It's green, and it stinks!

3 Feb , 2011,
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The Green Hornet - Poster Art

I promised to write about The Green Hornet, but I didn’t get a chance to until the Lunar New Year break.

It’s a good thing, in a sense, because I managed to get my hands on Kevin Smith’s The Green Hornet TPB (trade paperback), published by Dynamite Press, and boy, putting the two side by side, it’s like comparing the nadir of banality with the apex of excellence.

I remember watching The Green Hornet TV series when I was 4 or 5 years old. It was showing sometime between lunch time and prime time as a filler (yes, programming sucked in the ’80s) then, and it was an image that stuck, kinda. I remember Van Williams had a really shiny cane, Bruce Lee, as Kato, was kickass, and the Black Beauty was a beast with green headlights and missiles. All told, pretty cool. Camp, but cool.

Mind you, I didn’t have very many expectations of the new, supposedly improved The Green Hornet (also showing in 3D!).

I’d read about its production woes way ahead of time, and having actually seen Seth Rogen and Jay Chou’s cringe-worthy acting before, didn’t dare hope for much either.

Gondry, though, was a different thing altogether. I was keeping my fingers crossed, praying that Mr. Critically Acclaimed Director could work the same magic he did with Be Kind Rewind and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and maybe lift this $120 million dollar dud from the doldrums.

Pity he couldn’t.

I won’t even talk about the plot of The Green Hornet, because there isn’t much of one. This affront to film making sensibilities merely strings together sequences vaguely reminiscent of the original series, sticks in a dash of CG, some bullet time-esque freeze frames, and dared to call itself The Green Hornet’s spiritual successor.

Pfft. Needless to say, I wasn’t at all impressed. Story sucked (blah blah, fight crime, double cross blah), actors were sketchy, and any semblance of humor completely irrelevant. One or two sequences, such as the car chases, were kinda… new, but that was hardly enough to salvage this obvious shipwreck.

Want something decent? Read this instead.

In retrospect, I’m kinda wondering if Seth Rogen’s screenwriting credit is the sole reason why his character’s so grandiose and overblown. It’s obvious that he doesn’t fit the role, and looked the part of the pudgy, dorky sidekick to Jay Chou’s Kato. That, people, is saying something, because Jay Chou’s notorious for being the Deadpan Prince and a horrible actor. Imagine, if he stole the show, what else? ><

Kinda glad, too, that I decided to scrimp, and didn’t watch it in 3D. I’ve been told it’s pretty much the same, with or without the special goggles anyway.

All told, you’re better off picking up Kevin Smith’s comic book. At least it’s got plot, it’s got style, it’s got flair and it’s all there.

This bug, on the other hand, deserves to be swatted.