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The Reel Deal: Budding duo takes sting out of 'The Green Hornet'
“The Green Hornet” is a movie filled with moments - cool action moments, comedic moments, entertaining moments and moments where you just wish it would be over.
It starts off slowly with the introduction of its main villain Benjamin Chudnofsky (Christoph Waltz). He is the long-time overseer of the gang and drug activity in Los Angeles, but has recently been losing respect from his underlings.
He meets an up-and-comer in the trade and they talk, and talk, and talk some more and then, as you’re about to doze off, he proves just how capable he is at his job with a surprising bit of violence. Even though Waltz plays this role like his famous protagonist Hans Landa in “Inglourious Basterds,” I thought the banter was such a drone that it just lost my attention.
Then, to make matters worse, we are introduced to the hero of the film, an irresponsible party boy named Britt Reid (Seth Rogen) who is the son of a neglectful newspaper magnate. (Question of the day: Do newspaper magnates still exist? I should look online.)
When his father dies unexpectedly, he is left to run the newspaper even though it is a responsibility he does not want.
Just as I was checking my watch and yawning for the 12th time, something strange happened: the movie became bearable, if not enjoyable. I credit this turnaround to Asian superstar Jay Chou.
Chou plays Kato, a genius auto mechanic who used to be the valet for Britt’s father. Rather than lay him off (mainly because he makes a mean latte) the two bond over gadgets, martial arts and Kato’s supreme awesomeness.
With a few beers in their systems, the duo goes out to cause a little mischief (Britt wants to remove the head from a statue of his father that was recently erected) and end up thwarting a crime.
After kicking some bad-guy tail and having nothing better to do, they decide to become a crime-fighting team who, puzzlingly, pose as villains in order to get closer to the criminals they are out to bust. It’s an odd take, but it’s the characteristic of Britt, which is to say he doesn’t think things through.
Now, with their newfound infamy (thanks in large part to the newspaper Britt uses to promote their masked adventures) they attract the attention of Chudnofsky and another unknown villain who is just as dangerous and influential as the can’t-get-any-respect crime boss.
Where this movie works is the chemistry between Rogen and Chou. They have a real buddy-buddy connection that makes “The Green Hornet” flow and become enjoyable. But when they are not together, this film unravels and reminds me of some of the movies that come out in the summer – dull, mindless and utterly forgettable.
Dedra Cordle is a Messenger staff writer.
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