“The Green Hornet” was directed by Michel Gondry who had previously directed 2004’s “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” & 2008’s “Be Kind Rewind”. It is based on the characters of the same name that began as a 1930s radio series and expanded over time to comic books, TV series and other media. Most notably is the 1960 TV series starring Van Williams and Bruce Lee. The film stars Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, Cameron Diaz, Tom Wilkinson, David Harbor, Edward James Olmos and Christoph Waltz. Much like a lot of his other films, Rogen along with his long time writing partner, Evan Goldberg wrote the film.
After L.A. newspaper editor, James Reid (Wilkinson) dies, the future of his newspaper and empire fall in to the hands of his care free, party hard son Britt (Rogen). He befriends Kato (Chou) James’ driver and mechanic. One night, the 2 go out and plan to vandalize James’ monument at his gravesite but when a couple is attack by thugs Kato shows off his experience in martial arts while Britt is seen by bystanders and traffic cams. Britt’s newspaper, The Daily Sentinel and their staff begin to run stories on this new vigilante who comes to be known as The Green Hornet. Britt hires a new secretary, Lenore Case (Diaz). This new direction rubs a few people the wrong way including James’ longtime partner, Mike Axeford (Olmos) who feels Britt is glorifying the wrong stories and drawing the wrong kind of attention. Mike’s feelings are confirmed when a new drug lord arrives and begins taking over the drug labs and night clubs all over the city. Benjamin Chudnoffski (Waltz) is a ruthless Russian mob boss who begins to go after The Green Hornet who has foiled some of his plans thus far. This goofball doesn’t understand the difference between hero and vigilante until its too late. However, with a never quit attitude, Britt and Kato must embark on this journey to finish what they started and take down Chudnoffski.
Out of all his earlier films, Seth Rogen proved he can make a great comedy. This film however was one his mediocre ones. It wasn’t as terrible as a lot of people made it out to be but it was no where near as good as his previous films. Coming off a string of hits like “Knocked Up”, “Pineapple Express” & “Superbad”, Rogen and Goldberg had all the momentum going in to this film but it failed to live up to expectations. The action sequences were solid, the comedy was there but the storyline and plot is the film falls apart. Much like “Pineapple Express”, it tries blend action and comedy along with a murder mystery and I think that’s where the messed up. Had it stuck to just being a action comedy, it might’ve worked but it tried to be like a murder mystery with elements of comedy and it didn’t work. Christoph Waltz gives a solid performance as the villain. Cameron Diaz feels a bit miscast and has no chemistry with Rogen or even Chou and her scenes come across as formulaic and bland.
The film has a small tribute to the 1960 TV show and an easter egg mentioning the late great Bruce Lee. A sequel was announced for the following year but producer, Neal H. Moritz confirm it’s cancellation, citing it draw enough box office revenue and converting to 3D did more harm than good. While Rogen and Goldberg would on to more films like “This Is The End”, “The Night Before” and “Neighbors”, Rogen would appear in other films such as “Steve Jobs” where he played famed engineer, Steve Wozniak, “The Disaster Artist” and the 2019 live action version of Disney’s “The Lion King”. Jay Chou appeared in 2016’s “Now You See Me 2”. Diaz would appear in more comedies such as “Bad Teacher”, “The Other Woman” & “Sex Tape” as well as the film remake of the 70s musical “Annie” in 2014.