The Green Hornet and they are not pretty. As anyone who reads my site knows, I despised this idea from day one. Comic book heroes are not supposed to be slackers-- ever.
Kurt Loder, at Reason.com backs me up on this.
Although Sony denies it, one can imagine the studio’s dismay upon first seeing this mess. The picture was originally scheduled for release last summer; then, in order to (what else?) convert it into 3D, it was rescheduled for December 23. Now, here it finally is, in the depths of January. Where it belongs.
But that's nothing compared to what the San Francisco Chronicle has to say about the film.
The film's insurmountable problem is that Rogen and Goldberg are committed to the comic notion that Britt is an idiot. This becomes a box that the character and the movie can't escape. At no point does Britt's strategy of doing good while pretending to be evil ever reveal itself to be coherent. On the contrary, Rogen's Green Hornet doesn't do anybody any good, not even by accident - he just wreaks havoc. Britt is a joke, a parody of a fatuous rich heir. That provides the occasional laugh, as when Britt comes on to his secretary (the long-suffering Cameron Diaz), who loathes him. But when the violence comes, who cares if this fatuous, ineffectual, trouble-making idiot survives?
It's strange, but even in an action comedy, if the audience doesn't care whether the protagonist gets killed, it's a big problem. Without that one human element, all the carefully orchestrated action becomes mere commotion - and sleep-inducing.
There are a handful of good reviews over at Rotten Tomatoes, so there may be an audience for this. But, from what I've read, many reviews are backing up my initial assessment that Rogen was never going to be the right guy for this role. But Dana Stevens over at Slate, who has had a chance to actually see the movie, sums up the basic problem.
Seth Rogen must be a master at creating a Rat Pack-like atmosphere of dudely camaraderie on set, because in movie after movie he's given a huge amount of creative control. While he and Goldberg have proven their gift for writing amiable guy-on-guy repartee, they haven't yet been challenged to structure a story, and The Green Hornet doesn't suggest they're about to start challenging themselves. This movie is about a pampered, arrogant young man who rushes to don a crusader mask he's nowhere near ready to fill. Rogen—who's far from untalented, both as an actor and a writer—should take care that the film's story doesn't become his autobiography.
I doubt I'll even rent this one...