Movie #122 The Green Hornet (3D)
(2010, US, d. Michel Gondry)
Before Christopher Nolan’s venture into the superhero world, there were a lot of films that came and went in this genre. What was wrong about those films is that they all tried to mimic the style of the comic on screen. Nolan discovered that the best way to make a superhero film was by setting in a completely real world, where the presence of a caped crusader is not a supernatural one but a very real threat. Finally, two decades after the first, here I think The Green Hornet is the best “adaptation” of a comic book feel onto a screen without relying on captions and coloring effects to signal this to the audience (a la Kick-Ass and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World). This movie utilizes beautiful 3D and a slew of incredible slow-motion sequences to place the audience in this fictional world of real life masked men. Ironically enough, it took a movie based on a radio series to do so. But all that said, it is only because of the overflowing imagination of director Michel Gondry does this picture really come to life. With its creative imagery and wacky cinematography, The Green Hornet becomes an action hit. Its star Seth Rogen, who also co-wrote the film, is more of an asshole than anything else in this film. He’s funny and smart, sure. But he’s an asshole. And strangely enough, he makes for quite a good action star. The real scene stealer, though, is his “partner” Kato, played by Jay Chou. His action sequences are impeccable, his comic timing is near-perfect, and even the dramatic moments carry significant weight. I think this is my first favorite movie of 2010.