Posted by: greercn | January 15, 2011

The Green Hornet

The best way to think about “The Green Hornet” is to see it as an extra installment in the “Fast and the Furious” franchise. Then, you won’t be disappointed by this “re-imaging” of my much-loved and quirky childhood hero. It’s good to know nothing about the original and to just focus on the cars and the 3D. These are very special.

What cars! Every fantasy is here from ejector seats to missiles firing. Cars explode. Cars catch fire. Cars win in battles with trucks. All in all, this is a very good supercar movie with some people driving them and being driven in them.

As for the 3D, it makes the car stunts look very good. Cars come at you and explode in your face.

Ah, people. There is Seth Rogen, who has a significant following although I simply cannot tell him apart from Andrew Lincoln and Anthony Costa. (Lincoln is a British actor and Costa used to be in the superior boy band “Blue” and is now a “celebrity”).

Cameron Diaz is utterly charming and pretty, although it seems unfair that she doesn’t get to drive or be driven at all. She does gawp at the cars in a very lovely way.

Christoph Waltz (Tarantino’s “Basterds”, if I can bring myself to spell that) and Tom Wilkinson appear to be in a different movie altogether. They play their roles of sinister baddie and father to the hero, respectively, with style and grace. They don’t seem very concerned with cars, which makes them out of place here.

Edward James Olmos adds class, but has too little to do, speaking as his devoted fan. Jay Chou as Kato designs lots of great cars and is a terrific actor who, I hope, will appear in lots of good films in the future.

There is stuff here about newspapers, integrity, politics and youthful male folly, but these are all sidebars – sidecars – to the cars.

The guys in the audience at the Stratford Picturehouse seemed to like it a lot more than the girls did. But then they are who Seth Rogen is trying to appeal to.

Special effects are all winning and the soundtrack is amazing. But what on earth is Michel Gondry – a terrific director of films, TV shows and music videos of great flair –  doing in directing this nonsense? Is he hoping to do big car commercials next? Is this a showreel for that?

Who knows? It passes the time okay. And, if you are out there and feel sad that “The Green Hornet” has been made into a  movie, don’t fret. There is still a vacancy for a good movie to be made that highlights the story of the Hornet and Kato. The plus of seeing it in the cinema, rather than waiting for the DVD, is that the car stunts and 3D look great on a big screen. This movie is strictly for those who adore Seth Rogen and those who never tire of the car sections of James Bond films.

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