The Green Hornet (Blu-ray)
Superhero films are coming at us in all forms right now. The comedic angle seems to be a nice route that many are choosing and subsequently the route THE GREEN HORNET has chosen. The title character may have the money but the skills lie within his trusty sidekick and car driver/mechanic Kato. Perhaps The Green Hornet’s original idea as “The Green Bee and his trusty sidekick The Blue Wombat” more aptly describes this fun ride of a film that focuses on laughs and entertainment rather than deep backstory and character development.
After the death of his wealthy father (Tom Wilkinson), playboy Brit Reid (Seth Rogen) inherits a Los Angeles newspaper The Daily Sentinel. Reid inadvertently meets his father’s mechanic Kato (Jay Chou) and the two quickly become friends. Following their love of danger and adventure they discover they both have a desire to do good and help people. When getting in trouble for vandalizing while saving a young couple from a street gang, they try a new avenue by becoming superheroes posing as villains. With a paper at his control, Reid creates his alter ego THE GREEN HORNET into something bigger and more fearful than what it really is. But with the help of his trusty sidekick Kato who is skilled in martial arts, mechanics, weaponry, coffee making and just about everything else you can think of, they are able to backup the danger that is sure to come their way. Their biggest opposition is the villainous crime boss Chudnofsky (Christoph Waltz) who is struggling with an image problem of striking fear into others despite his eager double-barrel trigger finger.
Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg do a nice job of writing a jokey script but lacked the skill of writing any substance or emotional connection within the drama. I mentioned before that the focus was on the laughs, but I felt restless during the unmemorable action sequences. Either the action needed more creativity or needed to be funnier to hide the missing wow factor within. Director Michel Gondry creates a few cleverly constructed scenes using a gradual progression of multiple split screens and visually allowing Kato to foresee his fighting moves before his attacks. Along with a couple of other cool chase and escape concepts THE GREEN HORNET has some of the right elements it just misses the mark to fully excite.
The always funny Seth Rogen does his balancing act of charm and doofus once again, only a little more fit and self aware. Christoph Waltz is brilliantly humorous as he transitions his Chudnofsky into Bloodnofsky in order to compete with the more hip and flashy ways of masked avengers like The Green Hornet. And surprisingly, newcomer Jay Chou as Kato is impressively cool and natural with his straight man humor and martial arts despite not being able to speak English too well. On the other hand, Cameron Diaz as the knowledgeable assistant is completely unnecessary in this film. The role could have easily gone to a pretty lesser named actress and saved the studio some money.
With a super cool gadget filled automobile, an assortment of excellent tunes for the soundtrack and self-aware humor, THE GREEN HORNET delivers. But when compared to the more recent misfit superhero films, THE GREEN HORNET doesn’t quite measure up. Nonetheless it’s a nice fun little ride that will do the trick for a mindless popcorn flick.
Video: (1080p High Definition/2.40:1 MVC Encoded 3D – Full Resolution L/R Eye) An excellent picture.
Audio: (5.1 DTS-HD MA – 3D Optimized English) The sound is terrific utilizing the surround sound to its full capacity.
The Green Hornet Cutting Room: This gives the viewer a chance to freely edit and play one of the chase scenes to his or her liking.
Commentary: Seth Rogen, Michel Godry, Evan Goldberg and Neal Moritz, give an entertainingly funny and insightful commentary like Nic Cage auditioning for the villain using a Jamaican accent. Seth Rogan is quick to point out all the problems the film had.
Deleted Scenes (26:33): Nine scenes that don’t add to much with slightly humorous moments and one unfinished super extended action sequence.
“Awesoom” Gag Reel (7:18): A few funny moments of the cast goofing around.
Trust Me – Director Michel Gondry (9:33): The cast and crew talk about working with and accepting the director’s crazy and creative ideas.
Writing The Green Hornet (10:35): Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg give a brief insight and reasoning behind their screenplay.
The Black Beauty: Rebirth of Cool (7:17): A detailed look into the making of the superhero vehicle and all its gadgets used in the film.
The Stunt Family Armstrong (7:39): The stunt crew consists of two brothers along with their wives and grown sons and daughters. They have been in the business a long time and have basically have done nearly every major blockbuster.
Finding Kato (6:00): Considered by himself as the Chinese Usher, we learn about Jay Chou as a mega pop star from China and the surrounding areas. Although he is a fresh face in America he is well known in Asian countries as a singer, composes film score composer and actor.
The Art of Destruction (14:04): A behind the scenes look at all the explosive stunts.