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Movie Review: The Green Hornet by CinemaScavarda

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Director Michele Gondry's “The Green Hornet” is a good looking, stylized super hero movie. Sadly, it's just plain dumb.

In the last decade, super hero movies have improved immensely. A couple of years back there was even a considerable hue and cry when The Dark Knight failed to be nominated by the Academy for Best Picture. The bar has risen on this genre of film. Having big action, cool special effects, flashy costumes, nice toys and a few laughs simply isn't enough. Audiences expect coherent storytelling or at a minimum the story needs to make sense. The story needs to hold together and drive the action.

The whole movie centers around Britt Reid deciding he wants to be a bad ass dude saving people and have everyone think he's a criminal. And there is a kingpin type who worries he doesn't dress well enough or come off cool enough. And that is it. That's the whole thing. We are supposed to believe Britt's dad paid for that enormous mansion and loads of fancy, collectible cars because he owns a newspaper. No one even reads newspapers anymore much less make any money off of them.

The most ludicrous part is the reason for the big, final action sequence of the film. (Spoilers ahoy) It revolves around the need to upload a sushi-shaped USB flash drive at the newspaper headquarters. This sushi drive has an audio file that will prove the evil DA is, well, evil. It's super critical! So, the Green Hornet and Kato speed around, blow stuff up, destroy a building or two while racing to upload this file. Huh? Kato has outfitted the Hornet's car, the Black Beauty, with every device known to man. It is ludicrous to think that a laptop with a satellite link wouldn't be in that car. Uploading that file should require about 30 seconds of screen time, not drive the action. It's hard to enjoy an extended action sequence, no matter how well executed, when you are convinced the supposed heroes (and the screenplay) are stupid.

To be fair, there are a few nice funny bits in “The Green Hornet”. Seth Rogen as Britt Reid aka The Green Hornet is not your usual super hero type. He does a decent enough job playing a child who aspires to help out people while being a complete arse. Jay Chou as Kato, the sidekick who is the brains, brawn, mechanic, driver and charm, is the best part of the movie. He's charismatic and has a nice screen presence. Let's hope we see more of him soon.

Christoph Waltz, last year's Oscar winner for Best Supporting Actor for his stunning turn in Inglorious Basterds, plays the villain Chudnofsky. He embraces the silliness well enough but truly there's not enough there. The most we learn about his character is he doesn't dress well and it stresses him. Not even an Oscar winner can do anything remotely useful or interesting with material that thin. Props though, the best scene is the opener with Waltz and James Franco. Pity they didn't make an entire comedy film of Waltz and Franco vying for kingpinship.

If good looking action in a film makes you happy, you probably should catch this film in the theatre. Gondry makes the chase scenes and the blowing things up look good, if a bit chaotic.

If you want a bit of story with your buildings exploding, skip it.

Rating - 3 out of 10


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