The Green Hornet review

Well well well, who would've thought that 3D could look so good. After last year's awful Clash Of The Titans with its rotten tacked on 3D work it's refreshing to report a movie where the device enhances it to great effect. And boy does The Green Hornet need it. It's an uninspiring and wholly routine comic book caper with a mundane script but by golly does that 3D work impress. You get a real sense of depth and space – the sets look enormous – and in the frequent action scenes objects fly at you with practiced ease. This is what 3D is all about and it sure is fun to witness – up to a point.

Alas, the movie contained therein isn't much to shout about, though director Gondry brings an impersonal energy to it that will keep the younger ones entertained. And a slimmed down Rogen is an engaging lead. His 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.

A mediocre achievement overall then but that 3D work is special indeed and makes The Green Hornet a more agreeable experience than it has any right to be.

The Green Hornet at IMDb

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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