Man, I love superhero movies. But you know what makes superheroes (and, subsequently, superhero movies) kind of clichÃ© and lame? Super powers. Seriously. Sure, it’s really cool that Superman is like this freakishly strong, lightning fast, flying alien guy who can see through walls or whatever, but wouldn’t it be more interesting if he was just an average Joe with a really masochistic hero complex? What if he didn’t have any fighting abilities and was kind of an impulsive idiot? Get real! This is why I was so glad when The Green Hornet came out. Finally! A masked vigilante who kicks ass with his own God-given mortal talents. Okay, so for his personal convenience, his sidekick/butler, Kato, happens to be a skilled martial artist who can somehow do anything from making superb coffee to restoring an old jalopy and pimping it out with ejector seats, a tiny record player and daggers that shoot out of the hubcaps. Oh, and he can freeze time. Aaaaaand he’s super cute. But for the most part, the Green Hornet is just like you and me. And maybe that’s just what we need, as citizens of the world 8212; some wealthy bumbling idiot we can relate to. I watched The Green Hornet, and you know what? You should too.
Seth Rogen’s character, Britt Reid, is a spoiled playboy living off of his wealthy father, who owns, apparently, the only newspaper in Los Angeles. When papa dies, Reid has to take over the paper. He realizes that he’s been wasting his life, coasting off family money, and he’s determined to make a difference in society despite the fact that he sucks at, well, most things. Enter Kato, daddy’s old mechanic, and his astonishingly varied skill set. The two guys instantly bond, get hammered, take a joyride and accidentally save a couple from being mugged. Hey! That was fun! Justice is awesome. Reid thinks their next move should be to try to murder every bad person in the entire city 8212; drug dealers, bookies, gangsters, most of whom work for Chudnofsky, this super evil, ambiguously European guy. And they’re going to do it by posing as bad guys. They build a name for themselves by messing up a few people and slipping fear-mongering propaganda in the newspaper. I mean, there are holes in the plot, certainly, but the good intentions are there. Plus, Kato is REALLY hot, so whatever.
Also helping out is Cameron Diaz, who was somehow cast in this movie as the young whip-smart intrepid reporter/love interest. And while she’s super under-equipped with the acting chops to pull the whole “smart girl” thing off, she can still prance around in “slutty-secretary” type dresses, so, y’know, good “nuff. But the real romance is between Kato and Reid 8212; comic book geeks haven’t seen a sexually tense bromance like this since Adam West’s Batman made Burt Ward his bitch back in the “60s. The lines they drop reek of homoerotic undertones, like when Reid is suggesting sidekick names to Kato: “I’m the Green Hornet, you can be my Little Stinger! Or 8212; my Honey Pot!”
Oh, Kato… I’d let you be my Little Stinger if you made me coffee in the morning. Uh, I mean, Jay Chou is an exceptionally talented actor who couldn’t have made a smarter choice for his North American film debut. All in all, dece movie: fresh take on the superhero genre, Michel Gondry’s surrealist directing style, sweet special effects and Seth Rogen, well, being Seth Rogen (only a much bigger asshole). And if there’s one lesson that we can all take away from this movie, it’s that ordinary people can be heroes 8212; as long as they have money and other people to do their ass kicking for them.