The Green Hornet

Film, Action and adventure
3 out of 5 stars
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Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars
This wonky but charming action caper documents the crime-thwarting travails of Britt Reid aka The Green Hornet (Seth Rogen doing Seth Rogen), a lingo-spouting party boy and publishing heir, and Kato (a film-stealing Jay Chou), his quiet Chinese expat mechanic-cum-sidekick who is happily saddled with most of the inventing and fighting duties. Their enemy is debonair crime kingpin Chudnofsky (Christoph Waltz, rolling out his Oscar-winning, hot-hot-hot-hot-COLD! Hans Landa turn), and with the aid of a slickly remodelled vintage Chrysler, some custom-moulded masks and a pair of silly hats, the pair set out to obliterate the criminal scourge of LA.

Although his name has a muted presence on the film’s trailers and posters, French filmmaker Michel Gondry (‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’) has done a stellar job of putting his wacky auteurial stamp on a comedy which is only semi-coherent but still very funny and impeccably fashioned. The film’s focus on bumbling, makeshift heroes, plus Gondry’s bold choreography and playful use of depth and scale (the 3D element is used particularly well), ally this to the director’s previous studio outing, ‘Be Kind Rewind’ (2008), although this lacks the thematic richness of that film. Some might choose to see Kato as Gondry himself – a hip, innovative craftsman selling his tricksy wares to a benign corporate overseer.

On the downside, the film foolishly assumes that the charming, fratboy chemistry between Rogen and Chou will disguise a tissue-thin story. On the upside, Gondry and writing team Rogen and Evan Goldberg have fun inverting superhero convention and not in the same pleased-with-itself way as ‘Kick-Ass’. Here, being subversive and self-reflexive doesn’t mean comedy swearing or violence: it means staging a prolonged fist-fight in front of a giant Carlos Santana poster.

Posted:

Details

Release details

Rated:
12A
Release date:
Friday January 14 2011
Duration:
119 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
Michel Gondry
Screenwriter:
Fran Striker, Seth Rogen, George W. Trendle, Evan Goldberg
Cast:
Seth Rogen
Christoph Waltz
Jay Chou