The Green Hornet

Machine Gun Car is not a superpower.
"Protect the law by breaking it."

Hello everyone, its a brand new week with The Tagline! Today I thought it would be pretty fun to talk about a movie I watched despite the warnings and protestations of the internet, and any speaking person who I was acquainted with. This film is an adaptation of a very old character, originating in radio dramas in 1936, later moving to comics and television. This particular effort stars Seth Rogen as Britt Reid, a really rich asshole, whose father is  the editor of a newspaper with things like principles and morals. Unlike Britt, who is a slacker nobody. After Britt's father is poisoned (well killed from an allergic reaction to a 'bee sting') Britt does what any self-respecting loser would do and fires his whole staff and goes on a bender. He later rehires his father ninja mechanic Kato (Jay Chou) and they together continue his bender. After getting really wasted, they decide to cut off the head of a statue of Britt's dad, because they both hate him. In the process they save a couple from being mugged, but are mistaken for the muggers. Britt then proposes that they pose as criminals to infiltrate actual criminal organizations, and take them down from the inside, using their cool gadgets and Kato's super ninja assassin powers, and Britt's ability to be a useless tool. Thus, the GREEN HORNET IS BORN.

Seth Rogen looking confused next to the a Kill Bill extra.
That sounds reasonable enough as a premise for a movie about a masked hero right? I'm buying it sure. So what made everyone hate this movie so much? That's pretty easy, and I'll enumerate all the reasons in turn. For starters, critics remarked that the movie wasn't sure what it wanted to be about, and I agree. It's okay to have a movie that blends action comedy and drama. I have no problem with that, but the keyword needs to be blend. That is not the same as just doing all of those one after another. If I had to say for sure, I'd call this movie comedy more than anything else, but that could be partly because I just sort of have a tough time taking it very seriously. That can also come partly from my reason #2 for not being wild about this movie: Seth Rogen. I just can't really see him as much more than most of the characters he plays: a stoner douche. This isn't a super reasoned, high-brain function reaction, there's just something about the guy that registers grade A douchecannon to me.

The only thing deadlier than a gun: a double gun.
There's another cast character that inspires my irrational gag reflex, and that's Cameron Diaz, who I just plain cannot stand. I find her annoying, she isn't much of an actress, and I find her plain unattractive. That's two main cast members I strongly dislike, so I guess I wasn't going to love this film from the get-go, plotting issues aside. That isn't to say that the movie is without its bright points. I said it's more comedy than anything else, and that is because it was actually pretty funny. Despite my negative feelings about the actors, and its muddled execution, the movie has its fair share of legitimately entertaining moments, keeping it from being an exercise in time wasting if nothing else. It is also worth noting that in this film (and we saw him just last week in Django) Christoph Waltz delivers a very amusing performance as the movie's villain, a very serious criminal struggling to make people take him seriously.

The movie did pretty well, grossing 227 million dollars against its ridiculously bloated 120 million dollar budget, that I assume was mostly expended on car-related special effects. This gross was despite the very lukewarm reception that the critics (and I) gave the movie. Overall it was entertaining while I was watching it, but I'd rather watch the Legend of the Fist or The Black Mask, or some other kung-fu movie with a masked martial artist.

That's it for today! I'll see you on Thursday, maybe with something really brutal.

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