The Green Hornet
- Street Date:
- May 3rd, 2011
- Reviewed by:
- Aaron Peck
- Review Date: 1
- May 4th, 2011
- Movie Release Year:
- 119 Minutes
- Release Country
- United States
Portions of this review also appear in our coverage of 'The Green Hornet 3D.'
The Movie Itself: Our Reviewer's Take
'The Green Hornet' attempts to dissect an oddity in the superhero universe (well, he really isn't a superhero since he doesn't have any super powers, but we'll use it for lack of a better term). What if the sidekick was actually the brains and the brawn of the operation? What if the superhero's sidekick was in all respects much better than the superhero? It's an interesting premise, one which is largely overlooked in 'The Green Hornet'.
I think we've reached a Seth Rogen saturation point. He's dropped some weight for the role as the masked vigilante, but he's still the same old Rogen who yells his way through most of his dialogue. One lesson that can be learned from 'The Green Hornet' is to never allow a star who already talks too much to write the script. Rogen, along with co-writer Evan Goldberg, gives the main character character, Britt Reid, way more lines than he deserves. Like the recently released 'The Dilemma,' we find Rogen seemingly unable to shut up, just like Vince Vaughn. His overbearing yelling becomes tedious and grating as the movie labors through it's bloated near-two-hour runtime.
Britt Reid is the son of media magnate James Reid (Tom Wilkinson). Reid owns a newspaper in Los Angeles, but lives in a house that makes Aaron Spelling's estate look like a doublewide. Perhaps the most unbelievable aspect about 'The Green Hornet' is its rosy optimism about the newspaper industry. In this movie The Daily Sentinal newspaper is treated like it's the only news outlet in the country. There's a brief mention about how the internet has slowed newspaper sales, but you'd never be able to tell. The Reids live a lavish lifestyle, full of endless supplies of money, fancy cars, and yummy coffee delivered bedside every morning.
Britt is a lousy, good-for-nothing trust fund baby who spends his nights partying and his days recovering from hangovers. He doesn't care much for his dad's business other than the fact that it keeps the family flush with cash. Then his father dies, but Britt doesn't really care, cause his father was a douche. After meeting his father's mechanic, Kato (Jay Chou) who just so happens to be a super martial artist, inventor, and killer piano player, the two decide the only logical thing for them to do is become vigilantes.
Why they decide this isn't quite clear, other than Britt is extremely bored and needs something to occupy his time. The main criminal in LA is Chudnofsky (Christoph Waltz) who delivers a somewhat shiny performance mired in a dingy movie. Chudnofsky wants to rule the LA crime scene, and he plans to do so by killing his competition. Britt and Kato plan to act like criminals, but in reality they're trying to save the town. I know, it doesn't make much sense, but it's a way for them to eventually meet up with Chudnofsky and destroy countless amounts of public property in the ensuing car chases and shootouts.
By the way, what happened to heroes that actually care about innocent bystanders? Heroes nowadays are content with smashing up a town and driving through any number of buildings without the slightest thought that there may be someone on the other side. Whenever I see these types of action scenes with would-be heroes I'm reminded of the scene where Will Smith and Martin Lawrence barrel down a mountain side covered in shanties in 'Bad Boys 2' without regard to who might actually be in those houses.
When all is said (and said, and said) and done, 'The Green Hornet' is an overly long jumble that doesn't go anywhere in particular. It seems like just another vehicle to let Seth Rogen shout his lines at us.
The Video: Sizing Up the Picture
Sony delivers another sparkling transfer. 'The Green Hornet' flies onto Blu-ray with a 1080p, AVC-encoded transfer.
This is exactly how you'd expect a modern day action movie to look. It's slick and clean. The movie is overtly dark, but blacks do a nice job adding needed depth and dimensionality to the picture. The color palette is cool, and like many modern day action films, the movie seems to have a slight teal tinge to it. Still, colors pop. The red roses of the Reid's garden appear lush and vibrant. The sleek black of the Black Beauty is perfectly rendered. Closeups offer a lot of facial detail, while action scenes offer startling amounts of minutiae (like tiny pieces of debris, bits of paper flying around, tiny shards of glass shattering).
For those of you hoping for a stellar transfer, congratulations, Sony has provided it.
The Audio: Rating the Sound
Slam, bang, crash! That's about the extent of 'The Green Hornet's sound design. Its 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track does a great job giving us a believable and immersive sound stage for an action film.
Dialogue is treated well, too, but there's no way that you'd be able to miss a single word Rogen shouts at you anyway. Sound effects travel with great velocity from one end of the stage to the other. As the Black Beauty roars past, directionality smoothly takes it through the front of the audio presentation starting in the side speaker, seamlessly gliding into the middle speaker, and out the other side. All within a few seconds.
This is an immersive track that I really enjoyed as far as action movies go. Fans will be elated.
The Supplements: Digging Into the Good Stuff
- Audio Commentary — Rogen, Goldberg, producer Neal Moritz, and director Michel Gondry get together for a group commentary on the movie. This is actually a fairly informative track for anyone who wants to know more about the process of bringing 'The Green Hornet' to the big screen and gain technical information about shooting and such. The team provides a somewhat humorous commentary about the movie, but it stays on point, covering everything from shooting locations to set creation. Give it a listen if you're a big fan.
- Deleted Scenes (HD, 26 min.) — Nine deleted scenes in all, including one entitled "Dickweed". Many of them are just more Rogen riffing, but again, fans of the movie will want to see a few of these clips.
- "Awesoom" Gag Reel (HD, 7 min.) — There's nothing that really makes it "Awesoom," but oh well. Watch the actors laugh at each other during their lines.
- Writing 'The Green Hornet' (HD, 10 min.) — Give Rogen a bunch of lines to yell, rinse, and repeat. Okay, just kidding (but not really). Rogen and Goldberg discuss the great time they had writing this movie and what it was like writing a flick about a superhero that acted like a villain.
- The Black Beauty: Rebirth of Cool (HD, 7 min.) — A short featurette on rebuilding the iconic car.
HD Bonus Content: Any Exclusive Goodies in There?
- The Green Hornet Cutting Room — A Blu-ray exclusive that allows you to put together your own series of 'Green Hornet' clips to share online with others.
- "Trust Me": Director Michael Gondry (HD, 9 min.) — This is a back-patting feature for Gondry as the cast talks about how great the director is and his unique vision when it comes to making movies.
- PS3 Theme — Get a 'Green Hornet' theme for your PS3. I wish more movies came with something like this.
- The Stunt Family Armstrong (HD, 8 min.) — This featurette focuses on the Armstrong family and the stunts that they did for the movie.
- Finding Kato (HD, 6 min.) — The casting of the most important role of the movie, and how Jay Chou was the right fit.
- The Art of Destruction (HD, 14 min.) — Take a look at how the sets and other buildings were destroyed. Boom!
Reader Mun Shen Ng sent in a tip about an Easter Egg that can be found on 'The Green Hornet' Blu-ray. Select Special Features on the menu and then select Deleted Scenes. Once the submenu for Deleted Scenes comes up push the right arrow on your remote with the Play All feature highlighted. A green target will appear to the right of Play All, which provides a 30 second clip of Gondry pulling out the double-barreled gun and pretending to shoot someone. There's no real reason to why this is included, but there you have it.
There's not much to like about 'The Green Hornet'. It's a bland buddy hero comedy where the hero rants on and on about nothing in particular. There are some mildly fun action scenes in here, and if that's all you came for then you won't be disappointed. The video and audio are great, while the wide variety of special features will satiate any fan. My feelings about the movie aside, I've got to lightly recommend this one since the film's fans will certainly be pleased with the Blu-ray's technical qualities.
- BD-50 Blu-ray Disc
- 1080p/MPEG-4 AVC
- English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
- French: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
- Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
- Portuguese: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
- English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
- Audio Commentary
- Deleted Scenes
- Gag Reel
- Writing 'The Green Hornet'
- Black Beauty: The Rebirth of Cool
Exclusive HD Content
- Finding Kato
- The Stunt Family Armstrong
- The Art of Destruction
- "Trust Me" - Director Michel Gondry
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