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The Green Hornet

a film by Michel Gondry

I went into this movie with mixed emotions. On the one hand it stars Seth Rogen, an actor I have not enjoyed since the TV show Freaks & Geeks. On the other, it is a film directed by the visionary French-American auteur Michel Gondry. As far as comparisons to the original late-sixties Green Hornet TV series that gave Bruce Lee his big break in the states, I cannot say, having never seen even one episode. What I got from the movie was something both expected and unexpected. The expected was that even though Gondry's visuals were up to snuff, the film on a whole was rather pointless and quite lackluster. The unexpected comes with the strange fact that even though the movie is rather pointless and quite lackluster, I somehow enjoyed it quite and rather thoroughly. The even more unexpected part came as I found myself actually enjoying (dare I even say it?) Seth Rogen. There, I said it. Now we can move on.

Seriously though, the movie was much more enjoyable than anyone with any sense of cinematic knowledge would have ever expected it to be. Far from great, even perhaps far from good, the film still manages to entertain, albeit on the basest level - but entertains nonetheless. Cheesy and quite cheeky, Gondry hands us an in-your-face (even in the 2D version that I saw, having an aversion to the current 3D boom) action-comedy flick full of big bangs, quick kicks and sarcastic quips, and he even makes Seth Rogen entertaining. The film is also helped by Oscar's reigning Best Supporting Actor Christoph Waltz, in a role that is merely a more sympathetic version of his Inglourious Jew Killer, but a role that he plays quite wonderfully, and the dapper charm of Taiwanese pop star Jay Chou, filling the shoes of the late great Bruce Lee (though having to rely on CGI to do what Lee could do in his sleep). Oh yea, and we also get a surprise cameo from an actor who ironically should not come as much of a surprise. But in the end, the whole thing comes down to me being entertained by Seth Rogen, and though it bothers me somewhat, I suppose one must broaden one's horizons - even when it comes to people like Seth Rogen and movies that are not really all that good, but strangely entertaining for an hour and a half or so. [01/28/11]

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