Friday, January 28, 2011
The Green Hornet
CAST: Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, Cameron Diaz, Christoph Waltz; Edward James Olmos, David Harbour, Tom Wilkinson, Edward Furlong, Chad Coleman, Robert Clotworthy; DIRECTOR: Michael Gondry; WRITER: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen, Fran Striker, George W. Trendle; SCREENPLAY: Seth Rogen; PRODUCER / DISTRIBUTOR: Columbia Pictures; GENRE: Action/ Adventure; RUNNING TIME: 108 minutes
Technical Assessment: 3
Moral Assessment: 2
CINEMA Rating: For viewers 14 and above
Having to deal with the loss of his mother at a young age and with a father (who owns a journalism empire who doesn’t seem to have time for him), Britt Reid (Seth Rogers) grows up into becoming an irresponsible, directionless man who parties all night with alcohol and different women. But when his father suddenly dies mysteriously because of a bee sting, Britt finds himself overwhelmed inheriting the family newspaper business and living up to his father’s legacy, thus, turning him all the more into a useless bum. Then he finds rescue with his father’s brilliant mechanic Kato (Jay Chou) who knows martial arts as well. After the two have a night of encounter with criminals, Britt gets an idea of how they could further help resolve criminality in their area by becoming masked vigilantes themselves. Their actions later blow up into proportions that attract the attention of hard core underworld boss Chudnofsky (Christoph Watz).
The Green Hornet is a deconstruction of the usual superhero audiences see on screen. This time around, the main superhero seems to be less competent and hardly dependent on a sidekick that he takes for granted. Britt Reid as the Green Hornet is just as flawed and weak as any other man. This is quite an interesting premise to begin a story with, however, something is still missing in the whole gamut of exploring the dynamics of hero/anti-hero characters in the film. Although there are some hilarious and comic moments in the movie, some parts still lack the supposed wit it tries to convey. Rogers is solid as the Green Hornet while Chou still needs a bit of a push to register strong screen presence. Their contrasting characteristics works well as a tandem at times, but sometimes, it falls flat. Camera works, editing and direction are imaginative but some fight and chase scenes seem to lack coherence. As a whole, The Green Hornet still delivers a certain level of entertainment value and does not really disappoint, only that it can still do better than what it is.
What do audiences really get out of an anti-stereotypical super hero? Well, it makes them realize and appreciate even more that human weakness can possibly be turned into strength. Although his past is not a justification, Reid’s character could well be a wake-up call to parents to nurture their children even more. Time and again, the family remains to be most crucial in bringing up useful citizens of the land. The Green Hornet says it is never too late for anyone to start over. However, looking at the film closely, such intention is not quite coherent with its plotlines as a whole. Reid wants the Green Hornet and his sidekick to be heroes while appearing as villains but they kill people (although yes, criminals) without remorse. They took the law in their own hands through executing criminals via extra-judicial means. There’s no way that this can ever be right. This might also be rooted in the fact that Reid’s intention of becoming a vigilante-hero is fuelled by his anger towards his father. Although such intention is later on purified, still, their end does not justify their means. How could Green Hornet and his sidekick be really heroes if they cause unnecessary destruction, thus, hurting and killing lives in the process? The way Reid manipulated the press for his own agenda is also disturbing. Some scenes of suggestive sex, violence and gore, although a necessity to portray the underworld, might leave a lasting impression on the vulnerable minds of a young audience, so CINEMA finds the movie unfit for viewers below 14 years old.