In typical conversation about hero and villain lore, people generally tend to talk about characters like Superman, Spider-man, or Captain America. I’ve even been guilty of this. But who do you know is an avid fan of the Green Hornet? Not many, if any, I would bet. So when this character was being revitalized for the modern day big screen, I thought it was a great idea, although I didn’t really know anything about the character. Was I disappointed?
Britt Reid (Seth Rogen) is an irresponsible, spoiled brat of a multimillionaire publisher of The Daily Sentinel, James Reid (Tom Wilkinson). However, when James dies of mysterious circumstances, Britt is now left in charge of his father’s media empire. After he and his father’s best employee, Kato (Jay Chou), save a couple from a group of thugs, they both decide to fight crime by posing as the criminals and using the Daily Sentinel to rise to fame. Meanwhile, the criminal underworld is being shook by the violence of crime lord Benjamin Chudnofsky (Christoph Waltz), who may prove to be the end of Britt and Kato.
The Green Hornet really plays with the line between and action and a comedy. To ask yourself, “Is this an action or a comedy?” would prove to be difficult. There is plenty of comedy to be found here, but when the action picks up, it really plays like a flu fledged action/comic book film.
The reactions towards this movie, both critically and audiences, are heavily mixed. It really seems like you either love this film, or you hate it. Either you don’t think it’s funny at all, or you think it’s hysterical. I thought this film was good, laughed along the whole time, and got really into the action scenes, especially when Michael Gondry’s surreal style made itself evident. Unfortunately some of the jokes did fall on their face. There were times when I laughed at something, but it turned out that the joke wasn’t even over yet. Some were just stretched out too long, which is surprising considering Seth Rogen co-wrote The Green Hornet and is obviously very talented when it comes to comedy.
Christoph Waltz is the scene stealer as Benjamin Chudnofsky, who appears to be one of the most insecure villains to ever grace the screen. Waltz plays up the insecurities to feed the sadism of the character, and in turn creates a surprisingly good villain for a “superhero” action/comedy.
Another minor fault that befalls this movie is the length. Clocking in at almost two hours, the formulaic comedic plot drags the more action packed plot down in the middle. The comedy saves the movie, fortunately, making me laugh and helping me to forget that I was getting a little bore with the story. After a brief time of being dull, the third act picks up with unimaginable intensity, with instances that I would rank on a list of my favorite action scenes.
In the end, The Green Hornet had its glaring flaws, but the entertainment value is really high. I went into this film expecting a comedy, but I also got a good action film too. I can’t say that The Green Hornet should not be missed, but I can see how a lot of people wouldn’t like it. If you like Seth Rogen and are looking for a fun movie, I’d say check out The Green Hornet.