by Todd Pearage
Green Hornet, The (5/3/2011)
Rated PG-13 for sequences of violent action, language, sensuality and drug content
Starring: Seth Rogen, Jay Chou and Cameron Diaz
Directed by Michael Gondry (Be Kind Rewind and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)
Todd's Rating: Skip it
If you think Seth Rogen would make a horrible superhero, go see The Green Hornet and you will be thoroughly convinced he makes a horrible superhero.
Playboy Britt Reid (Seth Rogen) becomes the new publisher of Los Angeles' "The Daily Sentinel" after the sudden death of his father. Britt's party life is about to change when he and his driver and kung fu expert, Kato (Jay Chou), stop a robbery. With the help of Kato, Britt starts a new career of fighting crime as the masked superhero "The Green Hornet".
I enter the theater with pretty low expectations and the film never got past “yeah that’s what I was expecting”. The film is campy, the story is corny, the villain is lame and Seth Rogen wrote the script. I kept thinking, “this movie could have been written more seriously and be more like the Christopher Nolan's Batman films”; but instead, it tried to be funny. I guess if you love Seth Rogen… you’ll think it’s funny, but for me it was juvenile and obnoxious.
I would hardly call myself a fan of the 60's television show, but I have seen a few episodes – in reruns…I’m not that old. But I’m aware of the criticisms surrounding the show, namely Kato being just a sidekick, butler, manservant or a chauffeur to the Green Hornet. Played by Bruce Lee, he didn't have much dialog or screen time because in the 60's having an Asian-American character on a show was a big deal. In this movie, they make a HUGE deal about that subject as Seth Rogen & Jay Chou are constantly arguing about Kato's role throughout the whole film.
In another scene we see a hand drawn image of Bruce Lee and we hear the original theme song throughout. Then there is the car…The Black Beauty. In the TV show, the Black Beauty was a brand new 1966 Imperial Crown sedan, in the movie, it's the same vehicle; but it's now a classical vintage car.
I also loved Kato’s fighting scenes. There were a few times when the “bad guys” were in slow motion and he was in normal speed…it looked really cool. If you haven’t picked up on it…I loved Kato…he was the best part of the movie.
But that’s where my appreciation for the film ends. Seth Rogen is immature, foul and irresponsible…and so is his character. I kept waiting for him “grow up” but that never happened. And just when I though Rogen couldn’t make the movie anymore obnoxious, Cameron Diaz makes an appearance. While Kato is super cool, he could not make up for the annoying Rogen and Diaz.
There is also the language. I know it’s a PG-13 rating, but I was surprised by the amount of 4-letter words. I mean this is a remake of a wholesome family show and while I expected a bit of an edge…this one was just too much.
One last note: I saw the 3D version and can definitely say it’s not worth it…I can almost hear Jonathan saying, “I told you so”.
If there is a sequel, I hope somebody else writes the screenplay, because this one was a “Skip It”.
SHOULD KIDS SEE IT?
I’m pretty sure they will want to, and while it’s not the most objectionable film I have seen this year, it is a far cry from the 1960’s family oriented show.
Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):
Q: What’s the message/theme of this movie?
A: Superhero stories are uber popular right now. In 2011 alone we can look forward to seeing at least four more films. For the most part we are drawn to superheroes because of their spectacular costumes, their clear, black-and-white sense of the world, their very cool toys and sweet rides. Unfortunately The Green Hornet only hits 3 out of those 4 characteristics. In fact the film’s tag line reads, “Breaking the law to protect it.”
Instead of “Trust Justice and the American Way”, The new Green Hornet chooses to do things his way. And he and his ways are immature, foul and irresponsible. He is motivated by hatred and selfishness and his moral compass is completely broken.
Q: How do you suppose we—as serious Christ-followers—should react to this movie?
A: I think most of us would agree that acting like criminals to catch criminals is clearly not admirable behavior. I think we would also agree that there comes a time when we “put away childish things” (1 Corinthians 13:11).
But throughout the movie we are asked to accept and embrace Britt's childish behavior, profanities and inappropriate comments about his secretary.
Q: How can we move from healthy, Bible-based opinions about this movie to actually living out those opinions?
A: We may not have all the Green Hornet’s toys or don a mask and fight crime, but we can choose to do the right things the right way and part of that means we need to “grow up”. Paul said, “I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.”
This doesn’t mean that we turn into the “stick in the mud”. But we use discretion. We think about how our behavior affects our lives and the lives of those around us. We understand that there are consequences for every action. So while cutting the head off a statue and running cops off the road may seem like the “best moment of my entire life”, chances are good it won’t feel like that for long.
is a movie buff at heart, but he's
not your traditional film critic. Todd is a blue collar film geek, from his job
years ago at Blockbuster to his heartfelt online movie reviews. But Todd isn't just
a film geek. He has worked with middle and high school students since 1991 as a
youth pastor and is currently on staff at Calvary Church in Souderton, PA. Todd
and his wife Lynda have three children, Brianna, Caleb and Addyson.