Masked vigilante The Green Hornet made his first appearance on radio in the 1930s. He has since been the lead character in a series of film adventures in the forties, a TV series in the sixties (with Bruce Lee as sidekick Kato), and a set of comic books as well (including a 2010 comic written by writer/director Kevin Smith). Now, with the help of director Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind) and star/co-writer Seth Rogen, the do-gooder returns to expose bad guys once more.
The plot is simple – Britt Reid (Rogen) is the spoiled, useless son of a crusading newspaper publisher, but when dad dies, he finally decides to step up and do something important (even if it does involve wearing a mask for no apparent reason) with the help of his dad’s former mechanic, Kato (Chou). Their ingenious plan is to pretend to be criminals, thus infiltrating the bad guys’ organisations before bringing them down. Cue lots of trying (and failing) to be funny dialogue, explosions, car chases and general mayhem – none of which can cover up for the lack or plot or enjoyable characters. Oscar winner Christoph Waltz (as the crime boss of the story) and Cameron Diaz (as Reid’s secretary) are given so little to do you wonder whether they just showed up to pick up their cheques, and early on you will start to wonder how much better the movie may have been with a different lead (George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg and Jake Gyllenhaal were all reportedly considered for the role at one time or another) and a different writer (Kevin Smith wrote an early draft and is a fan of the character). Disappointing stuff.
Is The Green Hornet suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Nothing should scare the over-12s at whom the film is aimed. Parents of squeamish kids should note that a character is stabbed in the eye, however.