Howdy people of the north, south, east and west, and welcome to Day #8 of Month of Superhero Film Reviews 2! During this month I’ll be reviewing of some of the best, average and worst comic book adapted films. Today I review a film I had no intention of watching until now; The Green Hornet.
I had originally wanted to see this film before it came out mainly because I wanted to see how the filmmakers would update this film from the 1960’s TV series. But the trailers didn’t grab my interest and I saw that the critical reception wasn’t good so I gave it a pass. But now since I’m watching superhero films this month I thought I’d finally give it a watch.
The story can be summed up as the following:
“Following the death of his father, Britt Reid, heir to his father’s large company, teams up with his late dad’s assistant Kato to become a masked crime fighting team.”
The story in this film… Yeah, let’s just say that I don’t like it. I knew that turning The Green Hornet into a comedy was not going to be a good idea, but bloody hell this film is just a mess. It is primarily a comedy film with some superhero elements incorporated, and while I’m not against comedy in superhero films (I mean look at the good stuff we’ve gotten from Marvel Studios), but the story needs to be worth investing in and the jokes need to be funny, however neither of those things were good. The film is goofy, frustrating and has story arcs that don’t feel earned, plus the film goes on for too long. I was bored around halfway through.
Now let’s talk about the cast. Seth Rogen as Britt Reid/The Green Hornet was not good. Britt is a selfish, cocky and narrow-minded individual who even in the face of danger does know when to shut up and use rational thinking. These days I don’t hate Seth Rogen that much, however this is one of those films where the character he plays just pisses me off and in turn just fuels the fire of hatred. Jay Chou fares better as Kato, he’s not a great actor and is far from being the next Jackie Chan, but he has a nice screen presence and kicks a lot of ass so that worked for me. Cameron Diaz is fine as Lenore “Casey” Case, her character was smart and resourceful and I’m glad she wasn’t just a typical love interest for Britt. Christoph Waltz as Benjamin Chudnofsky, he was okay, but ultimately really cheesy and I couldn’t take him seriously because of the dialogue he had. Edward James Olmos (who I know now from his appearance in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) was pretty good as Mike Axford, David Harbour was a little better as District Attorney Frank Scanlon and Tom Wilkinson was fine as James Reid.
Now let’s talk about the presentation. Visually the film is interesting but not too good overall. This film tries to do some fancy things with the special effects to create these stylized action sequences and scene transitions and while it is a nice experimental kind of thing, overall I don’t think it added to the film and actually was more distracting and annoying then it was cool. As for the soundtrack, James Newton Howard steps in to score this film and while I usually like a lot of Howard’s material, that is not the case with this film. This score is lacklustre and totally forgettable with no spark, energy or memorable themes.
And lastly how does it compare to the comics? Well the thing about The Green Hornet is that it has been part of many types media since the 1930’s, but move people know of the 1960’s TV show with Van Williams and Bruce Lee and clearly that’s where this film took a lot of inspiration from. In the end I haven’t read any of the comics or seen much of the old show to comment on how well its been adapted, but from what I’ve seen and researched this film only has very loose references to the old show.
So to conclude The Green Hornet is a pretty bad film, the people behind this film took a pretty cool franchise from decades ago, updated it and made it terrible. Besides some and I do mean SOME decent fight scenes and references to the old TV show, the rest of the film is incredibly silly, unfunny and is an endurance to watch. It is a such a waste because this property deserved a better modern interpretation than this.
That’s 8 reviews done, only 22 more to go. So have you seen The Green Hornet and if so what are your thoughts on it? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts yo! Come back tomorrow and I’ll have a new film review online, until then peace out!