When I think of the word ‘superhero’ Seth Rogen—the awkward fella that starred in Knocked Up or The 40-Year-Old Virgin—isn’t the first person to pop into my mind. If you compare him to other conventional fictional characters, he lacks many of the stereotypical superhero qualities. Just think of Hugh Jackman’s masculine physique in X-Men Origins: Wolverine or Christian Bale’s innate bad-boy Batman persona inThe Dark Knight and, well, you’ll know how Rogen doesn’t quite fit.
But director’s Michel Gondry’s (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Be Kind Rewind) The Green Hornet isn’t meant to be ordinary. Based on the 1936 radio series, the film details the life of Rogen’s character Britt Reid. Reid’s bachelor lifestyle of wild shenanigans and partying are rattled following the death of his father. As an heir to his father’s large company, by day Reid reigns over as a newspaper publisher and owner. At night, the masked vigilante fights crime with his father’s assistant Kato. Starring Jay Chou, Kato is best described as a “human Swiss Army Knife.” Chou’s fighting abilities are beyond impressive and outshine Rogen’s. Along with his writing partner Evan Goldberg, Rogen co-wrote the script to seamlessly match and adhere to his inability to convincingly play a typical and over-the-top superhero. And it works.
The twosome protect citizens by breaking the law in Los Angeles, the city where people think the duo are villains rather than heroes. With the help of Reid’s new secretary Lenore Case (Cameron Diaz), the pair work toward hunting down the city’s surprisingly witty underworld leader Benjamin Chudnofsky, played by Christopher Waltz. While Waltz easily mesmerized audiences with his daunting portrayal of the Schutzstaffel in Quentin Tarantino’s 2009 Inglourious Basterds, as a villain he fails—quite purposely—to entice a similar fear from his audience.
With its action-packed 3-D scenes, good humour and lightheartedness, The Green Hornet will take you on an enjoyable ride where—if you’re up to it—you can put that fly swatter you brought with you away.