Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

    Film: ‘Green Hornet’ earns two out of four stars


    Seth Rogen’s Green Hornet offers a goofy spin on the classic super hero. Though Rogen’s pot-head, loser charm offers moments of laughter, it cannot redeem the film as a whole.

    After the death of his incredibly strict father, Britt Reid is left to run his father’s newspaper, The Daily Sentinel, in Los Angeles. Though Reid is not as ambitious as his father –he sleeps on the couch in his father’s mansion — he has a compelling desire to help others. Thus, the Green Hornet is born.

    Reid is not much of a threat on his own, but his partner Kato, played by Chinese pop sensation Jay Chou, is the driving force of the heroic duo. As the driver, mechanic, ninja and even barista, Kato does it all.

    Reid’s contribution to their success is the idea to disguise themselves as villains, rather than letting the city know they’re heroes. He hopes that this will allow the pair to make deals with criminals in order to defeat them.

    The film tries to draw on its technology and action coupled with Rogen’s signature rants to interest viewers. I will admit, the gadgets are entrancing. Reid and Kato’s Black Beauty, a 1966 Chrysler 300, is tricked out with missiles, guns and even a record player. The car’s bulletproof exterior can survive almost anything, and Kato’s daring driving takes off-roading to a new level.

    Its action scenes slow down the pace, rather than kicking up the energy. Kato and Reid’s two-minute-long fight scene teases the audience into thinking they’re finished over and over. Shorter scenes with punch could have taken this film to the next level, but its boring, drawn-out fights detach the viewer from the characters and plot.

    Creating a great hero is impossible without creating a great villain. Unfortunately, Christopher Waltz’s Chudnofsky disappoints. Nicolas Cage was supposed to play the crime boss, but left after a financial deal fell through.

    Though Waltz gave a chilling performance as Hans Lunda in “Inglorious Bastards, the script of “The Green Hornet” doesn’t allow Waltz to reach his evil potential. Chudnofsky is more concerned with his wardrobe than his henchmen. His recurring fears that he’s not frightening enough are not funny, but annoying and true. His transformation into his alter ego Bloodnofsky, which means he dons a red leather suit, is too pathetic to laugh at.

    Fans of the older portrayals of the “The Green Hornet” will enjoy the nostalgia the new film evokes. The costumes, car and gadgets strongly mimic their earlier versions. The calling card is updated with a more current form of contact – email. Though Facebook or Twitter might have been a more hip, exciting choice, email fulfills its purpose by giving the Hornet and Kato’s enemies a way to contact them.

    Even though Rogen’s humor is basically the same in all of his films, it is funny. However, the slow action scenes make the consistent style of humor slow. After a while, Reid awkwardly hitting on his secretary, played by Cameron Diaz, is no longer funny. It’s just creepy.

    The overall message of the movie, however, was enjoyable. Reid learns that integrity, specifically integrity in journalism, is one of the most important qualities a person can have. He discovers that reporting the truth and acting as a watchdog for his city through his paper is one of the best forms of heroism he can offer.

    The truth of newspapers’ downward spiral is mentioned, but not really proven at “The Daily Sentinel.” The paper has a large staff in a modern building, and though it is a family-owned paper competing with other papers in Los Angeles, financial issues are never mentioned. In fact, print media seems to be the main way of getting news. Though Reid stresses that his staff uses every news outlet they have to report on the Hornet, only the newspaper is shown. If the film could have brought forth some of the current concerns about the decline of the print media, it would have added timeliness and depth to the plot.

    Time was not wasted while watching “The Green Hornet.” Its awesome gadgets, nostalgia and overall message are fun to watch. However, it can be slow and some characters are not fully developed. This may be a good DVD rental or a catch-it-on-TV kind of movie.

    This movie receives two out of a possible four stars.

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