In my youth I heard one or two of radio episodes for The Green Hornet and saw a few of the TV episodes as well. I don’t remember them being quite as corny as the Seth Rogen’s version at all. This film is more of a action hero comedy then say Batman or Superman or even Fantastic 4, which was funny in spots. This film was a rolling ball of gags, prat falls and egos the size of the moon. This film should have been called “How Kato Puts Up With Idiots”, that would have been a more appropriate name and more reflective of what was going on. Don’t get me wrong, the film was fun and worth watching over again and maybe a few more times after that but it is in no way a serious hero film at all. Keep that in mind as you watch the film and you will have more fun and be able to better appreciate the cast and content that is presented.
Young Britt (Joshua Erenberg) is always getting into trouble at school as he tries to help others but is always failing and his father James Reid (Tom Wilkinson) is never willing to listen. His father seems to care more for the company, the The Daily Sentinel, then he does for the needs of his own son. Britt doesn’t understand why he just knows that to him, his father hates him and everything that he wants to do. Fast forward several years later and Britt Reid (Seth Rogen) is a self centered party loving playboy that still hates his father and doesn’t even live in the main house with him. There is such a distance between them that it seems that Britt will do anything to upset his father to get some face time with him, even if it is for an argument. He never realizes just how much he needs the old man till he is gone. He still thinks his father was a dick, but he both misses him and hates him at the same time as he is left to pick up the pieces of a live his father left behind. It is now up to him to run the family business and he could care less about it and leaves it to Mike Axford (Edward James Olmos) to run the Sentinel.
Benjamin Chudnofsky (Christoph Waltz) is a criminal mastermind that has managed to take over all gang, drug and street crime that is in the city. Everyone pays him or they are shut down or killed, if not both. He wants his name to be feared but his image is slipping due to his age and even the way that he dresses. He is trying to hang on anyway that he can even going so far as to put the D.A. Frank Scanlon (David Harbour) in his pocket. With the District Attorney on his side he is able to make sure that all crime not related to his organization is stamped out and no longer any kind of threat to him. In this way he stays at the top and any that refused to see him that way is either in jail or dead on the streets. In some ways this has made the streets safer for regular citizens but it still leaves a very dangerous crime element in the city, something that Britt’s father finally sees and starts reporting about it in his paper. Those actions make him a target of both D.A. Scanlon and Chudnofsky who later renames himself Bloodnofsky. He actually thinks that it will make him more scary and cause people to fear him even more.
Kato (Jay Chou) is a genius mechanic that works for James Reid and later for Britt. The only reason he was brought back to work for Britt was the fact that Britt woke up one morning to the worst cup of coffee in his life. After his father’s death he fired just about everyone that worked at his father’s mansion and Kato was one of those employees. So he called Kato back to find out why his coffee tasted like dirt and found out just what a genius the man really was. Not only was Kato a mechanic but he was also a master inventor, master of the martial arts and barista as well. There was no way that Britt was going to let that get away, he was going to make sure that he could use that talent for his own petty selfish needs and desires. What did Kato care, at first, it was a job and he was able to continue doing what he liked to do, tinker. It was his hobbies that made it possible for The Green Hornet to even exist in the first place.
On a drunken whim Kato and Britt go off to desecrate his fathers shrine and in the process wind up saving the lives of a couple that are walking \past the cemetary from a group of thugs. This of course gives Britt the bright idea that he and Kato are going to be super heros. They were going to be both the villains and the good guys as they helped the people of the city and destroyed the business of the bad guys. To the criminals and the police they were trying to take over, to those that they helped they were heros. To make sure that their exploits were known he made sure that the paper would print elaborate and sensationalistic articles about what the Green Hornet and Kato were doing and how much damage they were doing. In this way they were sure to get the most attention of the bad guys and be able to draw them out to finally deal with them.
This is a fairly fast moving film and one that you are sure to enjoy as long as you realize that this is satire and not a serious hero film. If you are looking for that you are not going to find it with The Green Hornet. What you will find is lots of action, comedy, slapstick, failed romance and a perverse need from the characters to gain acceptance. The kids are on a tantrum and they have the money to do what ever they want and even though they help people they don’t give a damn what happens around them. Buildings are destroyed, cars wrecked, people killed and more. You will just have to go see the film for yourself to see what I mean. You will enjoy the film no matter how bad it might seem. I know that doesn’t sound right but it is just the way that it is.
I give this film a Musing review of