Tuesday, 8 February 2011

The Green Hornet: The Good, The Bad, The WTF




Melissa Bradley of Melissa's Imaginarium brings you todays guest post with a review of the Green Hornet movie 2011.

Plot Summery: Following the death of his father, Britt Reid, heir to his father's large company, teams up with his late dad's assistant Kato to become a masked crime fighting team.



Director: Michel Gondry
Writers: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg
Stars: Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, Christoph Waltz and Cameron Diaz




Let me start off by saying that in my childhood pantheon of superheroes, the Green Hornet did not exist. I can hear the groans and moans now. “Melissa, you Philistine, you uncouth ignoramus, how can you not know about the Green Hornet and his faithful sidekick, Kato? It was only Bruce Lee’s defining moment on television…” And blah, blah, blah…So with no preconceived notions of what or who Green Hornet was supposed to be, I headed off to the theater with my own faithful sidekick, aka my nephew. I admit I was not entirely sure what sort of spectacle I was about to witness. However, given the fact that it was a superhero flick written by and starring one loveable loser, Seth Rogan, did not set the bar too high. Limbo for Hobbits, anyone?


The Story...

Our hero, Britt Reid (Rogen), is the unhappy playboy son of a media mogul with severe daddy issues. Right off the bat it was WTF. Seth Rogan is not the first or even the fiftieth guy that comes to mind when I think of playboy. To show us his dashing slacker rebelliousness, Britt appears onscreen wearing a white Saturday Night Fever special carrying a bottle of bubbly. He dances around like Bluto from Animal House with a lot less verve and swagger with all these vampettes hanging on his every awkward grind. He takes a one of the blow up dolls home and in what is the strangest get-your-freak-on scenes ever filmed, they go into Daddy’s garage. Cuz, yeah, when there’s a mansion with a jillion bedrooms, the first place I want to bang is in the garage. To keep things PG, Britt and his babe dujour move from car to car, kissing in frantic fast forward like a team of builders from one of those reality shows.

The next morning, poor Britt gets the typical you’re-pathetic-when-are-you-going-to-grow-up lecture from Dear Old Dad. James Reid is played by the estimable Tom Wilkinson in a wasted phoned-in performance. Britt’s response to Big Daddy’s disapproval is to go out and have some more fun. His self-centered universe comes crashing down hard when BD dies, leaving Britt in charge for the first time in his life. Awww, party’s over. In a fit of token despair, our hero fires the entire staff except his own maid and Kato, his father’s mechanic, because hey, the guy makes awesome coffee.

I’m calling a time out here for a real rant. Kato is my biggest WTF of this whole movie, indeed the whole mythos of Green Hornet. I can suspend disbelief with the best of them, I drank the kool-aid on sparkling vampires. But a super-intelligent mechanics whiz with fighting skills that would make a ninja jealous working as a glorified house boy? Un-effing-believable. This is 2011 and Kato should have at least been reinvented into something like the editor of the paper or even a fellow Richie Rich. Okay, stepping off the soapbox.

After being saved from unemployment by his bean roasting skills, Kato is encouraged by Britt to “tell me your story.” In one of the many Rube Goldbergesque twists in this movie, Kato and Britt get drunk, decide Papa was a dick and inexplicably drive to the cemetery to cut the head off the big statue to Daddy Dearest. They foil a mugging and get chased by the cops, who still have not learned how to pursuit drive. Apparently defensive driving skills are not a requirement of the police academy. From this mess, Britt decides that he and Kato should fight crime, but they need to blend and make the cops think they’re really criminals so that innocents won’t be harmed. Got that? I didn’t, but hell I’d already watched 40 minutes and my nephew was having fun.

Enter the gorgeous Cameron Diaz as Lenore Chase, a secretary from the secretarial pool. It’s Mad Men super-hero style. She immediately gets hired and put on hero support. She gets to do the research and make sure the Green Hornet gets his appropriate headlines. My feminist instincts nearly went through the screen in a fit of blind rage. Are you effing kidding me?

Apparently, both Britt and Kato would like to bang L and this provides all sorts of murky tension between the two and breaks the Fellowship. Funny, I would have thought it would have been all the a-hole moments where Britt kept ordering Kato around and accusing the guy of trying to hog the Green Hornet’s spotlight, but that’s just me. Kato and Britt have this huge knock-down drag out fight that provides yet another WTF moment. In what universe could a schlub like Britt get in any punches on a fighter of Kato’s skill? Apparently this one.

Okay so now that we’ve got the big bad hero and his team in place, let me get to the villain of the piece, Russian mobster Benjamin Chudnofsky. Christoph Waltz delivers a stylized, over-the-top performance as this cheestastic supervillain striving to take over the L.A. underworld. His two things are to have absolute control and be an evil fashionista. The Green Hornet is the obstacle to the first, his bad taste the obstacle to the second. Sessions with Dr. Phil and Tyra Banks are in order.

In a cliché moment worthy of a made-for-tv-movie, Britt discovers that Big Daddy was covering up for the local DA who it turns out is in bed with Chudnofsy. Angered, our hero’s plan is to capture the Big Cheese and set things right. Things get even more convoluted from here, descending into a mad whirl of wild car chases, shootouts and tech gadgets from Kato’s toy box. It culminates in one of the most preposterous climactic moments I have ever witnessed on screen.


The 411...
This movie was a disturbing mess with more plot holes than bullet holes. I had a hard time wrapping my mind around the offensive, unbelievable characters, the lame dialogue and the crazy production design that couldn’t decide whether it was 2011 or 1967. This superhero flick is right up there with Clooney’s Batman and Robin. Save your money and watch this at home with some alcohol. It may actually work with beer goggles or a tequila haze.



This review was written by Melissa Bradley, Editor and Chief of Melissa's Imaginarium

Have you seen the movie and what did you think? Leave your comments below!

25 comments:

Dempsey Sanders said...

Great review Melissa, this movie I have to say never really peeked my interest, but after reading your account, my interest has certainly died off completely, sounds terrible, but then maybe people of the original show might have more love for it, as I like you never watched it either. Alas, this does not sound like my kind of movie at all.
Thanks for the info Mel x

Matty V. said...

I'll second Dempsey's comment. Great review, Mel!

And kudos Dempsey for getting other bloggers to contribute to your site. It's a great concept!

I have not seen TGH. The biggest reason why is I keep reading these types of unabashedly scathing reviews. I do not plan on watching it. Maybe, as you recommend, I'll grab a 30 rack, invite my friends over, get tanked, and then watch it. Maybe, I'd get some enjoyment out of it...

"This movie was a disturbing mess with more plot holes than bullet holes." Great line!

Melissa Bradley said...

Thanks, Dempsey! I'm happy you enjoyed reading my scathing review. This was a head shaker from the first. I tried to at least get into Christoph Waltz, but his talent was wasted in this film.

Melissa Bradley said...

@Matty V Thank you so much! A 30 pack would be the perfect concession for this movie.

Nebular said...

You know how much I love you, Mel, but I have to disagree on this one.

Silliness aside, it was a thoroughly enjoyable high-tech ANTI-superhero flick, with awesomely-choreographed action scenes. Seth "The Moron" Rogen was quite annoying, but Jay Chou and my personal favorite, Christoph Waltz, did an excellent job. Plus, Waltz's vicious character is probably the most likable villain I've seen in a while. :) Otherwise, great, great review, sweetheart :)

DEZMOND said...

I knew that the film would be a flop - I mean who would watch a super hero film with Seth Rogen???
Lovely review, Melissa :) as always.
When it comes to me, I fell asleep some 25 minutes after the beginning of the film :)))
PS totally agree with Dempsey's marks as well!

Melissa Bradley said...

@Nebular George, I'm so happy you enjoyed the review even though we disagree. Great minds agreeing to disagree. :)

Melissa Bradley said...

@Dezmond Thanks! Seth Rogan is definitely not superhero material. Maybe sidekick material. That's hilarious that you fell asleep. :) There was someone snoring around me in the theater.

The Angry Movie Lurker said...

Saw this recently and thought it was generally terrible with a few and I mean a few bright spots especially Cato who helped a lot.

J-SON said...

Film aside, this is one badass review by Melissa. You've got me falling in love with you, is this love at first sight (of your writing)?

Great review and hopefully more to come ;)

The Film Connoisseur said...

I had a good time with this one, I found it fun. To me it had a relevant message about the control of the media, and I thought the dialog was funny, as were the characters.

I also enjoyed Michel Gondry's visual gags.

Melissa Bradley said...

@The Angry Movie Lurker Kato was definitely a bright spot.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Choose to skip it, although I did watch the Green Hornet Mythbusters special. Underground exploding car? Not possible without killing everyone!

Melissa Bradley said...

@J-Son Thanks! You're making me blush. I'm happy you think I'm badass, well my writing anyway. ;) I'll be back as often as Dempsey will let me.

Melissa Bradley said...

@The Film Connoisseur Thanks for your comments. I picked up on the media control idea, but it was not used wisely considering who Brit was. I'm glad you enjoyed the film. I know many who did.

Melissa Bradley said...

@Alex I'll have to watch this Mythbusters ep. Sounds like a good one. Thanks.

levian said...

i didn't find the movie actually that bad. i actually had fun looking at all those impossible (or is it?) technologies the sidekick applied on the car. but i admit it was tiring, very tiring, to look at the spoilt kid (man?). but then again, without all those money he had, the green hornet can't even start.

Jeffrey Beesler said...

Excellent review. I was never really a fan of the Green Hornet, though I do remember watching it on TV every now and again when I was little.

I probably won't catch this movie either.

Melissa Bradley said...

@Levian The man child was one of the worst things about Green Hornet. I liked the car the best.

Melissa Bradley said...

@Jeffrey Beesler Thank you! I would stay far away from this flick unless you want to put it your Netflix queue.

M. Hufstader said...

Great review! And extremely spot on. "This movie was a disturbing mess with more plot holes than bullet holes." I couldn't have said it better myself, really. This movie definitely was offensive in many ways. It needed a major update to...say...the 21st century. And the whole moment in which Seth Rogen figures out that his Daddy was sort of working for these people but sort of a noble guy and suddenly had his dad's voice in his head like Obi-Wan Kenobi? Okaaaaay. All in all, awful movie, awesome review.

M. Hufstader said...

PS: Out of curiosity, did your nephew like it? I'm just wondering if it appeals at all to the younger audience or if it all around flopped.

Major.Mack said...

seth rogen is a HO. I could tell this would suck becuase the characters dont appear as though they match up with the original characters.

Melissa Bradley said...

@M. Hufstader Thanks! Yeah that whole Obi-wan voice thing was nuts. My nephew did like it, but I thought it was quite telling when he asked why Kato was working for Brit. He said,"If I was Kato, I'd be out of there. Nobody's going to make me get their dumb coffee." I nearly choked on my sugar free apple sour.

@Major.Mack I haven't seen the original, but Seth Rogen sure did a horrible interpretation.

Watch movie online free said...

This film certainly did not have the serious tone of Batman Begins, nor was it as wacked out as something like Mystery Men. But I thought it did strike a nice balance between non-stop thrills and well-constructed laughs. Probably the best superhero flick since Iron Man.