Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Green Hornet (2011)

Lively, if uninspired buddy action flick about a heir to a publishing magnate who decides, alongside a faithful houseservant, to take up crimefighting to redeem his aloof, partygoing ways. That's about as much specificity as the plot allows; Cameron Diaz as the love interest is a tired rehash of Gwenyth Paltrow's Iron Man character, the buddy banter is, for the most part, disposable, and the villain is the stock superevil "head of crime in all the city" character. That being said, that villain, as played by OSCAR WINNER Christoph Waltz, is the funniest, most interesting part of the movie, as he repeatedly , and in vain, tries to come off as the scary, stock character he was clearly written to be ("Look at my gun! It has TWO barrels!!") Michel Gondry's visual work is what keeps the film afloat, in the end. There is strong production design throughout, the action scenes are energetic and clearly presented (Kato's first fight scene is pretty outstanding), and the pacing is pretty quick for a movie with literally no plot. The gas gun, annoyingly featured in every trailer for the film, is not overused, and the similarly overexposed Hornet car actually performs some surprising, original tricks by the films end. And it's nice to see two underutilized actors who saw their hayday when this time of film was in vogue: Edward Furlong and Edward James Olmos. However, the whole thing has a very been there, done that vibe that definitely contributes to this film being shoehorned into a mid-January (?!!) release; this was the only way this flick was going to break 30 mil opening weekend.

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