The Green Hornet
Director: Michel Gondry
Starring: Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, Cameron Diaz
The Green Hornet is another name to add to the recent list of films about bumbling individuals who decide to become superheroes on a whim.
These films, such as Kick-Ass, feature characters with no real superpowers, who get through on heart and courage. The Be Kind, Rewind director Michel Gondry takes a comedic approach similar in tone to Superman III, especially in the opening scenes in which Seth Rogen portrays Britt Reid as a flamboyant party animal. It's only after the untimely death of his mean-spirited father (Tom Wilkinson) that the spoilt rich kid meets the man who makes his coffee every morning, the techno-whizz Kato.
Jay Chou takes on the role that Bruce Lee played in the 1960s TV serialisation and wisely decides to steer clear of aping the martial-arts legend. On discovering that Kato can make indestructible cars, Reid persuades his employee to embark on a series of vigilante adventures.
The indefatigable Reid decides that the only way to be a superhero and protect the innocent is to make the world believe you are a supervillain, in order to stop criminals using innocent bystanders as human shields. Yet the effort that goes into making the duo likeable and interesting characters is not expended on the villains of the piece, Christopher Waltz's crime lord Chudnofsky and David Harbour's slimy politician Scanion.
Cameron Diaz delivers her usual foxy-gal schtick as a secretary with a degree in criminology. The big disappointment is that Gondry doesn't bring the inventive creative visuals of his earlier films and music videos to this energetic, fun, but unoriginal adventure.