Friday, February 4, 2011

"The Green Hornet" review: a hodgepodge of a movie with some good action and decent humor

What did I expect from the new "Green Hornet"? For it to be as faithful as possible to the 60s TV series in concept with some great action and unexpected humor from Seth Rogen's take. What I definitely got was great action and a suped-up nod to the original. But ultimately I felt there were too many cooks in the kitchen on this one.

Right off the top I thought Kato and Black Beauty were the absolute best elements of the movie! Jay Chou as Kato delivers some great fight sequences and the car amps up his kick-ass character. But like "Big Trouble in Little China", Kato turns out to be the hero while Rogen's Green Hornet is practically reduced to a side kick. Not unlike Dennis Dun's and Kurt Russell's characters in that iconic 80s film. Do we buy him as a millionaire playboy who gets all the women and hosts all the cool parties? No.

The critics were right when they called this movie a hodgepodge. Yes, it's definitely a fun ride at times. But certain scenes and characters are ultimately unnecessary. A big fight between quarreling Reid (Rogen) and Kato (Chou) has very little purpose, and Cameron Diaz' character could have been played by anyone. She seems to be there just for the paycheck. Christoph Waltz has a lot of potential in the story, but he's never completely let loose to create the kind of havoc we all know he'd have fun being a part of.

BTW, what I meant by unexpected humor from Seth Rogen is that this project was originally going to be straight drama and action, with George Clooney even being eyed for the role back in the late 90s. Many fans were scratching their heads when Rogen announced he would not only be shepherding the project but also starring as newspaper tycoon Britt Reid. I argue that even if Seth was not the best person for the role, at least the original "GH" love is ever present. Right down to Al Hirt's classic theme and Kato's stinger darts he throws at bad guys.

I huge action set piece in the final act is definitely unique and non-stop in it's carnage. But the heart of the movie, which is not as heightened, kind of takes some of the resonance away from those over the top moments. I'm just glad we didn't see this in 3D because #1: it didn't need to be in 3D and #2: it's a conversion! NO CONVERSIONS!!

Bottom line: I'll take the 60s TV show any day!


At February 5, 2011 at 10:09 AM, Anonymous Allen Pinney said...

As always, great review. Thanks!
The week before the movie came out SyFy ran an all-day GH marathon, it was awesome.

At February 5, 2011 at 10:20 AM, Blogger LA Filmcutter said...

Oh wow!! I wish I'd caught that! D'OH!!

At February 7, 2011 at 9:37 AM, Anonymous Allen Pinney said...

Well here's your chance...
This WEDNESDAY starting at 8:00 AM est. they are running it again!

At February 7, 2011 at 11:53 AM, Blogger LA Filmcutter said...

AWESOME!!! Gotta catch it this time around!!


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