Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Buzz On The Green Hornet

The Green Hornet for me was a delightful surprise. At first one would think that the choice of Seth Rogen, a comedian, is a counter-intuitive choice to play Britt Reid, the son of a newspaper magnate. But then I found out that Rogen is also a co-writer and co-producer of the movie, so there.

What could have been a vanity piece instead turns out to be a comedic reworking of the classic 70s TV series that lovingly tips its hat off to the series while re-examining and reworking it for today’s audience.

Along the way the filmmakers also had a field day playing around with the whole hero-and-sidekick convention. Batman and Robin, Green Hornet and Kato, Hans Solo and Chewbacca... comic books, TV and movies are full of tandems. What fuels and sustains such tandems? Why do two grown men stick around with each other? In the recent reboot of pop-culture icons such as Star Trek, the filmmakers didn’t shy away from playing around with the “bromance” between Kirk and Doc McCoy as well as Kirk and Mr. Spock. In The Green Hornet, the bromance is more than highlighted; it is front and center of what drives the plot and the characters. And it makes for a hilarious running gag.

Rogen and director Michel Gondry also keep the fun and the funny coming, with winks to the original Hornet (Jay Chou, who plays Kato, is shown making sketches of Bruce Lee, who played Kato in the original series) and the silly conventions of superhero films. But the filmmakers don’t mock the silliness; rather, they acknowledge it.

They also upend the secondary status of sidekick Kato. Unlike Bruce Lee, Chou’s Kato is a lot more important in the team-up, even if he continues to walk behind Rogen. Kato’s the really brains and brawn behind the team. And Chou’s also my new eye candy and crush. His sleepy-looking singkit eyes are totally adorable. And he’s cuter when he kicks ass.

The Green Hornet is an unexpectedly fun movie, smartly funny and funnily smart. It’s not the best action movie out there, but given the movie choices coming out, it won’t hurt you to go Green.

5 comments:

Will said...

I wanna watch this. I keep hearing negative reviews from my friends.

joelmcvie said...

@WILL: My female officemate didn't like it either. I think D and I loved all those gay-referencing jokes. The heart of the movie is in the relationship between Britt and Kato, which I guess is what hooked us. Plus since I am familiar with the TV series, I appreciated how the movie winks at it.

Desperate Houseboy said...

Sir, thanks for following at pagsama sa blog list mo. i was starstruck by your presence sa followers ko. it means so much to me. Thank you.
Anyways, ill watch this kasi nandun si ate cameron. hehehe

Mac Callister said...

i've seen the trailer, funny indeed, cant wait to see it on the big screen here in doha..

Mac! said...

Look for The Curse of the Golden Flower, with Jay Chou playing Gong Li's son. Mama's boy so cute.