Did You Get Stung By The Green Hornet?

Since I am so late to the game with delivering a review of The Green Hornet, I thought I would try a slightly different approach here.  How many of you already saw the film over the past weekend?  Well according to Box Office Mojo, The Green Hornet scored the highest grossing opening ever for a live-action superhero comedy with an estimated take of $35 million.  In my opinion, that’s pretty impressive for a film that everyone I know said they did not want to see.  Now it should also be noted that this past weekend at the movies was also one of the least attended weekends in over a decade.  So what’s that say? Does that mean The Green Hornet is just that good or is there truly nothing else to see at the theater?  Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

I would have to refute that last statement I made above.  I believe that there’s a cornucopia of films still begging to be checked out at the box office in addition to The Green HornetTron Legacy is still alive and kicking.  I loved that film.  And some of the Oscar contenders are still duking it out on the big screen, which include such titles as True Grit, The King’s Speech, The Fighter and the dark and very beautiful movie (I hope) that I still NEED to check out, Black Swan.  But seemingly, The Green Hornet still managed to top them all.  I truly believe you can chalk up all the hype over the Hornet and its resulting success simply by saying it won because it was a new release.  But still, a blanket statement like that does not instantly make it a bad film either.  I had quite a good time with my theater outing of The Green Hornet and I will tell you why in one word…it was F-U-N!

I have to admit.  When I first found out years ago that not only was Seth Rogen penning a script about the legendary Green Hornet character, but was also going to star in the leading role, I boycotted this film instantly.  Even when I was at Comic-Con these past two years, if there were no attractive females (you gotta love our Green Hornet fans here) adorning the Green Hornet set pieces, my head always looked the other way.  My attitude remained unchanged for years until I saw the film’s theatrical trailer for the first time and I thought to myself “Hello Me.  That really didn’t look bad, did it?”  It was then that I was actually excited over The Green Hornet.  The film’s trailer looked like Seth mixed just the right amount of comedy and action together to maybe warrant a visit to this film actually worthwhile.  I was onboard!

The character of the Green Hornet originated in the 1930’s as a radio program.  It then spread to the movies, television, comics and other outlets.  This newest outing of the legendary character has actually been in development since 2000 with so many names attached to the project I don’t even feel like mentioning them.  As history would work itself out, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg ended up penning the screenplay.  The film is directed by Michael Gondry and stars Jay Chou as Kato (in my opinion…he makes the movie), Christoph Waltz (bringing with him his Inglourious Basterds charm), Cameron Diaz, Edward Furlong, Tom Wilkinson and more.

So why did I like?  I liked it because it was fun, action packed and did not take itself too seriously.  If you are looking for a serious physics based film like Nolan tries to do in his Batman franchise, then you should probably look down the hall and catch another screening of Tron Legacy.  This film is not grounded in reality.  I would say about 99% of the film stunts are impossible to ever pull off in real life.  So as long as you are okay with Crank-like antics, you should have no problem here.  In addition to the hilarious antics and one-liners delivered by Rogen, remember you also have the charming personality of Christoph Waltz.  I do not need to remind you of his role that shot him to geek stardom in 2008, do I?  And then you have Jay Chou as Kato.  This guy is P-E-R-F-E-C-T!  He made the film for me.  He delivered in all facets of the movie covering such ground as a martial arts master in the breathtaking stunts, delivering slapstick humor in the comedic sidekick role and he was also able to bring to the table a sense of seriousness/tenderness when needed.  In other words, he was the required ground in the film’s AC electrical outlet.

In a nutshell, The Green Hornet is basically a tale of a boy who grows up motherless with a rich father who pays very little attention to him.  And when he does pay attention to him, it’s not the kind that’s warranted or welcome.  So long story short, this boy eventually grows up to become the ultimate “manchild.”  He’s a man, but still very much a boy.  It’s almost like that Michael Jackson syndrome, but not in the sick molesting kind of way.  Then one day the party stops.  His father tragically dies and he inherits his father’s media empire.  He also coincidentally meets a man by the name of Kato.  That meeting was fate.  Life would never be the same again.  Instead of simply living off his father’s riches, the young man decides to make a name for himself (using an alter identity) and uses his wealth to do something good in life…fight crime.  He would don the title of the Green Hornet.  Together, Kato and him use every piece of technology at their disposal to fight the forces of evil as he simultaneously discovers the truth about how his father really died.  It’s not your typical superhero movie, not by any means, but it’s an enjoyable ride that I believe if you chose to go on, you too will have just as much fun as I did with this one.

I can’t resist noting that The Green Hornet may have one of the fastest Act I setups I have ever seen, but I did not let that bother me.  I was more interested in getting into the wild and fun action sequences than anything else.  And thankfully, in the same token, The Green Hornet did not disappoint.  Would I recommend this as a Blind Buy Day #1 purchase on Blu-ray?  I probably would not.  But I will say this.  If you have already checked out all those Oscar contenders I mentioned above, then why not do yourself a favor, let go of reality and go have some fun with The Green Hornet?  Today’s a holiday!  So if you are lucky enough to be off from work, go check out a matinee showing.  I think you will walk away from the screening with a smile on your face.  Anyway, that’s my two cents.  Now I have to figure out when I am ever going to check out Black Swan.  It’s now or never…


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

6 Responses to “Did You Get Stung By The Green Hornet?”

  1. Sean Ferguson

    I saw this movie and enjoyed it but Seth Rogen’s character is so unlikable that it dampened my enjoyment of the movie. Even at the end of the movie he is still kind of a douchebag but at least they didn’t magically transform him in a wonderful guy at the last second like what usually happens. I agree with you about Waltz and Chou as they added quite a lot to the movie.

    You’re also right about the stunts being impossible and they did a Mythbusters special on the Green Hornet that proved that they could only work in the movie. I think they picked the perfect weekend to open the movie which I think is the main factor in its box office success. The 3D wasn’t bad but this isn’t one that you need to see in 3D since it really wasn’t used much anyway.

  2. Aaron Neuwirth

    I agree with everything Sean has said. Also, note how neither Brian or I said much of anything about Cameron Diaz. What did she add to this movie?

  3. Brian White

    @Sean…I agree with EVERYTHING you have to say here and I apologize about missing out on discussing the 3d here. I thought about that after I submitted this review. While there was added depth to this movie the producers really did nothing out of the ordinary here to effectively utilize the 3d effect. As you stated…save our money and go see this in 2d. I’m glad you checked this one out Sean!

    @Aaron…Cameron Diaz was in this? LOL. She added nothing here. In fact you could have stuck in any wooden actress in her role and I would not have even noticed she was missing.

  4. Sean Ferguson

    It’s been awhile since we all agreed on something. It’s nice to have us all on the same page again!

  5. Jiminy Critic

    F-U-N! Brian, that is the exact word I used in my review… This is not for comic purists, hero purists, or anyone going into this with a serious mind at all! Just go with the flow and have a good time… Agreed on Waltz and Chou as well, and as for Cameron Diaz… who??

  6. Gerard Iribe

    I’ll rent this.