Firstly, let me start by confirming that I am very unfamiliar with the history of The Green Hornet... in fact, besides the fact that Bruce Lee played Kato at some point in his career, I have very little knowledge of it so this review is not biased in any way.
Now to the story side of things:
The movie starts with Britt Reid, played by Seth Rogan, as a carefree playboy type bachelor who has felt unloved by his father, James Reid (Tom Wilkinson). Then the father dies (from a bee sting) and Britt inherits the company business – The Daily Sentinel, a failing newspaper. Kato (Jay Chou) is introduced as the father’s Mechanic and Coffee maker. Britt and Kato have a drink, stop a crime, become friends, become crime fighting vigilantes, save the day and meet Lenore Case (Cameron Diaz) along the way... the usual then!
Obviously there’s more to the story than this but I want you to find that out for yourself.
Seth Rogan is really miscast in this role; he doesn’t have that A-List quality that a role such as this deserves... Vince Vaughn would have been a much better option for me. On the other end of the scale, I thought Jay Chou was brilliant as the ‘Human Swiss Army Knife’ that is Kato... There really isn’t anything that guy can’t do. Tom Wilkinson’s role was small and the dialogue was minimal so there isn’t much I can say about his character and Cameron Diaz was completely unbelievable as Lenore and I mean that literally. I honestly couldn’t grasp her as the person she was playing purely because the character felt forced and unnatural.
There are a lot of comedic moments between the cast, unfortunately, they were more Miss than Hit... although, when they worked, they were great!
The main villain, Chudnofsky (Christoph Waltz) was terrible. Played as a Major King Pin of the L A underground, he came across as more of a wannabe Big Bad than an actual threat. The (totally expected) unexpected villain of District Attorney Scanlon (David Harbour) was also a letdown. Considering that, besides a couple of seconds, no effort was really made to show Britt and the D.A. as potential friends, the “surprise” that he was a bad guy had little impact.
I think the biggest disappointment was the story. The climax wasn’t very engaging, mostly because Chudnofsky was so uncharismatic and boring that he couldn’t create any sense of impending doom (Imagine if Batman’s greatest foe was local Loan Shark... yeah, he’s THAT scary!).
Speaking of Batman, there are some obvious comparison’s to be made here... the gadgets, Hero & Sidekick, the tricked out car, etc but be warned, this is no Dark Knight (although the car, Black Beauty, is awesome).
Although it’s not good enough for an Oscar, it’s not bad enough for a Razzie either. The effects are good and the fight scenes pack a decent punch so it’s ideal for a Friday night when there’s nothing else to watch and you want to chillax for a couple of hours but if you’re after mental stimulation and meaningful dialogue, see something else.
****As this is my first review, any feedback will be greatly appreciated... you can follow me on Twitter... @PortmanReview and/or @StephenPortman...***