By Matt Brunson
THE GREEN HORNET
DIRECTED BY Michel Gondry
STARS Seth Rogen, Jay Chou
Seth Rogen, superhero? It's nearly impossible to wrap the mind around such an outlandish idea, almost on the same level as Sarah Palin as U.S. president or Ricky Gervais as the next recipient of the Golden Globes Lifetime Achievement Award. Yet it's actually Rogen's slovenly appearance and snarky asides that help transform The Green Hornet into not just another superhero movie.
Having said that, this is still rough going in many respects. An update of the brief 1960s TV show starring Van Williams and Bruce Lee (and a long-running 1930s radio show before that), this finds Rogen (who also co-scripted) giving the Judd Apatow treatment to the role of Britt Reid, a wealthy party animal who, along with his ingenious employee Kato (Jay Chou), decides to protect the citizens of Los Angeles against criminal elements by donning a mask and becoming The Green Hornet. We're not talking Dark Knight territory here: The plot doesn't advance so much as lurch forward like an alcoholic making another trip to the bar, the villain of the film (played by Inglourious Basterds Oscar winner Christophe Waltz) is a cinematic zero, and the initially exciting action soon becomes redundant (especially during the endless climax). But the comic approach works more often than not, Rogen and Chou banter with ease, and some of the gadgets are indeed pretty cool. Note to self: I've got to get me one of those coffee makers!