Richard Crouse: Superhero movies don’t generally get January releases. Typically they’re summer fare, warm weather entertainment catering to teens looking for something cool to pass the school break. But The Green Hornet isn’t a typical superhero movie. Directed by art house favourite Michel Gondry and starring comedian Seth Rogen, it adds something new to the masked crime fighter genre: whimsy.
Mark Breslin: When I heard Seth Rogan was cast as a superhero, I thought it had to be one of the signs of the apocalypse. But now I see why. The character isn’t a superhero at all — he’s a rich doofus who’s playing at being a superhero. The real superhero in the movie is Kato, his sidekick. And I thought the mixture of humour and action worked pretty well.
RC: I agree. As a sidekick, Kato Chou is a cool character with great moves and some of the movie’s best lines. Rogen, however, will divide people. I think his fans will like his slacker Paris-Hilton-with-chest-hair interpretation of Britt Reid, but Green Hornet purists will find his take sacrilegious. Maybe they should stay home and rent The Dark Knight. Again.
MB: The superhero genre has been moving in this direction for a while. Iron Man was a guy with money and a suit. The Green Lantern, out later this year, is about a man and his magic ring. These are not “supermen.” Meanwhile, I thought Christoper Waltz made a good villain, Cameron Diaz could have been played by any model, and the 3-D was unnecessary. The car, however, deserves an Oscar.
RC: I think we’re on the same page with this one. I thought Cameron Diaz was the one nod to the typical masked crime fighter movie. She’s fine in Gwyneth Paltrow’s Iron Man role but is given little to do and the car would make Knight Rider’s Kit green with envy. But the 3-D? I have to ask, What 3-D? The only thing the lame 3-D adds to this movie is a few bucks to the ticket price.
MB: But I did like how Gondry couldn’t help himself and had to add a psychedelic montage sequence toward the end of the movie. I was, however, disappointed by Green Hornet’s lair.
RC: I liked Gondry’s flourishes. I think the great thing about the movie is how it pays tribute to the original while bringing the story and the characters into Rogen and Gondry’s strange universe.