The Green Hornet has no sting!

Green Hornet 2011

Every great comic book franchise takes its self seriously.  There may be humorous incidents and well-timed delivery of jokes, but on a whole they are serious about their universe and characters that occupy their space.   They have to be if they want the audience to buy the incredible premise.  And let’s be honest–they are all based on incredible premises–Watchmen, X-Men, Iron Man, Batman and Spiderman–but they sell its plausibility and you believe it.

I never believed in The Green Hornets universe.  Not for one second.  It was too playful.  Too cliché.  Too cheesy.

I was expecting a new version of the Green Hornet. Why?  Because I think the premise is too socially backward.  Everyone knows that Kato (Jay Chou) is the real hero–he builds the gadgets, kicks all sorts of ass and makes a mean cup of coffee–and yet he remains silent and nameless in the public’s eye.   Understandable in a pre-civil rights society–minority side-kick stays in his place–but now, in a more (one would hope) socially progressive world, I want to see Kato’s name front and center. Even though in this version Kato is a bit of an egotistical douche.  “I am a genius!”  A bit more modesty would have served Bruce Lee’s memory better. (side note: I LOVE BRUCE!)

The worse part is that would not be such a glaring injustice if Britt Reid (Seth Rogen) wasn’t such a useless moron.  Really.  Maybe Seth was the wrong choice here.  I was not against it at first.  I have seen Seth Rogen , successfully, play the serious yet funny card (Funny People) and thought it was going to come across here.  I was wrong.  He plays the “I am an idiot who wants to run around, do stupid stuff and get all the credit for doing nothing but crack stupid one-liners.”

Christoph Waltz as über crime boss Benjamin Chudnofsky, who later adopts the most dreadful villain name ever (won’t spoil it for you), is sorely misused.   This guy has the potential of chewing up the screen–he did it in Inglorious Bastards–and he is flat here.  It starts with promise in the opening scene, then goes nowhere.  He was given nothing to chew!

Cameron Diaz as Lenore Case is fine I guess.  Sorry, Cameron annoys me (Knight and Day was surprisingly the exception).   She plays the role straight and there nothing wrong with her performance–she just bothers me.

Edward James Olmos is barely there–except to say a few words–sad.

The action was typical and predictable.  We watched in 3D and the jerky movements were distracting and headache inducing.  (GH will not lose its blandness in a 2D print–save yourself the headache.)

There are a few chuckle moments and the two leads have good chemistry–but it is wasted and lost amidst the corny dialogue.

Bottom line–if you want to kill 2 hours and do not have high expectations–sure, go ahead, if not–skip it and wait for DVD release.

Hope all is well on your side of the world!