JT Film Review

118 – The Green Hornet (2011)

The Green Hornet REVIEW

3/5 stars

Director – Michel Gondry

Cast – Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, Christopher Waltz, Cameron Diaz, Edward James Olmos, Tom Wilkinson, David Harbour


Acclaimed French director Michel Gondry, whose work spans from the ethereal Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind to the decidedly more mainstream Be Kind Rewind, once again has tried his hand at pop filmmaking. The director, known for his stylish visuals, may seem at first glance to be a good match for a fun superhero flick. What we get is actually more in common with Rogen’s movies and sense of humor. What is perhaps more surprising is that these elements are the strongest part of the movie. In an interview Gondry said he approached The Green Hornet as an action film with comedic elements, not as a comedy. Unfortunately the action and most of the superhero elements, when played straight, are quite weak. It’s a shame, too, because Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, and especially Christopher Waltz are very funny.

In general this movie doesn’t try hard enough to be different from the myriad of superhero movies and even basic action movies, that surround it. It never tries to be a parody, and for that I applaud it, but by the last third the movie it forgets its comedic roots (I maintain the movie is a comedy at heart, despite what Gondry says) and gives us one long, generic action scene that at the end is shown to have no plot value whatsoever, as the Macguffin of the scene turns out to be worthless. Pointless…

Christopher Waltz as the villian is excellent here, and does more to “de-construct” the superhero genre than Kick-Ass ever will. His remarks about “branding” himself and becoming more scary were bang on the money, and funny as well.

I guess all in all The Green Hornet could have used a sense of what it was. Is it a comedy based around an action movie or an action movie with some funny bits? Personally I think the former is where it succeeds best, but a bit more focus would have been nice. That, or at least make the action interesting…


The Green Hornet certainly gets an A for effort, but it loses grasp of what could have made it a good movie in the first place. Gondry shows surprisingly little directorial flair here, and phones int he action sequences. It’s a pity, cuz we could have had an excellent little movie here, instead of just a passable one.



“The Green Hornet” on other websites:

IMDB —– Rotten Tomatoes —– Wikipedia


January 19, 2011 - Posted by | 3 Stars, Film Review, Genre - Superhero, Year - 2010-2019 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. While The Green Hornet is a passable time killer, film lovers might go into shock that such an unremarkable piece of Hollywood mulch was helmed by French whiz kid Michel Gondry. I wish there was more here, but it was an OK popcorn treat. Good review, check out mine when you can!

    Comment by CMrok93 | February 28, 2011 | Reply

    • Amen! Good review too, by the way!

      Comment by jamesturpin | March 6, 2011 | Reply

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