After the death of his media-mogul father, Britt Reid (Rogen) and his father’s ex-assistant Kato (Chou) team up to foil a robbery, leading them to create a crime-fighting duo featuring the masked anti-hero The Green Hornet. When their exploits draw the attention of renowned kingpin Chudnofsky (Waltz), Britt and Kato end up in the fight of their lives. A goofy but fun update of a classic character.
When I say that The Green Hornet is ridiculous, know that I mean it as a compliment. Despite a shaky first act that conveys a rather uninspiring origin story (bored rich kid wants to stick it to his uptight, newspaper-baron dad) and some lumpiness in the film’s pace, Hornet really comes to life when the action begins. Combining Gondry’s visual flair with a photographer who has the good sense to take a wide shot makes for some very entertaining fight scenes. The movie also asks an interesting question: “Is a sidekick really a sidekick when he’s the more competent of the two?” Chou’s mechanic-turned-martial artist Kato provides a lot of the drive and action in the movie, though his accent is a little thick. Rogen, who co-wrote the script, is a decent protagonist, even if he plays Britt like most of his other roles. He’s a likable enough guy, but he’s not much for range. Waltz, on the other hand, is interesting as the violent-but-insecure Chudnofsky, carrying the role but lacking the devilish charm of his award-winning turn in Inglourious Basterds. Diaz’s Lenore is slightly better than the usual “love interest/damsel in distress” that this role would usually entail, but she’s just not given much to do. It has its share of problems, but a light-hearted tone and goofy sense of humor save the Green Hornet from being another schlocky superhero movie.
P.S. Skip the 3D and save your money. It’s tacked-on, utterly useless and just screams “cash-in.”