Film Review: The Green Hornet

Not one of the more popular comic book superheroes, the film The Green Hornet seems destined to follow the same fate. Although the film is entertaining, it is also instantly forgettable.

Following his father’s death, Britt Reid takes over the reigns at The Daily Sentinel. When Britt and his late father’s assistant Kato stop a robbery, the pair decide to become masked crime-fighting superheroes…

There is plenty of humour in The Green Hornet, but there is also an action-driven plot of underworld crime in Los Angeles. The film would have worked a lot better if it solely followed the comedy strand. The Green Hornet is self-reflexive, therefore may have been a better film if it was a straightforward parody.

As it stands, the narrative is fairly predictable. Britt and Kato have an inevitable falling out, there is a love interest in the form of Cameron Diaz’s Lenore Case, and there is a character who is not quite what they seem. The action sequences are well produced, but there is not really anything that hasn’t already been done in previous superhero films.

Avoid seeing The Green Hornet in 3D if possible. The appearance of this extra dimension is shoddy in the scenes that use it. Otherwise, the production values are good, and the soundtrack is excellent.

Seth Rogen brings much of the humour (he co-wrote the script), but at times his acting is terrible. It is unclear whether this is intentional overacting, fitting in with the element of parody, or plain bad acting. Jay Chou is suitably classed as Kato, acting as the straight man to Rogen’s Britt. Cameron Diaz is hardly used in The Green Hornet, while Christoph Waltz is suitably ridiculous as one-dimensional villain Chudnofsky.

As a superhero, the Green Hornet is similar to Batman, in having wealth but no actual superpowers. Whereas Bruce Wayne uses his playboy lifestyle as a guise, Britt Reid genuinely lives this life. The introductory scenes do well to set-up his character; depicting a guy who parties non-stop. In one sense, Reid is the most normal and relatable of all the superheroes. Rather than an intrinsic desire to do good, Reid is driven by the buzz he got from stopping the robbery. He wants to be a superhero because it’s cool, something that fans of the genre can surely relate to.

The Green Hornet is enjoyable as mindless entertainment, but does nothing to distinguish itself from the plethora of other superhero films. By no means a must-see movie, it is not going to disappoint too many viewers either.

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