"The Green Hornet" is definitely not what I thought I would be watching. Come on, Jay Chou???? And to be honest, I wasn't impressed with Seth Rogen in "Knocked Up" either (I didn't even bother finishing the movie halfway through).
But I came out of the cinema quite pleased. It's either because I'm too bored, or the movie did has qualities that made the watch enjoyable. I think it's 50-50 situation...I'm kinda bored and so, I find the movie quite an interesting watch.
What I was surprised to find out was that Seth Rogen actually produced the movie and even co-wrote the script. And after some reading about the movie, I found out that Stephen Chow was initially the director (and Kato), but he left, succeeded by the current director, Michel Gondry. Kind of sad that Stephen Chow did not make his American debut but, I really can't picture Stephen Chow in the shoes of Kato, especially now that I have seen Jay Chou playing....hmmm...what do you think? But one person I thought would be cool to play Kato is Jason Scott Lee...wonder why he wasn't casted.
I'm no "Green Hornet" fan, I don't watch the TV series, read the comics or listened to the radio shows; but from what I 'researched', there have been some twists in the characters.
For one thing, Kato is not from "SHANGHAI".
Erm hello? Which part of the name Kato sounds like Chinese? It's clearly Japanese, and I believe the original Kato is Japanese, until later the character has developed into Filipino-Jap and even Korean. It has something to do with the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbour and how it was sensitive to portray a Japanese as a side-kick to an American during/after 1945 (Interesting read from Wikipedia, the world's best encyclopedia). So now, Kato has evolved into a Chinese? It amazes me but well, that's beside the point.
Okay, as much as I love a good laugh watching Jay Chou act (because seriously, EVERYONE knows he can't act, even his fans have to admit that), I actually like him in the movie. Okay, let me put it this way; I like the character Kato and it wasn't a pain to watch because Jay Chou didn't really butcher the character, but seriously... he is still unable to provide the necessary expressions (or what we call 'act') in the movie.
I can't help but picture the many N.G. shots during production hahahahahhaha...it would definitely be a good laugh!!! I remembered last time when I was part of a production crew, and one of the actors was new in acting in movies, and he had so many N.G. shots that the other casts and crew members feared the nights where he was involved in the shooting (because it meant that we can't finish work early). Ya, I imagine that would be what it's like with Jay Chou in the shoot...and I pictured that they'll be having a hard time choosing the best footages as well. Hmmm....oh alright, maybe it's not that bad. The fighting scenes were pretty awesome. And another positive way to see it is that perhaps Jay Chou's consistent stiffness made Kato's character stiff and expressionless.
Britt Reid's character has also been altered...he is more of a 'jerk' now.
I went to check out the TV series on Youtube, actually, to see how good Bruce Lee's English is hehehe....and also to see how the characters are previously. The Green Hornet is more matured, less goofy and can actually fight quite decently without the need to use his 'gas' gun. Perhaps if there's a Green Hornet 2 (which I can foresee coming), Britt Reid will be a more 'serious' character but if it's Seth Rogen, I do not see how that works yet.
So the new Britt Reid is very irresponsible, a jerk who loves to take ALL the credit, I'd say a lousy partner, selfish friend...what did I miss?...Ya basically I just hated him all the way through the movie until the last 15 minutes when he finally showed some integrity. I give credits to Seth Rogen for being able to portray such an (pardon me) a**. He did a good job playing the character because I hated him in the show...hahaha....
I also like the fact that this movie had promoted Kato's status as The Green Hornet's partner, instead of being referred to as the driver/chauffeur who drives "The Black Beauty", like in the character description in the comics and the earlier series. I mean, there's no doubt that Kato's character has been also very prominent previously, but then again, being referred to as the 'driver' seems a bit degrading for the character because Kato is part of all the battles, and in my humble opinion, maybe contributes even more than the Green Hornet in the movie and even in the TV series (else Bruce Lee wouldn't be that famous, would he?).
When Christoph Waltz appeared in the opening scene, I thought, this face is familiar...
Oh yes!!!!!!!!! The dude who won an award playing the villain in The Inglorious Basterds!
And yes, he is casted for the role as yet another villain in this movie. Personally, not as excellent as his portrayal of Colonel Hans Landa but still great. He still maintains a bit of wit in his deviousness, but not as clever and sly as the cruel Colonel though, in my opinion. But honestly, I preferred James Franco at the beginning...His lines were in a weird way, delightful to the ears hahaha!
Cameron Diaz was also not really a pain to watch in this movie...although I would have casted another actress instead, someone with a stronger presence, like Jennifer Garner, Hilary Swank or even Sandra Bullock. I see Lenore like Lois Lane, but not as dependent, and perhaps that's why I don't see Cameron Diaz filling the shoes of the role but she did play it well. But then again, I personally feel that Jennifer Garner would be better able to pull out a more assertive and outstanding Lenore, while remaining comedic to fit the mood of the movie.
In terms of storyline, you know I have to say this; yes, it is pretty predictable.
From the moment Britt Reid was highlighted as the selfish fool who mistreats his friend/partner, I knew that Kato would be unhappy with the partnership and later run off as most shows involving partnership take the same storyline passage.
I also half predicted that Kato, after reading the email will go to save his friend...although I did thought at first that he would actually want to kill Britt. The rest of the storyline of the show is like I said, predictable, went as per the picture in my head (yep, I knew both of them are going to fall for Lenore and I knew Lenore would prefer Kato more) ...
But this is a superhero movie, what can we expect right?
"Good guy vs bad guy"...that's the ingredient, but oh well, at least the Green Hornet tries to give it a twist "good guy that pretends to be bad guys vs bad guys".
And the car racing scenes, the fighting scenes...well those are pretty fun to watch...
My favourite scenes:
- James Franco was awesome at the beginning - his 'speech', where he made fun of Chudnofsky was HILARIOUS!
- During the 1st police chase scene, and the police said "Show me your hands!" and Seth Rogen exhibited his middle finger
- When Chudnofsky asked his men to spread the words to kill the Green Hornet, which led to a multiple split screen scene of the people spreading the word...NOW THAT IS AN AWESOME TECHNIQUE! Gives you the feel that words spread across to many people, in the multiple splits of the screen....awesome!
I can see kids enjoying this movie - fast cars, punching action scenes, good comedic acts, a 'twist' in the storyline that can awe any kid...(Woah, Kato is going to kill Britt....Woah!!! Oh No...Kato holds Britt at gunpoint...wow.....phew apparently Kato has forgive Britt, what a twist!!!!!) To a kid, ACTION is the essence to a great superhero movie....seriously, I've been there. I can't remember half the storyline of the movies I watched when I was little.
What I can summarize about the movie is that it contains all the right ingredients to make the movie an enjoyable Superhero movie for the kids, and for some adults who just want a dose of superhero fantasy.