There are a great many quotes involving films and drinks of an alcoholic nature. To me a great film is like a fabulous wine with the flavours rolling over the tongue without effort; it is great without trying. Now, there have been an excess of films that are probably relegated to the bottom of the barrel and those that, as the Father drily comments, are “bloody winegar” (German accent et al.) Please do not get me wrong. I enjoy as many bad films as I do good ones. However, it is rare that I sit with such a dumbfounded expression that a truck could park quite happily in the cave that is my mouth. It was with this particularly fetching expression that I spent watching The Green Hornet with the Reluctant Housemate.
The Green Hornet is about an LA rich playboy, Britt Reid (Seth Rogan), son of a newspaper magnate who, after his father’s sudden death, is forced to take over the newspaper. Along with the trusty car mechanic/servant/coffee maker Kato (Jay Chou) and his secretary Lenore Case (Cameron Diaz) they seek to help save the citizens of Los Angeles from the bad guys by pretending to be the bad guys but actually being the good guys…Cue loud bangs and crashes with a side of tiring jokes and sheer arrogance. Anyway, back to the story. Reid, as the Green Hornet, manages to find out who murdered his father (Tom Wilkinson) before getting the bad guys and partially saving LA. If you managed to stay awake up to this point, then you lasted far longer than I did. I really wish I could say that what the plot lacked in subtlety it made up for in humour, acting and direction. However, I would be lying.
The Green Hornet, to be fair, does have rather good CGI and stunt work. The shots are also interesting and the cars chases are entertaining, yet we quickly realise that the director, Michael Gondry, came to the same conclusion and after a while, the action becomes tiring to the point of moving backwards. It is simply too much to remember every single move that happens or every kung fu kick that occurs. Gondry may have come to the film late but that is really no excuse.
Acting also starts to move slowly and we are in the same stereotypical characters that after a while start to annoy and irritate. I yearned for one of them to do something to move out of the stodge. Seth Rogan played the dumb playboy rather well but left little to audience imagination or interest and certainly should not have been cast as the superhero. Jay Chou as the Kung Fu Kato did deliver some fairly convincing lines but most of the time looked as though he would rather be somewhere else and with a film of this calibre, that isn’t really surprising. Cameron Diaz as the secretary had a few key moments of believability but on the whole, there was no tension whatsoever and time dragged.
The film is a rather good time killer, but there is no sense of the justice being wrought. We just get told that the ‘Green Hornet’ has done something or other without ever giving an explanation. It tries to give a sense of thrill to it but really lacks any sort of sting you would normally expect in this type of cult movie.
I am fairly sure that you now know my opinion of this rather lacklustre extravaganza. I suppose I should admit fairly grudgingly that my brain at the end of this particular palaver had been wonderfully turned to smush and it was refreshing. I have never fidgeted so much in my life before turning over and drowsily falling partially asleep on the Housemate’s shoulder. A critic summed up this lost opportunity fairly well by noting that The Green Hornet felt like a 20-car-pileup of conflicted ideas with a lame plot buried underneath the rubble. To be honest, Sarah Palin has a better chance of being the next President then this quagmire has of being well received.
Rating: 0.5 / 5