Monday, June 11, 2012

It Still Stings!


Last year's Green Hornet looked dreadful, so I stayed away from the theaters, then when it came out on DVD, I kept waiting for it to get cheaper before I picked up an obligatory copy to fill in my Hornet knowledge. I still haven't bought one.

Yesterday though, I got to finally see this movie on television all the way through (for free), I have to admit that it's even worse than I expected. This is arguably the worst "superhero" movie I've ever seen. It's slick enough and has some real production values, but the story is a disaster and the characterizations are at once insulting to the original material and just plain stupid to boot.

Seth Rogin as the Hornet is a mess. He begins the story as a spoiled rich brat who by happenstance seeks to become a "hero". But at no point in the story does he actually demonstrate any selfless motivations which might suggest his heroism is for any purpose other than his own entertainment or to soothe his ego. And sadly Jay Chou as Kato isn't much better. He's just as much of a hipster loser as Rogin's Britt Reid, but just a lot smarter and more physically capable. Cameron Diaz is mostly wasted in a part that seems mostly obligatory to get some great gams on screen. She does have great gams.

The story pits the Hornet against a villain (sort of) who can't seem to decide if he's a comedic character or not, and sadly fails to fulfill on either count. Chudnofsky or "Bloodnofsky" as he calls himself toward the end has some potential but it's largely wasted as the script twists and turns to suit individual scenes and the larger story.

Somehow I got the sense this story was about a son who discovers the nature of adulthood and the truth about his father and is at once empowered and redeemed by that realization, but whatever the intent of the story that's not what ended up on the screen as this Britt Reid remains a snot-nosed buffoon right through the end of the movie.

And finally I was frankly flabbergasted and somewhat horrified at the death count in this movie. Not only are random bystanders harmed without regard through most of the action, but the Hornet and Kato kill baddies without an ounce of regret or any sense of responsibility. Killing folks is just one more joke in this movie which demolishes any sense of heroism on anyone's part.

I will say the Black Beauty looked good. The action sequences with her are definitely the highlights, though the disaster drive through The Daily Sentinel building beggared belief and common sense by a goodly margin.

This is a dreadful movie which likely needed to titled "National Lampoon's Green Hornet", then at least we'd know what a sophomoric experience it truly is.

Avoid this one like the plague.

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8 comments:

  1. I caught it on Redbox a while back. You nailed my memory of it perfectly...

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  2. "I was frankly flabbergasted and somewhat horrified at the death count in this movie."
    Agreed.
    One of the main points in previous versions of The Green Hornet and The Lone Ranger was that they didn't kill their enemies.
    The Hornet used non-lethal weaponry (Even the rockets on the TV Black Beauty were used to disable vehicles or blast walls, and you always saw baddies stumble out of the wreckage.) and the Lone Ranger always shot to wound, not kill (even when the villains clearly deserved it)!
    When baddies died, it was at their own hands as their plans to kill the heroes backfired.

    Plus, making District Attorney Scanlon a baddie was on a betrayal of the character on the level of the first Mission: Impossible movie making Jim Phelps (Peter Graves' character) a mole!

    And, Jay Chou is NOT Bruce Lee, no matter how many CGI tricks they use!

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  3. Agreed! I kept waiting for Reid to show that he was in it as anything but a lark. Didn't happen. And the pointless revision of characters like the aforementioned Scanlon bugged me so much that I couldn't even enjoy it as simply "an action movie". Feh!!!

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  4. But other than that, you really like it, right? :)

    My wife and I watched it on DVD months ago and we were both entertained. I mean, I'm not gonna defend it, all your points are valid. But, I found it more watchable than some other superhero films like the first Hulk movie which I turned off after 20 minutes.

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  5. Mock - Great minds my man! :)

    Britt - I usually get defensive when people start prattling on about "mindless violence" in a flick but this truly qualified. I could find little validity in the violence in the flick. The Scanlon change didn't bother me that much, and I saw it coming because the actor they cast always seems to play these kinds of asswipes.

    Lefty - The Hornet needs to be about something other than having a good time. Redemption is the whole point!

    Dave - I'm glad you all enjoyed it. That's cool by me. Oh and I really like the Ang Lee Hulk movie, one of my unpopular opinions for sure. ;)

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  6. I liked it. If you take it as a new thing, and don't saddle it with expectations, it's fun. I enjoyed Rogen's comedy take on the character. I saw it as "Seth Rogen GH," not the real GH.

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  7. I get what you mean, but how can you not come to a project like this with expectations? It's all well and good to isolate it off into its own mini-verse, but then it still has to be judged on those merits, and whatever the virtues of stoner humor are, they don't find much purchase with me as an audience.

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  8. My theory on super hero movies has always been-cast the alter ego right. So this one went off the rails on day one. So did The Lone Ranger, for the same reason

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