The Green Hornet

Year: 2011
Studio: Sony
Director: Michel Gondry
Writer: Seth Rogen/Evan Goldberg
Cast: Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, Cameron Diaz, Tom Wilkinson, Christoph Waltz, Edward James Olmos, Edward Furlong, James Franco

Just when you thought they'd run out of superheroes, here comes another one, not to be confused with Green Lantern, which is coming later this year. I wasn't too familiar with the TV show because it was a bit before my time, but it's about Britt Reid (Seth Rogen, coming the closest to handsome leading man he ever has), playboy son of a cold and distant but dedicated newspaper publisher.

After his father's murder he decides he's been wasting his life and teams up with his father's multi-skilled former mechanic Kato (Chou), convincing the latter to form a crime fighting team with their combined strengths.

It's another superhero origin story with the same premise and plot you've seen a million times, but two things make it stand out a little more. The first is Rogen, putting his motormouth slacker shtick to good use here and giving the film a good feel for comedy.

The other is Michel Gondry in the director's chair, seemingly seduced away from quirky indie dramas by the big budgets of Hollywood. He manages to elbow some signature visuals in but can't raise the rest of it very far above studio fodder. As superhero movies go however, it's frenetic and funny.

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