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>> Saturday, January 15, 2011

Kato, I think I love you.

Seth Rogen and Jay Chou star as Britt Reid and Kato in The Green Hornet, not to be confused with The Green Lantern - the Ryan Reynolds superhero flick coming out later this year. The Green Hornet, like Batman, has no superpowers per say. Reid is simply a wealthy man who's recently gone through a terrible ordeal and uses crime fighting as a means of dealing with his feelings.

After his unsupportive father passes away (due to a bee sting), party man Reid is left to run his father's newspaper (The Sentinel). After decapitating his father's memorial statue (out of love, no doubt - and maybe a small homage to The Simpsons), Reid runs into some hooligans bent on causing trouble. In this case - it's a couple out for a night (and a mugging) on the town. Reid tries his darnedest to help the victims but just doesn't have what it takes - that is, until Kato shows up and takes down the thugs seven at a time. While Reid insists it was his doing, the two decide that helping people is actually kinda fun and come up with a ploy. The idea is that if all the bad guys think The Green Hornet and Kato are one of them, then the crime-fighting duo can get closer to the villains and bring 'em down from the inside.

The main man they are trying to tackle? A Russian kingpin (sigh...) named Chudnofsky (Inglorious Basterds' Christoph Waltz), who likes to call himself Bloodnofsky (double sigh...). So the pair head out night after night in their specialized vehicle known as the Black Beauty, and leave calling cards while shutting down all of Chudnofsky's operations. Eventually ol' Chud-Blood notices the chaos and it's on like Donkey Kong.

Now down to the nitty gritty. Was Green Hornet good? Does it live up to it's heightened 'why wasn't this released in summer?' expectations. Yeah, it did a'ight. What you get here is a lot of Rogen's usual loser shtick mixed with some pretty decent action - compliments of Kato, of course. I've never read or seen any of the original Hornet material, so I can't comment on how close it comes or what they've changed. I know that the costumes and car are almost dead on and that Kato-vision also existed before. What I don't know, however, is if Reid was actually that lame a crime fighter and if his secretary, Lenore Case (played by the not-very-present Cameron Diaz) actually played a big role in his life. Either way, Rogen plays the role in a way that seems semi-realistic enough that you believe a person would act like he does in some of the situations Reid finds himself in.

I liked The Green Hornet enough to give it an open door. The acting was fine, the action was better and the overall premise was interesting enough to keep my attention. It had some moments that definitely made me smile, some that made my eyes roll and unfortunately there was never a moment I was super-blown away. While i can always appreciate director Michel Gondry's vision - his films have always been a little lackluster for me (eg: 2008's Be Kind Rewind). I was also left wondering just exactly why Reid and Kato even started crime fighting in the first place. Is the high from stopping a mugging really enough to put your ass on the line every night? Apparently so.

*Stills courtesy of Columbia Pictures


covnitkepr1 January 19, 2011 at 5:28 PM  

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Toyin O. January 20, 2011 at 4:09 PM  

great review, thanks for sharing.

Angry Charlie January 20, 2011 at 5:19 PM  

You're welcome Toyin! Thanks for reading!

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