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The Green Hornet - Movie Review by A.D.Harris

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2011 may only be a few weeks old, and so to comment on the quality of film we will see in 2011 is impossible. But I already can safely say one statement; it's a good year for any 'superheroes' clad in green garments or choosing to name themselves after the blue-yellow mix.
Coming up in a few months is the Ryan Reynolds starrer, 'The Green Lantern' all supernatural & magical comic book lore. Kicking off the 2011 blockbuster run however is a slightly different type of green. It's the (now only) slightly chubby Seth Rogan, in the best shape of his life taking to the streets for no other reason than he wants to a) have fun and b) do something with his life. Taking a leaf out of Kick-Ass' book from last year, 'The Green Hornet' is a playful attempt to both re-invent and slightly mock the genre from which it originates, taking a dollop of the usual Seth Rogan starrer (Think Knocked Up, Pineapple Express) and fusing with the classic superhero. (Think Iron Man, Spiderman)
It's a tough feat to attempt, and it starts quite worryingly wobbly, we are introduced to Rogan's Britt as a child, his father taking a toy off his son and snapping its head off because of a fight at school. It's clear what these early father/son scenes were trying to convey, and the team had brought in the ever reliable Tom Wilkinson to bring out the necessary relationship between Britt and James Reid in the very short space of time they allocated for the two characters together. Unfortunately it doesn't quite work, the relationship, though wanting to feel broken also feels a little unreal, or fake. The vital moment of the movie for Britt is when he learns that his father has died of an allergic reaction to a bee sting; which is also, sadly, poorly brought across and feels a little too silly to be the emotional pull for Britt's character to progress from for the rest of the movie.
This factor affects the way the audience feels about Rogan's Britt, who is a very intruiging character with just as many faults as he has positives; the unfortunate fact that you aren't given enough to feel sorry for Britt given his unbringing at times makes him seem nothing more than an idiot. That being said, he's a blast to have on screen, and Seth Rogan has rarely been better (an exception being the criminally under-rated Zack and Miri) at his usual, typical average guy.
These early worries were silenced by (a criminally under-rated performance based on the reviews I have read) Christophe Waltz's arch-villain Chudnofsky, cool, calm & collected as well as being very out of touch with modern society, he is expertly deliciously underplayed by last years Oscar winner, oozing quality out of every brilliant scene he is in; his opener alongside a cameoing James Franco is one of the typical set-up-villain-standoffs, but it works really well and leaves you with that lingering tension behind your ears as the movie leaves him in the background for a while to set up the creation from Britt Reid to Green Hornet.
The movie really digs itself out of the small pit it had found itself in the moment Britt calls back in his father's coffee maker/garage maintainence man after he wakes up to find his usual dose of caffeine is not the quality it once was. Enter Kato, who, played by James Chou (who I'm hazarding a guess doesn't actually speak much English) is the movies greatest asset. A younger version of the Jackie Chan type character, Chou is all kung-fu, kick ass brilliance, adding the gloss to the action that, no offence meant, Seth Rogan was never going to be able to pull off. He is the real secret behind the Green Hornet's success, happily letting his big-headed sidekick take all the glory for most of the work. There's no denying the hilarity in seeing Kato somersault over a car and take out the enemies with a back flip whilst Britt runs over to the already down enemies and provide the 'final kick in the stomach.' Director Michael Gondry knows that there is a lot of comedy in the physical differences between the two, and works it expertly and it's at these times when the movie feels at its best.
The middle third of the movie is undoubtedly where 'The Green Hornet' has it's strongest phase, the initial attempt to behead his fathers statue and then the transformation of the pair towards their superhero status, kitting out the cars and the first fights with their masks and state of the art weapons make a really entertaining twenty minutes.
The movie enters choppy territory as the movie struggles to find it's way smoothly to the finale, a pointless Cameron Diaz adding tension that's at time boring and it's at points like this you realise that the main storyline is lacking. Taking Kick Ass last year, Nicholas Cage pulled off a masterful performance amid the action and drama, leaving the audience devastated by his fate; this is something that 'The Green Hornet' failed to pull off. It was a lot of fun but it wasn't even skin deep.
As the movie heads towards its finale it totally forgets that the story needs to keep on developing, and turns into a large mashup of lets kill as many people as they possibly can. I'm one for great story and characters, and maybe it helped because I'd had my dose of both those elements watching 'The King's Speech' the day before but the end is a hell of a lot of fun. Pointless, maybe. Silly, at times. Fun, always. And in most respects, all the characters were given conclusions that satisfied, a tense standoff between Waltz's newly named Bloodkovsky & Kato being the highlight.
Of course, it was all heading towards the inevitable sequel that a 30 million dollar first weekend should ensure, and I can quite happily admit I'm likely to be there; I had a lot of fun watching 'The Green Hornet.'
So in the year of the two Green movies, the first has come out bright and loud, like this light bulb:

The other green clothed super-hero, the Lantern has a lot to live upto in terms of fun... perhaps not so much in terms of plot.
But then, looking back, I don't really think that's what Rogan wanted.
He wanted to have some fun; good job Seth!


Taken From: http://theadamharris.blogspot.com/

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