Cast: Seth Rogen, Cameron Diaz, Christoph Waltz Direction: Stephen Gondry
YOU can make a whole lot of films with 90 million dollars. Or, you can pick a superhero theme, shoot the stuff in 3D and pump in the entire load into one film.
Hollywood's fat pockets have exhausted all comic book icons by now. So, they've turned to radio.
The Green Hornet , Sony Pictures' latest shot at setting up a franchise minehouse, adapts a popular radio series that rocked American airwaves in ' 30s.
The Green Hornett's USP as a superhero lies in the fact that he poses as a criminal to infiltrate the city's underbelly and then goes on to nab the baddies. The fact that the superhero in his real- life avatar as Britt Reid ( Seth Rogen) runs a newspaper by the day helps him garner inside info on the crime scene. In his various capers, Britt as The Green Hornett is aided by Kato ( Jay Chou) -- who multiplies as his bodyguard/ sidekick/ coffee brewer and is a martial arts ace.
The screenplay, co- written by Rogen himself, is naturally a setup to allow the comic star play the field. Britt is a bumbling party animal addicted, as it would appear, to the S- word. He is forced to take over the newspaper business when his father ( Tom Wilkinson) is killed -- which opens up the plot- pusher point for the story. Britt decides to don the Hornet's hat and, along with Kato, takes on crime in the city.
The original Green Hornet had a dark edge. Here, funnyman Rogen's focus is on redefining the superhero in a goofy, comic vein. It doesn't work fully because the jokes are flat.
A talented cast is wasted. Most actors, including Cameron Diaz as Britt's secretary and Christoph Waltz as the mob boss, merely serve as props.
-- Vinayak Chakravorty
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