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Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011 02:20 pm

Hornet lacks sting


I don’t really know where to begin with The Green Hornet. It lacks direction, it fails to maintain a consistent tone throughout and its main character is an unlikable lout. Its lead actor gives a shrill one-note performance and for a superhero movie it lacks even a modicum of excitement. It’s more likely to induce yawns than gasps. However, I do know one thing: it has the early lead for worst film of 2011, a distinction it will hold for months to come.

Seth Rogan stars as Britt Reid, a spoiled rich boy who, after the death of his media magnate father James (Tom Wilkinson), decides to assume an alter ego and clean up the mean streets of Los Angeles. Right away, you know this movie’s in trouble. Casting Rogan as the hero is a mistake and has nothing to do with his looks but rather his persona, which is more attuned to being the smart aleck sidekick. Now, if Gondry had decided to lampoon the superhero genre all the way, something the film does occasionally, this would have been inspired casting.

Instead we’re forced to suffer with Rogan’s one-note line delivery throughout (“We can be heroes!” “I need a cup of coffee Kato!”) as we spend time with this overgrown adolescent who adapts the role of the Green Hornet more out of boredom than a sense of civil responsibility. Asian pop star Jay Chou is on hand as Kato, James’ right-hand man and Britt’s lackey. He looks great kicking and chopping bad guys and little more, while poor Cameron Diaz is wasted as Lenore Case, Britt’s secretary who spends more time fending off her bosses’ inappropriate advances than anything else.

Really, that’s the problem with this project — it is a film out of time. More attuned to the sensibilities of the era in which the character first appeared, The Green Hornet is a misogynist, immature, insufferable piece of work that, fortunately, you’ll forget about as soon as you leave the theater.

Contact Chuck Koplinski at

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