Friday, January 14, 2011

The Green Hornet (2011)

He had it all.  Biomimicry, a gas gun that made a wierd sound, a big, fast car, called the Black Beauty, an Asian sidekick and The Flight Of The Bumblebee.  I listened to The Hornet on the radio; read the comic books; watched the movie serial on Saturdays.  Van Williams played the Hornet and Bruce Lee played Kato on TV.  There's a great scene of Lee taking a Green Hornet set apart in the Bruce Lee bio-pic: Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story.  So, I had high expectations for The Green Hornet (2011), the Seth Rogen and Jay Chou movie directed by Michel Gondry that opened this weekend.

But, once you get past the twist that the movie is a comedy based on a premise that would have made a good Saturday Night Live skit, there's not much there, unless you think it's fun to play Name That Team and come up with interesting duos that Rogen and Chou remind you of.  I figure Aykroyd and Belushi or Aykroyd and Murray or Aykroyd and just about anyone. 

Rogen was one of the Hornet's writers, and he's probably a better writer than a comedian.  Some of the gags and one-liners in The Green Hornet are laugh-out-loud funny.  But be sure to see the 3D version.  I imagine the film would be incredibly boring in 2D, mainly because The Green Hornet lacks an interesting villian.  Making a fun, comic rendition of a comic book is at least as good an idea as making an exceptionally dark one, but comedy or no, comic book heroes and comic book movies need interesting villains, and The Green Hornet's Chudnofsky falls flat on his face. 

Cameron Diaz is adequate in the Girl Friday role.  Her face is the only image from The Green Hornet that sticks in my memory.  It's as if she's the first real person I've seen in 3D.  Tom Wilkinson does a brilliant turn as the Hornet's dad.

Hollywood badly needs to come up with a new superhero worthy of sequels and prequels, and some blockbuster films to fill the 3D bubble created by Avatar.  The Green Hornet doesn't seem likely to fill either bill.


Quinn the Eskimo said...

Well, the obvious one is Swamp Thing. Alan Moore did some of his best stuff with the Swampy Elemental, maybe even as good as V for vendetta and Watchmen. And you'll HAVE to have special effects and probably 3-D for all the times he's moving through the underground green.

Plus, my fave from childhood, Captain America, is out this year. Sigh. Dude only had a shield, really. Not much in the way of special weaponry. I donno though - might be good to have THE "American" superhero come out and show how to operate without a lab full of special weapons.

Billy Glad said...

Have you noticed that except for you, running across the river in your blue suit, there are no Canadian superheros? Or are there and you've been keeping them to yourselves all these years. Is there a Captain Canada? The Iceman maybe? Cheesehead? I'm looking forward to Captain America. Hard to believe they won't update his weapons, though. I saw the previews of Thor last night. I'll probably go just for the moment when he wakes up after being hurled down to Earth and realizes where he is!

Quinn the Eskimo said...

How could you forget Captain Canuck? (Actually, please forget Captain whatever.)

Ok. WOLVERINE is an awesome Canadian superhero. Created by an American. But that's ok, cause Superman was 1/2 designed by a Canadian (Shuster.)

And we've also got... Cerebus the Aardvark... Ed The Happy Clown... Mr Canoehead... and of course.... SPAWN!

I was recently writing a piece in which my cousins and I played at being Capt America, Thor, Iron Man and the Hulk. Which was pretty much daily for a few years there. Thor always had the advantage, because he was allowed - after long debate - to use a 2 X 4 as his "hammer." While I got to use the lid of a can as a fricking shield.

I'm looking forward to Thor laying on some 2 X 4 in the movie.

Antepilani said...

I thought "Hancock" could have really been good; it fell apart quickly.

But they had the right actor and casting him as the anti-hero should have made for a good story.

"Watchmen" clearly evidences the lack or need for heroes of the day types. We outgrow them. Our heroes are based on our societies current fears and obstacles. Our heroes of today would be pretty boring.

What would our modern heroes be named?

Morgan Chaser
"Fights injustice in brokerage houses!" He has a really cool pen.

Put Captain America to work over in the Korengal Valley. That would be an awesome movie.

Nothing will ever compare to sitting on the floor listening to the Hornet. That was an event. Or I picture it as such. Like a really good narrator reading aloud in class.

I'm going to see it today after school so I'll let you know. Honestly I've been looking forward to it...for a laugh at least!

Billy Glad said...

Morgan Chaser. Very good. Be sure you see the 3D. Maybe we have enough heroes, and it's better villains me need now. What was Watchmen if not villain againt villain? Thor is going to have a good cast. They used him in the Parallax View montage. Shane or Thor? For the record, would you mind putting your comment up at Firedoglake, too?

Antepilani said...

Not so obvious Quinn, great call on Swamp Thing. That would be excellent. One problem. Adrienne Barbeau is irreplaceable.

Saw Green Bee last night. They picked the wrong genre. It just wasn't that good as a comedy. A quick redo as action/adventure and it would have been solid. Kato is very good. Villain was a limp noodle, but a good actor. Wife and son loved it so it was not a wasted trip.