Thursday Night Movie Club
The Green Hornet
star rating graphic½
Release Date: 14 January 2011

Director: Michel Gondry
Seth Rogen
Jay Chou
Cameron Diaz
Tom Wilkinson
Christoph Waltz
David Harbour
Edward James Olmos
Jamie Harris
Chad Coleman
Edward Furlong
Britt Reid/The Green Hornet
Lenore Case
James Reid
D.A. Frank Scanlon
Mike Axford
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movie poster #1 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movie poster #2
The Green Hornet is another comic, turned TV show and now brought to the big screen. The film is a failure from frame one never recovers. Some idiot of a producer (Seth Rogan) decided to turn the Green Hornet into a comedy. Any one remember the silliness of the James Bond series when Roger Moore took over. Apparently not.

Any fan will be extremely disappointed in this weak effort. The Green Hornet is right up there with The Wild Wild West with Will Smith and Starsky and Hutch. Iconic television shows get a miserable translation to the big screen. On the surface, this would seem an impossible task. But in talented hands, a very bad movie is easy to make.

Where to start? A smart man would probably stop now and call it a night. Britt Reed (Rogan) is the rich, spoiled son of newspaper publisher James Reed (Wilkinson). Just like the movie, the father is disappointed with what his son has done with his life, which is nothing. But James Reed is more than a publisher. He worked his way up from an investigative reporter. His newspaper, The Daily Sentinel, is on the verge of a major story. James Reed is assassinated before the story can go to print.

Knowing that his son is a jerk, a smart man may have had a better succession plan regarding his newspaper empire. Instead, Britt Reed becomes the new publisher to the shock and surprise of the staff.

Britt is going through his father's empty house when he meets his father's driver and servant Kato (Chou). Kato worked with James Reed to renovate some old cars and to create a bunch of other gadgets like unbreakable glass.

While out joyriding in one of Dad's old cars, the Black Beauty, Britt and Kato stumble upon some gang bangers out for a thrill rousting innocent pedestrians. Britt thinks it would be fun to take on the gang and Kato single-handed takes out the gang. Britt thinks this is cool and talks Kato into making this their life's pursuit, masked vigilantes.

The use of humor may not be such a bad idea as a theme to show Britt Reed's development from lazy good-for-nothing son into the masked Green Hornet. At some point the film has to turn from silly romp into something more serious and dark. The silliness of the film is too great an obstacle for out-classed Rogan to try to give the last half of the film an edgier side.

The action sequences are meant to be exciting except for the bumbling Britt Reed. Even as the Green Hornet, Reed is still a goofball. The dialog is not funny and no criminal would take Reed even in the trademark costume as any kind of a threat.

Rogan tries to make The Green Hornet a modern version of The Mask of Zorro. But neither Rogan or Chou are up to the bar set by Antonio Banderas and Anthony Hopkins. Director Michael Gondry is nowhere as skilled as Martin Campbell. This Green Hornet is a joke compared with the television series of the mid 1960's starring Van Williams and Bruce Lee. A very unfunny joke at that. The joke is on anyone who bought a ticket to this movie.