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Posted on Fri, Jan 14, 2011 at 8:40 am
by IDMA Editor

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg decided to take the reins where Stephen Chow left off, and with the likes of Jet Li, Jake Gyllenhaal, Nick Cage, Mark Wahlberg and Kevin Smith all once associated with the project, cynicism did set in as to if Seth and Evan's screenplay could hit the right notes. Michael Gondry returned to helm the director's role once Chow left the pivotal focal point of the film and it's admirable to say that he doesn't flounder, which also applies to the works nicely to give a fun, exciting, action-filled ride - chock full of humor and gut-punching moments! The end result is a typical popcorn flick, that seems fit for a warm summer in my opinion - and the trip's filled with kicks, laughs, explosions...and surprisingly, romance that goes awry!

It isn't the upper-tier type film that leaves you gasping for breath with its cinematic scenery but it has enough diversity in between its themes of living up to a father's legacy (and somewhat disappointed, condescending views of a son) to a need to make all expectations count...while having major loads of fun with some kickass gadgets and lots of kung-fu along the way. It's gadgets and brawling, coupled with witty laughs that prove enough for us to leave satisfied from cinemas. Once we don't get a flatline of a film featuring Seth Roge, I'm a happy camper!

Rogen isn't his usually comedically-aloof self as he actually brings a nice measure of endearment to the lead of 'Britt Reid', whose father's death, leaves him longing to make a mark on society. Enter Jay Chou, who despite being difficult to understand at times, gives an innocence and adolescent quippy facet to 'Kato'. The fans of Old School Green Hornet may not take to this modern retelling and I perfectly get where they're coming from, but as a comic reader who is hopped up on DYNAMITE's recent revamp of the character on the comicbook (as well as the 'Parallel Lives' precursor book to this film), I endorse this movie fully. Kevin Smith has seen the GH comics off to a rocking 2010 start, with a new female Kato in the action, and Alex Ross' covers can do no harm...not one bit, leading to a Jay Nitz written 'Parallel Lives' prequel, which is something I see as a fun read and a nice way of newbies getting into this character's endeavors.

Hence, I get the need for the modern spin to this character as it's a modern crowd they are servicing...and Gondry's team does do well in their tributes, homage and respect for the old GH lore...and even Bruce Lee's legacy.

Rogen does not incapacitate the lead role, and his exchanges with Chou, are infantile and condescending, yet there's amazing chemistry that sees the modus operandi of humor blended with dramatic, enthusiastic action scenes, all mxing and segueing to the right proportions. 'Kato vision' and the overall scope of this film works pretty well - pun intended. The diversity in the film's aim is very well-concocted and seeing Reid and Kato masquerading as the villainous Green Hornet team is pulled off well. All tactile details, humorous exchanges, and action sequences come off with excellence. Gadgets, kung-fu and some surprisingly intact performances from Rogen and Chou, all manage to overcome some flaws that see the plot meandering at the end, with the story getting a bit silly, too high octane for its own good and a tad convoluted. But at the film's climax, you know what you paid for, and it's a bargain because despite some ludicrous antics, you can't help but kick back and enjoy a helluva ride. Rogen steals the show and Chou's impressive Hollywood debut does manage to outweigh the under-utilized performance of villain Chris Waltz, who by no means turns an Inglorious Basterd role here, as well as an underwhelming filler Cameron Diaz performance. The villain needed severe tuning, and Diaz was sad to say bland despite portraying a key character in GH mythos. The lack of any cohesive romantic buildup left me a bit wondering as well, but the overall ethos of GH is paid attention to by Gondry and his men. And that's something that may seem small but it goes a long way.

Sequel? Who knows?...

I enjoyed this as a pleasant isn't a blockbuster, but it's a welcome respite from the usually annoying stereotypical one-tracked cinematic schemes of Seth Rogen and cohorts...It's a fun ride...missiles and all. Why not take a date to the film? You probably won't make out with her, but you'll be laughing your socks off and kicking the air! And what better way into a girl's heart than piercing her soul with humour?...Do enjoy this plain ole bag of fun that is the GREEN HORNET movie!!!

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