Yet another retro revival hits our cinema screens this week but although box office forecasters are predicting big things for The Green Hornet, the critics seem to be swatting it from every direction. Uh oh! In advance of our TruffleShuffle outing to see this movie this week, we look at what some of the experts are saying about the Superhero action comedy remake…
The premise of the movie is loosely based on that of the original which centred on the smart and rich newspaper publisher, Britt Reed, who turned masked vigilante with help from his Asian manservant Kato. This time though, the publisher is a bumbling, immature party animal (played by Seth Rogen) who inherits his father’s empire and newspaper when he suddenly dies from a bee sting but then doesn’t know what to do with it. Kato (played by Jay Chou) meanwhile, is no manservant. He’s a mechanical and engineering genius, martial arts warrior, piano-prodigy, weapons expert and coffee-making artiste. Together, they decide to protect the citizens of L.A. by becoming good guys pretending to be bad guys who fight crime without badges and it’s all in 3d too!Directed by Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,) it’s already managed to flit to the top of the US box office, earning $34 million in this, it’s opening weekend. Plenty enough to score the number one spot and to fight off competition from the new Ron Howard/Vince Vaughn combo, The Dilemma.
To be honest – we had pretty high hopes for this one but from the sounds of some of the reviews below, we might just be disappointed! We’ll reserve our judgement until we’ve seen it in action but in the meantime, here’s what the experts are saying….
NME – 4 OUT OF 10
The problem with the new film is the titular character himself; Hornet was always a bumbling douchebag compared with DC and Marvel’s sleek elite, and while Rogan’s resume means he has the comedy chops to portray such a character, the age the film is being released into means there’s something heavy footed and dated about the green one’s japes – tonally it’s perhaps akin to the aforementioned Nolan casting Adam West in place of Christian Bale.
Despite an impressive cast of players – Michael Gondry behind the camera, Inglourious Basterds’ Chistoph Waltz the villain in front – the sum of such talents only succeeds in making a film out-of-step with the times; Kick-Ass did comedy sharper, Watchmen more adult, there’s even gags in The Dark Knight if you scrape off the grime. What The Green Hornet does better than all these films is making superheroes uncool – and there’s nothing that’s even a bit super about that.’
The Guardian – 2 OUT OF 5
Almost everything about the film is disappointing. Christoph Waltz is under-par as the villain with nothing like the steely charisma of his Nazi in Inglourious Basterds. The “amateur superhero” stuff looks very similar to Kick-Ass and the idea of the lonely plutocrat with the dishy female personal assistant – played in this case by Cameron Diaz – has been done in Iron Man.
This hornet has had its sting removed
Total Film – 3 OUT OF 5
Hornet may not be the bee’s knees, but it’s no bumble either.
Rogen co-wrote the script with Evan Goldberg, his collaborator on Pineapple Express, and it has about the same ratio of genuine laughs to bum ones, floating on a sea of scrappily under-motivated, ain’t-it-cool shenanigans.
The movie is interspersed with soullessly snazzy slow-mo fight sequences — you suspect Gondry scuttled off for these and got a crêpe.
I’ll be fair. Just occasionally, something Gondry-esque and eye-catching does occur, such as when the front half of the heroes’ pimpmobile charges around a high-storey newsroom, sending paper flying.
You can vaguely see what attracted him to the whole lark, while still wondering where they locked up his imagination, and when we’re allowed to ask for the keys.
Hmmm – sounds like we might be crying with disappointment into our popcorn come movie night! Have any of you guys seen it yet? Would you disagree with the reviewers? We’re hoping so!