Directed by Michel Gondry, the opening of The Green Hornet from Columbia Pictures, we saw the character development where ‘dad’ showed his cold, business like colors to his son, Britt Reid.
It’s then twenty years later and what a pleasant surprise to see James Franco playing this brazen up and coming, albeit, short-lived little gangster named Danny Crystal Clear. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Franco like this… well, there was the Green Goblin, but still, it was a nice surprise.
Twenty years later we see dad is still the same and now Britt Reid, played by Seth Rogen (who also wrote The Green Hornet script), has developed into quite the little loser of a playboy. But then his dad, James Reid, played by Tom Wilkinson, is also short-lived and dies, from what the news reports is a bee sting.
Britt fires his house staff, initially blows off the newspaper his dad built up and then discovers that he has to at least re-hire Kato, played by Jay Chou. He HAS to re-hire Kato because he’s the man who makes Britt’s most perfect coffee. And he happens to be very inventive with gadgets.
Before Britt’s dad passed away, he had Kato start customizing one of the cars in the garage. Of course, it’s the 1966 Chrysler Imperial that will be later known as Black Beauty. (Did you know they created 29 different versions of the Black Beauty from 1964, 65 & 66 Imperials.)
Britt needs to get some excitement in his life and convinces Kato to hit the town and during this little excursion, they encounter some thugs. It’s then that Britt really discovers Kato’s abilities, as we are shown it in a confusing and yet interesting, ‘filmed for 3D’ fight scene where Kato levels the group of gangsters.
Later, he ends up hiring Lenore Case, (Cameron Diaz) and he uses her and his paper to propagate the image of The Green Hornet in Los Angeles.
This rendition of The Green Hornet really makes Britt out to be a slacker boss, even in the hero team. Kato has all the talent and know-how to create the car and tools that make up the The Green Hornet.
I’m not a huge fan of Britt’s character. When I first heard that Rogen was playing the man himself, I said, “Huh?” Then I checked out the old series because the Syfy channel aired the series for a marathon or two. Ug. But it was the ‘bomb’ in its day.
Considering the source material, there was one of two ways they had to go with this. I’m not sure adding the comedic angle to the vigilante team was the right one for the franchise, but it’s probably the right way for Mr. Rogen. As it was , the Kato fight scenes are the real 3D scenes where everything is slowed down of freeze-framed. Very Matrix-ee. And early on Hornet does most of his hitting after the bad guys are down after Kato softens them up.
The movie had a few laugh-out-loud moments for me… one being Kato’s resume that he was trying to write. I can’t imagine a sequel though… unless they spin-off and just do a Kato movie like maybe The Green Stinger! That might be pretty cool, but that’s just me.
All in all, it was The Green Hornet remake was an OK experience and I think I’m glad I didn’t drop a ton of bucks on it to see it.
I’d give this a movie review score of a 6 out of 10 on my popcorn movie scale.