A rich, lazy playboy, spurred by the death of his father, teams
up with his dad's skilled mechanic to become a crime-fighting duo.
The Green Hornet (2011)
Directed by Michel Gondry
Written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg
Starring Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, Cameron Diaz, Christoph Waltz, Tom Wilkinson, David Harbour, Edward James Olmos
Based on the radio serial by George W. Trendle
and the 1966-1967 TV series
The Green Hornet is a classic action series that is ripe for a modern, action-packed reboot. Sadly, this 2011 misfire wasn't it. Despite a talented cast, an accomplished director, and a great screenwriting duo, something threw a wrench into this film's development and it ended up being unfunny and just plain lazy at times. The character of Britt Reid is so unlikable and selfish that he's impossible to root for, and Kato is virtually superhuman, so the stakes never seem that high. The jokes are very dated, particularly the sexist ones, and the villains are flat, even though they're played by Oscar winner Christoph Waltz and Stranger Things' David Harbour. Ultimately, I'd have to guess studio interference is what gutted this thing.
Britt Reid (Rogen) is the rich, lazy, entitled son of newspaper tycoon James Reid (Wilkinson). When James dies suddenly and leaves Britt his publishing empire, Britt is spurred to do some good in the world, especially after he meets Kato (Chou), a martial arts master/inventor/mechanic/coffee maker who used to work for Britt's dad. Together, they don masks and become a crime-fighting duo known as the Green Hornet and his sidekick. Their shtick is that they will pose as bad guys to take out the threat from within, and their biggest threat is crime kingpin Chudnofsky (Waltz), Christoph's first real paycheck gig after Basterds. Apart from a few neat action scenes, there's very little to praise in this watered-down, douchey Batman ripoff.
I remember seeing this at the movies in 2011 and thinking it was just okay. Seeing it now made me realize it's a disaster. It has all the elements of a great movie, but it never bothers to use any of them. It's a comedy that isn't funny and an action movie that's mostly bland. Last I heard, Gavin O'Connor is in the running to do a reboot, and that would be fantastic. Give it another go, but try a bit harder this time and maybe take it a bit seriously.