Films | Movie Reviews | Green Hornet – Review

Green Hornet – Review

Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on January 16, 2011 | No Comments

Film – Green Hornet

Producer – Neal H.Mortiz, Raffi Adlan (Co-producer)

Director – Michel Gondry

Writer – Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg

Cast – Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, Christoph Waltz, Cameron Diaz

Music – James Newton Howard

Seth Rogen and Jay Chou are the masked crusaders with ultra-hi-tech machinery at their behest in Michel Gondry’s version of the vigilante story of the ‘Green Hornet.’ A masked hero for decades, the green hornet has found popularity through comic books and TV series in America. Sony Pictures and director Michel Gondry bring him to the silver screen with aplomb and of course, 3D.

Interestingly, this aplomb is limited not only in scope but in ambition as well. Britt Reid, the vigilante by night, is a spoilt brat of a multi-billion dollar industrialist. His partner in his crusades is the ultra talented martial arts expert Kato who designs his hi-tech equipment which the two use as boys toys
and have a lot of fun with. Until it is not funny anymore.

A sort of coming of age film, The Green Hornet is rather Hollywood-ish in its ambitions. Far from stunning, the masked hero caper is tepid and meanders between drama, a moral tale and a story of growing up. A mish-mash of intentions it comes across as a mixed experience as well.

Britt’s character is set up well. The film begins with an episode of his father chiding him for making mischief at school again. This scolding is coupled with a disgust and frustration Britt remembers as the only hallmarks of his hated father. Growing up spoilt and bratty with little ambition besides partying, Britt’s life takes a U-turn when after his father’s death, he discovers Kato, his father’s genius mechanic who is a whiz-kid with machines. Unappreciated both, Britt and Kato set out to have some innocent adventures with his father’s gizmos that would shame Bond himself. What begins as an adolescent outing turns deadly soon enough with Britt using his media establishment and his knowledgeable secratary (name) to fuel the myth of Green Hornet and create a legend out of nothing. It is not long before the political and criminal machineries of the state kick in and Britt’s game becomes a battle and then a full-blown war between good and evil. Immaturity suddenly blooms to have the good burst forth and evil sees its fitting doom.

Rather forced, this outcome seems formulaic because of the ambiguous precedent setup in the first half. Britt and Kato are no heroes but are not eminently like-able either. The film makes the audience view them as regular protagonists with an indifference. This indifference hinders the affinity it is supposed to evoke as the regular Joes actually turn heroes in the pre-climax.

The film has a smattering of great visual effects as the slow-mo fights of faster-than-light of Kato. But these remain few and far between. Christoph Waltz gangster act is a revelation of the tremendous talent of the man. However, a certain over-doing of his character extinguishes the brilliance he offers to the role.

All in all it offers a passable visual impact, a pot-boiler type screenplay and gleeful exhibition of boys toys. If you are willing to settle for so much that is.

Fatema H.Kagalwala

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