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MOVIE REVIEW: The Green Hornet

A fun escape with a zany superhero

The Green Hornet

The Green Hornet

  • The Green Hornet
  • The Green Hornet
  • Christoph Waltz as Benjamin Chudnofsky in "The Green Hornet."
  • The Green Hornet
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Okay Hollywood, we get it. You want to utilize 3D – either to capture that Avatar box office by selling tickets for a few dollars more, or because you think we want that. We don’t. When you make a movie like this in 3D conversion, it adds absolutely nothing.

Viewers would be wise to save the couple dollars and see it in the regular format.

Here’s the plot: when Tom Wilkinson dies and leaves his newspaper empire to his son, played bySeth Rogen,he decides to go from a party animal to a crime fighter. They have a small hiccup with that transition, as it’s hard to root for a guy that’s so spoiled, and merely wants to fight crime because it seems fun. Oh, and he does this by sometimes smashing up cops that are chasing after him (How would we feel about his character if one of these cops, or an innocent driver in a nearby car, died? Oh yeah, we’re not supposed to analyze those types of things in superhero films).

Rogen wrote and produced this, and he’s basically playing a (slimmer version) of the slacker character he always plays. It’s funny, because The Dilemma opens this weekend, and Vince Vaughn is also playing the slacker, partying character he always plays.

If you’re not a fan of Rogen’s type of humor, you should probably stay away. I’ve always found him funny and amusing. How can you not laugh when he tells Kato (a talented Jay Chou): “I’m the Indiana Jones. You’re Short-round!”

And how could you not love a guy that, after celebrating his first bit of havoc as the Hornet, does it with champagne, cigars, and Sam Cooke blasting on the stereo. This is my type of superhero (the soundtrack also gives us nice tunes from the White Stripes and Van Halen).

The movie isn’t getting great reviews, but it’s a great parody of a superhero film (better than the overrated Kick-Ass and Iron Man 2).

Christoph Waltz is okay as the crime lord, but he was so much more devious and interesting in Inglourious Basterds.

James Franco is great in a part as a club owner that runs afoul of Waltz.

I’ve probably seen Franco in eight movies in the last eight months, and I wouldn’t mind seeing him in another eight before the year ends.

I’m guessing most people didn’t catch the heavy metal band Anvil playing on the screen of Franco’s club. That’s a cool touch (I highly recommend the documentary about that band from a few years ago).

Cameron Diaz adds absolutely nothing but a smile and blue eyes that look nice on screen.

There’s a split-screen segment in which all the criminals contact each other about the bounty on Green Hornet, and we even see them attacking innocent bystanders (not a good time to be wearing a Packers jersey).

Those scenes reminded me of the creative way they did that with the criminals in The Thomas Crown Affair.

The car chases got old fast, and the final one went on way too long and was ridiculous.

This is one of those popcorn flicks that you just have to go with. It’s a bit disjointed, but there’s enough her to make it worth seeing.

If you want a better movie, rent director Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

If you want something funnier with a Kato – rent any of the Peter Sellers/Pink Panther films (or watch the O.J. Simpson trial).

If you’re looking to escape and forgot about life for a few hours, you’ll have fun.

I’m giving it a B-.