Complete A-Z list

Green Hornet, The


Stars: Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, Cameron Diaz, Christoph Waltz, David Harbour, Edward Furlong, Tom Wilkinson, Edward James Olmos, James Franco

Director: Michel Gondry

Was this really the best Hollywood could offer Waltz after his Oscar for Inglourious Basterds? As the sawnoff crime kingpin of the city, he's the adversary of the titular hero, played by a mega-slimmed down Rogen, whose character is a bit of a klutz - probably the film's only original feature.

Rogen's Britt Reid, the ne'er-do-well son of newspaper magnate Tom Wilkinson, inherits his father's media empire when the latter mysteriously dies, apparently from an insect bite. Rogen shakes off his life of indolence and, with the help of his chauffeur/partner Kato (Chou), who's a whiz with machinery and gadgetry, takes on the city's crimelords.

Yes, we've seen it all before and, although the fact that the hero is totally indebted to his sidekick for the impact of his deeds is a small plus, the action never really thrills, nor do the characters come to life, as they did in, say Iron Man.

Rogen plays the Hornet mainly for laughs (though the script isn't that funny) but the faceless and charmless Chou, who shoulders the main burden of the fight scenes, seems to have had a personality bypass. Waltz chews the dialogue written for him by Rogen and scripting partner Evan Goldberg as if it were chalk, as well he might. Routine crashes, explosions and shoot-outs may please the undemanding action fan.

David Quinlan

USA 2011. UK Distributor: Sony (Columbia). Colour by deluxe.
119 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 12 Jan 2011