13 January 2011

Pickelodeon: The Green Hornet

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The Green Hornet

Geeks of the world, imagine your favorite comic book super hero. Now imagine a comedic actor who, at best, resembles a henchman, not a hero. Imagine that guy, whose only writing credit to date is about two high school buddies trying to score booze and get laid, just wrote a script about your favorite super hero that really does not stay true to the origin story you know and love. Outrage, right? Well, such is not the case with Seth Rogen's take on The Green Hornet.

The main reason there will not be outrage over this retelling of the Hornet's origins is due to the fact that there have been dozens of versions of the origin already. The legend of this green hero began as a radio program in the 1930's, and was most famously a 1960's television show with Van Williams and Bruce Lee that had a couple of crossovers with Adam West's Batman. The Hornet has graced the pages of the funny books as well, but each time the story was tweaked a bit to reflect the changing times. This just so happens to be what Rogen and co-scribe Evan Goldberg did with the film version of the Hornet. Gave it a little tweak to bring it up to modern times.

Aside from all of that background, its a very enjoyable film. Helmed by Michel Gondry, known for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Dave Chappelle's Block Party, the film is an entertaining origin story for an atypical masked avenger. Rogen is in the titular role (whose alter-ego is millionaire playboy Britt Reid) and is accompanied by Jay Chou as Kato, Cameron Diaz as the obligatory reporter/love-interest Lenore Case, and Christoph Waltz in another villainous role as the gangster Chudnofsky. The film also features the fantastic Edward James Olmos, Batman Begins villain Tom Wilkinson, and Quantum of Solace villain David Harbour in supporting roles. Make sure you get there early enough to catch a funny cameo in the film's second scene.

Since I can not stand when movie reviews give away story details, I will avoid that and instead focus on things I enjoyed while watching the movie. For one, it was funny. Not so much in the campy Adam West way, but pretty much what would be expected when you see Seth Rogen as a super hero. The Black Beauty, the Hornet's car, is fantastic. Any car enthusiast will enjoy the trip through the Reid's garage and its stunning array of fine vehicles and the different versions of the Black Beauty used throughout the film. The action sequences are pretty good, especially when featuring Chou kicking ass as Kato.

I actually saw the film in 3D, a trend I am hoping will go away. It is certainly not necessary to see it in 3D as there are few effects that make it stand out. Until the credits, that is. Even I, an anti-3D man, thought the 3D credit sequence was pretty badass. On the subject of credits, there was no special teaser at the end hinting at a sequel. I suppose a sequel could be done, but this movie was not specifically setting one up at any point. Overall, it was an entertaining popcorn movie. As far as super hero movies go, it was better than Batman Forever but not quite as good as Spider-Man. I would recommend checking it out, it was an enjoyable ride.

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