The Green Hornet (2011)

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The Green Hornet - Seth Rogen Tries to Be a Hero

Feb 19, 2011 (Updated Jun 1, 2011)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Entertaining movie overall.

Cons:Rogen doesn't fit his part.  Plot not that strong.

The Bottom Line: The Green Hornet has some issues, but it manages to be an entertaining movie.


Seth Rogen has been hit or miss for me.  Even when I like his movies, I still find him a bit annoying.  Despite that, and despite not really knowing much about the character, I was interested in seeing The Green Hornet.

Publisher of The Daily Sentinel, James Reid, is disappointed by his partying, slacker son Britt.  When James dies, Britt inherits the paper even though he really doesn't want to be involved with it.  Britt ends up connecting with Kato, a talented man who worked for James.  Both men have issues with James.  They go out and do something stupid one night and end up fighting off a group of men.  

Britt decides that they should fight criminals all the time and he convinces Kato to go along with the plan.  Britt starts doing more at the paper, and even hires Lenore, a woman who studied criminology, as his secretary.  Britt calls himself the Green Hornet and Kato ends up the sidekick even though he is the one with the fighting ability.  Their new activities make them targets of Chudnofsky, a criminal who controls the crime in the city.  

I know that there was a television show about the character.  I have no idea how close to the television show The Green Hornet is.  The character has also been featured in a radio program, movie serials, and comic books.  I sort of remember seeing a little of a few episodes of the television show, but I can't remember anything specific about it.  The plot manages to be entertaining for the most part, but it could have been stronger.

When deciding to fight crime in The Green Hornet, Britt does say that he and Kato should dress up like superheroes.  Neither man has any superpowers, though Kato is amazing at martial arts.  The fact that they don't have any powers does make the movie a bit different from a lot of other superhero movies.  In some ways, I think Green Hornet is like Batman.  Both men are from wealthy families and they both end up dressing up in costumes to fight crime with various gadgets.  Kato is very talented at designing weapons and modifying cars.  The death of a parent does motivate both men as well, though for different reasons.  I enjoyed this movie, but I like Batman more.  There is just a bit more depth to the character.  Bruce acts like a jerk sometimes, but he does it for a reason.  With Britt, he is just an arrogant jerk.  I don't know if Britt has been a jerk in the television show or comic books.  I'm thinking a lot of that is because Seth Rogen played the part and wrote the script.

There is a decent amount of action in The Green Hornet after things get going.  The first several minutes set up things and attempt to show why Britt acts like he does.  After he meets Kato, the action starts happening.  Kato is responsible for much of it with his fighting while Britt is mostly just there not doing anything helpful.  The few car chases are done very well.  Chudnofsky tends to handle things with his criminal business brutally, killing anyone who dares to displease or question him.  He does have a cool looking gun.  Violence does turn up in some scenes, though none of it is that graphic.  There is very little blood shown, which is unrealistic for many of the injuries characters receive.  

For some reason, it was decided to release a 3D version of The Green Hornet.  I saw the normal version and I really don't 3D would have added much to the movie.  There are a few shots that I think were done just to utilize the 3D.  I did wonder how a few scenes would look in 3D, but I don't feel like I missed anything by seeing the normal version.  Slow motion turns up in some of the fight scenes as a way to illustrate that Kato moves really fast when he's fighting.  A few sort of odd visuals turn up every so often as well.  I'm guessing those were done for the 3D as well, though I could be wrong.

Britt is the son of a wealthy newspaper owner.  Despite having a life of privilege, his life isn't that happy because of issues with his father.  He comes across as very arrogant at times and he can be a huge jerk.  It is difficult to like him at times.  I don't really like Seth Rogen in the part and think he was miscast.  Rogen just isn't a good pick for a superhero type of character, though he does well playing jerks.  I've seen him on a few talk shows, and he comes across as an arrogant jerk most of the time.  It seems like he is usually just being himself instead of becoming the character he is supposed to be.  Tom Wilkinson is only in a few short scenes as James, Britt's father.

Kato worked for James and has a variety of talents.  He and Britt hit it off when they first meet.  Kato designs the various weapons and gadgets that they use.  Even though he does most of the fighting, he is considered to be just the sidekick by most people.  Kato is an interesting character and Jay Chou does well with the part.  Lenore is the woman that Britt hires as his secretary.  She is supposed to be a very intelligent woman, but she spends most of her scenes ignoring or fighting off advances from Britt and Kato.  Cameron Diaz is all right in the part, but she does seem a bit out of place.

Chudnofsky is the main villain for the movie.  He has made his way to the top of crime in the city and he intends to stay there.  He does have some insecurities about if people find him scary or not.  He is an interesting character, though he is kind of flat.  Christoph Waltz does well with the part.  He is good at playing villains.  Several other characters turn up briefly without having much to do.

Main Cast

Jay Chou - Kato
Cameron Diaz - Lenore
Seth Rogen - Britt Reid/Green Hornet
Christoph Waltz - Chudnofsky
Tom Wilkinson - James Reid

Michael Gondry - Director

The Green Hornet is an entertaining movie, though it does have some issues.

* This review was originally posted after seeing the movie in the theater.  It is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Independent or Original Superhero/Comic Book/Graphic Novel Movies
30 Days of Night ~ Barbarella ~ Bulletproof Monk ~ Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog ~ From Hell ~ G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra ~ The Greatest American Hero - Season 1 ~ The Greatest American Hero - Season 2 ~ Hancock ~ Judge Dredd ~ The Legend of Zorro ~ The Mask of Zorro ~ Masters of the Universe ~ Mystery Men ~ My Super Ex-Girlfriend ~ Richie Rich ~ The Shadow ~ Sky High ~ Superhero Movie ~ Tales From the Crypt - The Complete First Season ~ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ~ Teenage Mutant Ninga Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze ~ TMNT ~ Transformers ~ Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen ~ Underdog ~ Wanted ~ Whiteout ~ Zoom ~


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