Monday, July 4, 2011

Good Buzz

I wasn't expecting much from Seth Rogen's The Green Hornet, because, like, Seth Rogen. I figured it would be a parody of an action film, without actually being funny. It would be a little wacky, inappropriate and there would be humorous situations, but no laughs. I got that, and more.

Rogen plays Britt Reid, neglected and spoiled playboy son of a crusading newspaper owner. When his father dies, he inherits the empire, and meets his father's chauffeur and companion Kato. Now, to get a head of things a little, Kato is played by Jay Chou. I had never heard of him, but in China, he is a rock star and martial arts hero. Possibly brain surgeon and theoretical physicist as well. As Kato, he is infinitely cool. I don't know if he is as cool as Bruce Lee's Kato, but cool enough for this story.

Right, back to the story - Rogen and Chou hang out, get drunk, play pranks, the kind of bad boy stuff Rogen was doing before his dad died. But one day they save a couple from some muggers and Rogen decides they should fight crime, by posing as criminals.

Their opponent, Christopher Waltz as Chudnofsky (or "Bloodnofsky" as he liked to call himself), is one of the best parts of the movie. He rules the LA underworld, but worries that he doesn't inspire fear due to a lack of a snappy catchphrase.

Joining GH and Kato in their fight against evil is Lenore Case, played by Cameron Diaz. She honestly doesn't have a lot to do except to give Rogen someone else to be a dick to. He calls her an old hag and hits on her, basically, while she figures everything out.

So, Rogen plays Reid as an insenstive, entitled, selfish asshole, which is what I was expecting. He condescends to treat Kato as an equal, when Kato is clearly his awesome superior. And, yet, somehow it works. Maybe because he is so unapologetic - he doesn't expect you to love him even though he is an jerk. He expects you to point and laugh at him. Or maybe it's just because Jay Chou is so awesome.

In conclusion, the car chases are probably the best part of the movie. As one of the special features describes it, every time they came up with an effect that needed CGI, they wrote it out of the script. So it's all practical effects, with just a little CGI for wire removal, etc. It's worth it for that alone.

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