The Green Hornet (12A)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner14/01/2011

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 119 mins

Enjoyable, frequently funny and occasionally subversive comedy with a strong script, likeable performances and some impressively directed action sequences, though it does drag a bit towards the end.

What's it all about?
Directed by Michel Gondry, The Green Hornet is based on the 1930s radio show, comic books and films, though it’s most famous incarnation (and the direct inspiration here) is the 1960s Batman-like TV series, in which Bruce Lee played Kato. Seth Rogen stars as Britt Reid, the party-happy layabout son of newspaper publisher James Reid, who suddenly inherits his father's estate, complete with coffee-making mechanic and all-round genius assistant Kato (Jay Chou).

When Britt and Kato accidentally foil a crime while taking a super-charged car out for a joyride, they get a mutual taste for do-gooding and decide to become superheroes, with custom-fitted masks and, um, a pair of hats. Meanwhile, vicious crime boss Chudnofsky (Christoph Waltz) is consolidating his hold on the city by eliminating his opposition and it's only a matter of time before he comes up against the crime-fighting duo ...

The Good
Sporting a slimmed-down look, Seth Rogen wisely sticks to playing Britt as a dorky type, wise-cracking his way through the entire movie and displaying a nice line in awkwardly inappropriate phrasing that becomes a decent running joke. However, it's Chou (a huge popstar in China) that steals the show, delivering a performance that is charismatic, charming and very funny, while also busting out some impressive slow-mo fighting skills.

Waltz is good value as Chudnofsky and there's amusing support from Cameron Diaz as Britt's capable secretary Lenore Chase and would-be love interest. In fact, the script (by Rogen and co-writer Evan Goldberg) has a lot of fun subverting some of the usual conventions, notably during an excruciating sequence where Britt makes a series of comments about Lenore's (i.e. Cameron's) age.

The Great
Gondry handles the action sequences extremely well, giving them the occasional surreal, cartoonish touch that works well; there are also some inventive 3D scenes, including an inspired split-screen section and a wonderful closing credits sequence. That said the film does drag a little in the middle section and is probably a good 20 minutes or so too long.

Worth seeing?
The Green Hornet is an enjoyable, well written and frequently funny action-adventure with strong comic performances and superb action scenes. Recommended.

Film Trailer

The Green Hornet (12A)
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Content updated: 18/10/2017 10:21

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