The Green Hornet Movie Review

An inventive anti-hero theme sets this film apart from the usual superhero movie, but excessive violence and incoherent action leave it deeply frustrating to watch. And it doesn't help that the lead character is so unlikeable.

Britt Reid (Rogen) is the slacker son of a wealthy news baron (Wilkinson). When he inherits the newspaper, he hasn't a clue what to do with it. But he starts hanging out with his dad's old valet Kato (Chou) and hires a sexy assistant (Diaz) whose intelligence he completely ignores. And with Kato, he creates the Green Hornet, who solves crime while apparently being a villain. Soon they're squaring off against the criminal mastermind Chudnofsky (Waltz) as Los Angeles descends into a violent crime war.

This is one of those stories in which the hero's superpower is his seemingly bottomless wealth, which in this case allows Kato to create a tricked-out tank of a car and various gadgets to help beat the baddies. On the other hand, Britt is such a self-obsessed loser that anything he accomplishes is essentially an accident. Yet even though Kato is the real brains here, Britt takes all the credit. So of course they're destined for a falling out.

Sadly, the script isn't original enough to make anything out of this set-up, and none of the actors manage to bring the characters - or their relationships - to life. The story proceeds as a predictable bromance rom-com, while the hero-villain plot gurgles undeveloped alongside it. Each action sequence seems completely random, never developing the story at all. And by the final act the set pieces are as contrived, overwrought and un-thrilling as big flops like The Avengers or Wild Wild West.

This isn't completely director Gondry's fault; he tries to inject some inventive imagery throughout the film, plus a snarky, offhanded attitude that keeps us entertained for the first half-hour or so. But this enjoyably messy atmosphere disintegrates when the Hollywood studio action kicks in. Gondry's clever touches give way to relentlessly busy chaos that's illogical and therefore deeply uninteresting. By the end, all of the slick, cool iconography is pointless. And the unnecessary 3D has given us a headache.


The Green Hornet Rating

" Grim "

Rating: 12, 2011


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