The Green Hornet – A Screener’s Comments

First, the official description of the 2011 The Green Hornet from the GoFoBo site:

“In the 3D action-comedy The Green Hornet, Britt Reid (Seth Rogen) is the son of LA’s most prominent and respected media magnate and perfectly happy to maintain a directionless existence on the party scene – until his father (Tom Wilkinson) mysteriously dies, leaving Britt his vast media empire. Striking an unlikely friendship with one of his father’s more industrious and inventive employees, Kato (Jay Chou), they see their chance to do something meaningful for the first time in their lives: fight crime. To get close to the criminals, they come up with the perfect cover: they’ll pose as criminals themselves.”

The use of bold font for ‘Action-Comedy’ above is my emphasis.

Last Thursday, with a movie screening pass picked up at The Other Change of Hobbit bookstore, I and a friend went to the AMC Van Ness in San Francisco to see The Green Hornet. The theater was pleasant, the line well-behaved, and both the sound and picture of good-quality. This was NOT a 3D print of the film, just a standard one. The goal of this screening appeared to be to generate Word of Mouth about the film and up the amount of ‘social advertising’ about the film.

Now, I am NOT going to provide spoilers here. That’s not fair to the movie-viewing public. What I am sharing is my opinion of the film.

Back to those words I pointed out: Action-Comedy. This is NOT the Green Hornet from the old Radio Show, Movie Serials, Comic Books or 60’s TV-show or Movies. This is an ACTION-COMEDY. And it stars Seth Rogan in the title role. He also is credited as having co-wrote and was one of the Executive Producers for the film. If you know Seth Rogan’s work from elsewhere, you might be be a bit more prepared than I was.

Simply put, I do NOT like Seth Rogan’s portrayal of Britt Reid. And I barely like his portrayal of The Green Hornet. He has almost no redeeming qualities, does not grow as a character, and gives us NO reason to like him.

So, naturally, Jay Chou‘s Kato really steals the show for me. And Cameron Diaz‘s Lenore Case was beautifully done (and a pleasure for the eyes, as always). Christoph Waltz does a wonderful job as a retro-modern crime boss ‘bad guy’ for the film.

In fact, everyone OTHER than Seth’s Britt Reid is fantastic in the film.

And the Black Beauty… They kept her almost true to the past incarnations. They didn’t make her a modern car… she’s still a classic, though there is a hint of the modern to her without making her chintzy.

If only Seth Rogan has played Britt Reid as less of a d*ck, or saved that for the ‘public persona’ and made The Green Hornet something with style and poise… I might have liked it more.

Okay, down to the nitty gritty. Don’t bother with 3D prices for this one. I didn’t see anything in the film, other than the end credits, that would have taken true advantage of 3D. Sure, there’s a bit here and there that likely will ‘stick out’ at the audiences. And maybe some of the explosions will be enhanced. But it’s just NOT worth the extra price. For that matter, try to see this in a bargain-priced showing if you can. It isn’t worth full price of a normal showing. I give this film a bare 2.5 stars out of 5. I really do wish it had been better.

Maybe they will have a different cut of the film for the actual release.. if so, I won’t be seeing it, as I will NOT be paying any more for any future showing than I did for this one. Yes, I enjoyed myself, I don’t feel it was a waste of time. But I was disappointed.