, the old Green Hornet, will be a magnetic pull that’s hard to resist.
See? Bruce Lee does all the work here too. The Green Hornet (Van Williams) does squat!
Bottom line? Jay Chou and Christoph Waltz are amazing. The Black Beauty is amazing. The imagination and some of the dialogue is amazing. The rest? You’ve seen it before.