Saturday, 15 January 2011


New Year, New Hero? Before the early Summer brings us more characters of The Avengers to add to "Iron Man" and "Hulk" - "Thor" "Captain America" - we have what for the older generation fondly remember as a great TV serial but many others may not have heard of.

After one of those "troubled journeys" to the screen where writers and directors have jumped ship due to the always worrying comment - creative differences - the final line up of director Michel Gondry and writer/star Seth Rogen deliver the familiar story of a billionaire-turned-vigilante/hero.

However, what could have been a quirky take on a hero from the guy that directed the likes of "Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind" is a mis-cast and badly-scripted one. It's almost as if Gondry wasn't present during the shoot apart from the odd moment - a Benny Hill-esque snog-athon where a speeded up couple work their way through some classic cars.

The biggest flaw is unfortunately is its center character - billionaire Bret Reid aka Green Hornet. Rogen brings his trademark "winging it" type of acting where its all hand waving and sentences that should appear as natural but come across as not knowing the lines. This, for a lay-about who gets a girl pregnant is fine, but for a man who is willing to face danger to protect citizens from evil, just doesn't wash it my friend. You need to believe in that guy, or at least like him and Rogen is just simply a dick who deserves neither your belief nor like. All he does is manage to push your feelings towards Chou's interpretation of Kato, immortalised by none-other-than Bruce Lee. And this is despite a cringe-inducing fight between them that reeks of a Clouseau vs Kato rehash.

It comes to something when the best things about a 2 hour movie is the car - a stunning vehicle indeed - and the opening sequence where an uncredited James Franco goes head-to-head with Christop Waltz's baddie... it's no "True Romance" but its still the movies highlight. A wasted opportunity even with their nice take on "The Matrix's" bullet time.

UK release date: 14/01/11
Certificate: 12A

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