THE GREEN HORNET

Wow! This movie had so much potential. Michel Gondry, Christop Waltz, Tom Wilkinson, 3D, a modified 1965 Chrysler Imperial(very cool). But not even 3D helped this from falling flat. Based on the radio serial of the same name, The Hornet is newspaper publisher Britt Reed. He's a spoiled rich kid who parties all night and sleeps all day. Until his father James (Wilkinson) is stung by a bee and dies. Yeah, you read that right. That is the plot device that sends Britt along his merry journey. Seth Rogen is Britt. He's believable as the party-all-night dude, maybe even as the Hornet, but now way is this dude a newspaper publisher. Rogen co-wrote the screenplay with Evan Goldberg. He tries to turn this into an action/buddy/superhero comedy. But it's not enough of any of the genres to actually work. It has some chuckles, the action scenes are pretty standard fare (even with Gondry's touches), the “creation story” of the superhero even works a bit on some level. But it never all meshes into one coherent unit. The one aspect that totally worked was Jay Chou as Kato. He is great as the sidekick/man behind the hero and a great comic foil for Rogen. Would love to see him get his own Bruce Lee style martial arts movie. Maybe he's the next Jackie Chan? The 3D is OK, but ultimately pointless.. kind of like the movie. Wilkinson and Waltz are wasted. And seeing Rogen's weirdly huge front teeth in IMAX/3D was disturbing. This could have been really good in the hands of more skilled screenwriters(Sam Raimi anybody?) or a better lead actor. The idea of a hero joining the bad guys to be a good guy is intriguing, but ultimately not fully developed here. The 1960's TV show was kind of campy fun in the way the Batman TV show was (same producers). That is what had me interested in seeing this. Would Rogen/Gondry take it in that direction? Or would they take it in the Christopher Nolan/Batman direction? Ultimately the people behind this film drive in circles. Seth, stick to playing the lovable schlub. This Hornet has less sting than an annoying mosquito bite. Rub some lotion on it and maybe it will go away. — Alan Yudman

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