Ok, I'll be honest, it's not great. It is a very restricted production.
Here begins the battle with Hollywood.
Michel Gondry, a late comer to the project, who brought us music videos made for the likes of Daft Punk and Bjork, was quite clearly tied down by the powers that be. As good as the performances in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind are, it is the free direction of Gondry that makes it great. Not so with The Green Hornet, you'd be forgiven for not even realising that it was his picture.
Seth Rogen suffers the same fate, it seems that somebody behind the scenes (maybe even Rogen himself, as he co-wrote the screen play) wanted to make sure that this didn't become a his usual comedy. Why not? Suppressing his personality was always going to deliver a stunted performance. I'm not a fan of Cameron Diaz, but she's OK in this, her character doesn't get chance to develop at all so she doesn't get chance to irritate too much. Jay Chou, in his first English speaking role, delivers a good solid ass-kicking performance, having said that though Bruce Lee's performance in the 1960s TV series didn't give him much to live up to. Christoph Waltz's villainous performance is precisely that, villainous. The film is a comedy super hero adventure, but as Gene Hackman proved in Superman, the bad guy still needs to be believably sinister, Waltz is not even close, I'd go as far as to say that he is the low point of the film. James Franco makes a surprise appearance early, I would have liked to see more of him.
Final Hollywood bad mouthing. 3D, no reason for it, please stop it. Tron Legacy is the only film I've seen that uses it well and let's face it, it kind of lends itself perfectly to the format (review coming soon). Whichever big multimedia or electronic company is paying Hollywood to shoot every flick in 3D, it may well be the biggest sell out in cinematic history. Either that or they actually think that it's the future... God I hope not. This is not the worst example of a 3D film, but it certainly lends nothing to it.
The film, even with all it's flaws, is watchable. Good car chases, excellent action sequences and martial arts. Cool cars, guns and technology. Some very funny scenes and one liners. Believable friendship and tension between Rogen and Chou. Not to mention an awesome coffee machine. It just should have been better.
Don't make it your first choice but don't write it off either.
5 out of 10, must try harder.
by Lee Power