Sunday, January 16, 2011

"The Green Hornet"

Hey, guys, it’s Herr Wozzeck, ready to kick off a new year of film reviews! I think we all know what to expect now that I’m back…

So I’ll open with a double feature!

Mass Gunplay

What? It’s as close a link as I can get between these two movies! If they were more thematically related, trust me, you’d be in much better hands with titles. But, I work with what I have to, so there you go.

This time… we start the year with a masked vigilante movie. I think you know what to expect from that, right? Fun times, action… comedy…

…a Tony Stark rip-off?

Sure, why not? Let’s go to today’s movie…

The Green Hornet

Britt Ried (Seth Rogen) is the heir of a media empire in Los Angeles. When his father dies, however, things change completely. He meets Kato (Jay Chou), who was employed with his father, and then finds out that Kaito has these amazing skills. After an attempt at vandalizing his father’s memorial ends with him and Kaito stopping crime, Britt gets the idea of masquerading around as a good guy who poses as a bad guy to stop crime.

And thus, the Green Hornet is born.

Okay, right off the bat, I can tell you that here we have a movie that hardly takes itself seriously. Seth Rogen is clearly having a joy ride with the Hornet. Everyone else… doesn’t seem to be exactly on the same page, but they’re at least partly aware of the tongue in cheek nature. It does get unnecessarily dark at a couple of points, but otherwise, it does have a very fun time with itself. The zingers work, the actors work well with them, and the situations lead to quite a lot of great comedy. As well, the action scenes are highly entertaining with a lot of great stylization. It also helps that we can very clearly see many of the things that are going on, and we can get a nice sense of excitement from the action scenes.

So it does many things right. So what happened?

The pacing of the plot was off. Slightly.

Well, okay, maybe not slightly, but it’s still a bit uneven. The problem is the movie stalls through a huge part of its running time trying to throw in some tension between Britt and Kaito that derails the rest of the production. It spends time on them not getting along instead of letting bigger and better action scenes happening. And when the climax of the film comes, it’s all exciting… and then it just ends. The ending was severely rushed. We got the best action literally right before the film ends, and when it does end, it’s one of those things that makes you ask “huh” when it’s all said and done.

This sort of offsets the joyride that this movie could’ve been, which is a shame as this problem also finds roots at the beginning. The beginning of the movie suffers the same problem that the end does in that many, many things are rushed, and we don’t quite get a good enough picture of the character. It’s frenetically paced, but when it slows way down later in the movie it becomes even more noticeable than it should be.

But while it does suffer from quite a few pacing problems, The Green Hornet does quite a few things right. Its zingers are funny, its action scenes work, and while there’s a slight sense of disconnect between the actors due to not being all on the exact same part of the page as each other, it’s still fairly enjoyable to watch.


If you want to go see it, go see it. If you don’t want to go see it, don’t.

This is Herr Wozzeck Reviews. I’ll see you guys in a few hours with part two of the double feature when I turn back the clock quite a bit and present True Grit.

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