The Green Hornet review (Blu-ray)

What we have here is an uninspiring and wholly routine comic book caper with a mundane script, though Gondry brings an impersonal energy to it that will keep the younger ones entertained. And a slimmed down Rogen is an engaging lead.

In fact, Rogen's pugnacious enthusiasm keeps the tepid storyline from almost evaporating. He inhabits the role of playboy millionaire Brett Reid with solid assurance, becoming crime fighter The Green Hornet (he has no superpowers) with trusty high kicking sidekick Kato (Chou) and their fancy near-indestructible car.

When he is not foiling assailants at night Reid is assuming the head of his deceased father's newspaper empire and falling for pretty new secretary Lenore Chase (Diaz). Meanwhile, arch crimelord Chudnovsky (Waltz) is unhappy at all the publicity The Green Hornet is receiving and does his best to rid the usurper from LA's streets.

Rogen doesn't know the meaning of the word subtlety and beats his fellow performers into submission in the acting stakes. The film makes little use of Waltz's villainy and doesn't use Diaz at all – there's no character for her to play – though Chou is athletic in the fight scenes. There's a jaunty, playful air to the proceedings but it's never amusing enough when it tries to be funny and never exciting enough when the action erupts.

Plus, there's an overfamiliar air to it – the rich guy masquerading as a masked hero to foil evildoers. One is also reminded of last year's Kick Ass in its debunking of the superhero myth. It's nowhere near as clever as Matthew Vaughn's effort but has a similar over-reaching sensibility to it.

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Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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