Screen Gems Movie Reviews with Kennie Bass. You'll find it First On Fox!
January 15, 2011 The Green Hornet
Studio: Columbia Pictures Rating: PG-13 for sequences of violent action, language, sensuality and drug content.
Following his more famous counterparts Batman, Spider-Man and Superman, the Green Hornet makes a splash in a major motion picture.
Seth Rogen might not be the first name that pops into your head when you think superhero...but he dons a mask and fights crime in "The Green Hornet."
Rogen plays Britt Reid, a do-nothing twenty-something who spends his time partying and living it up. But when his newspaper mogul father James Reid (Tom Wilkinson) dies, the family business falls to him. At his disposal is the crusading newspaper, "The Daily Sentinel."
While Britt shows little interest in the news, he soon meets Kato (Jay Chou), who was his father's mechanic...and private coffee maker.
The two hit it off immediately. Following a night on the town which starts off with vandalism but ends with them saving a young couple from a bunch of thugs, they decide to take on the bad guys as a pair of costumed vigilantes.
However, they have a unique angle. The Green Hornet and Kato pretend to be villains while they clean up the streets. Their activities draw the attention of the real Los Angeles crime boss Chudnofsky (Oscar-winner Christoph Waltz). He wants to destroy the Green Hornet...which leads to a deadly confrontation that starts on the highway and ends at Reid's newspaper.
I won't lie to you. I was very concerned going into this movie that Rogen, who also wrote the script, would play it too much for laughs and ignore the action. Thankfully, that's not the case. While the star certainly clowns it up a bit he goes right to line but doesn't cross over it.
The film is helped enormously by Chou's performance. His Kato, follows in the footsteps of Bruce Lee, who played the part in the 1960s. Kato is an expert fighter and a genius car builder. He constructs the nearly-unstoppable Black Beauty, which is a vital tool in the duo's battle against evil.
While Chou's English is a little stilted, his Kato is more than a sidekick. He's really a full-fledged partner who is vitally important to making Reid's plan a success.
Behind the camera, director Michel Gondry stages his signature action scenes with flair. Whether it's a car chase or one of the film's many fights, your eyes will stay glued to the screen.
The supporting cast, Waltz, Wilkinson and Cameron Diaz (Lenore Case, Reid's personal secretary) all add their own signature touches...which in turn enhance the quality of the movie.
"The Green Hornet" avoids an "R" rating, but it has a pretty high body count and more than a little profanity. Keep that in mind if you have young children who want to see it.
Despite my reservations going in, I enjoyed "The Green Hornet" and wouldn't mind seeing more adventures starring this unlikely pair of heroes.
On my rating scale, "The Green Hornet" earns a HOME RUN.
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