Whether you are aware of it or not, the (somewhat) new Action/Comedy The Green Hornet has a cult following. Based on a popular comic book series, the film follows a Batman-esque approach as the main character uses his large inheritance to try and fight crime, with a twist. There's nothing "super" about the slacker-turned hero, instead his nifty gadgets get him out of the occasional predicament. When the announcement of the film's release was made at Comicon, its anticipation grew immediately. However, it's safe to say that I wasn't one of those fans eagerly awaiting The Green Hornet's release. Instead, I went into the showing completely blind to the backstory.
The Green Hornet opens with a young Britt Reid (played by Rogen) being scolded by his father after a school yard fight. Even though the child lost his mother at a young age, his father James (played by Tom Wilkinson) still neglects him. James runs The Sentinel, a prestigious newspaper, and quality father-son time doesn't factor into his lifestyle. In the meantime, Britt continues to grow up a rowdy, good for nothing parasite. Living off of his father's dime, Britt is unemployed and out of school. However, when his father shockingly passes away from an allergic reaction to a bee sting, Britt is left to head The Sentinel. Lonely and overwhelmed, Britt befriends his father's ex-employee Kato (played by Jay Chou), and they have an very unique bond. They take their twisted superhero approach to the streets and create quite the stir.
The Green Hornet is a fun film that has an inevitably low ceiling. Despite my reservations going in, I left the theatre feeling as though the film slightly surpassed my expectations. With occasional laugh-out-loud humor, the movie is certainly entertaining, yet far from groundbreaking. It's hard to see Rogen as a believable superhero, but he does a decent job convincing the audience. Jay Chou's fantastic action sequences are pivotal to the film as well.
It was a bit of a surprise discovering Michel Gondry directed the film. Best known for his independent masterpiece Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Gondry demonstrates his versatility with The Green Hornet. However, I must note that Cameron Diaz was miscast for her role as Britt's attractive and intelligent secretary Lenore Case. Easily one of the biggest downfalls of the movie, Diaz brings nothing to the film. Lenore's character is essential to the story, and Diaz was a glaring weakness.
Mostly mediocre in every regard, The Green Hornet provides mild entertainment and occasional laughs. It's very difficult to create something fresh and innovative in the superhero genre. The Green Hornet attempts to, but doesn't quite reach that a high enough level of fulfillment.