Buzz Kill: The Green Hornet

Buzz Kill: The Green Hornet

Static Mass Rating: 2/5
Sony Pictures Home Ent. 

Release date: May 2nd 2011
Certificate (UK): 12
Running time: 119 minutes

Director: Michel Gondry
Writers: Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg

Cast: Seth Rogen, Cameron Diaz, Edward Furlong, Christoph Waltz, Edward James Olmos, Tom Wilkinson, Jay Chou, James Franco

Michel Gondry, the French director who made some of my favourite music videos back in the 1990’s including Massive Attack’s Protection (1995) and The Chemical Brothers’ Let Forever Be (1999) as well as the challenging and non-linear feature films, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) and The Science of Sleep (2006), directs something entirely different here.

This updated version, written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, follows wealthy layabout Britt Reid (Seth Rogen) and his genius friend Kato (Jay Chou) as they fight crime and corruption in Los Angeles.

The Green Hornet

They infiltrate various crime rings and bring them down, but their biggest battle comes when crime boss Chudnofsky (Christoph Waltz) decides to take them out. Tensions begin to rise as well between Britt and Kato when they both try to woo the new secretary, Lenore Case (Cameron Diaz).

While The Green Hornet is definitely packed with action, it begins to run into problems very early on. The film lacks depth; the characters never have anything interesting to say and the plot doesn’t so much develop, but more stumbles awkwardly for the entire duration.


  • “Awesoom” Gag Reel (7.16)
  • Filmmakers’ Commentary
  • Writing The Green Hornet (10.07)
  • Deleted Scenes
  • “Trust Me” Director Michel Gondry (9.07)
  • Finding Kato (5.43)
  • The Stunt Family Armstrong (7.19)
  • The Art of Destruction (13.28)

Christoph Waltz does his best to come across as villainous but it arrives at being just bland, but what The Green Hornet suffers the most from is the constant drone of Seth Rogen’s berating baritone. He has more to say than anyone else in the movie without actually having anything to say.

The fleeting appearance of James Franco as a nightclub owner who crosses Chudnofsky path is a wasted opportunity for a character that had potential. The same can be said for Cameron Diaz, an actress who is versatile and has presence, but is instead limited to a secretarial role which does nothing for the movie.

The Green Hornet

We never glimpse any sign of empathy our heroes might have for the citizens they want to protect. Britt only seems to be motivated by the need to feel better about himself. As for Kato, we never learn what his motivations are for joining Britt. It’s poorly told story and ultimately fails to excite or satisfy, no matter how amazing the cars look.

I would have been more interested in this film had they used Gondry’s screenplay from 1997 when he was first hired by Universal to direct, perhaps then the film would have some substance to it. We see nothing of the brilliance we’ve become used to with his music videos, commercials, short films, documentaries and features over the years and as a result The Green Hornet, a film which has been in “development hell” since 1992, looks like should have stayed there.

Still, Sony’s Blu-ray release comes with a lot of special features including a collection of deleted scenes, gag reels and a handful of featurettes that go behind-the-scenes with some of the gadgets, cars and effects used in the film.

You might also be interested in these articles:

Dismal shark-attack movie hoping to be the next Jaws (1975) but no amount of shakey camera work can stop it from drowning in a sea of its own indecisiveness.

Fritz Lang’s 1941 World War 2 thriller bridges the director’s Expressionist style from the days of Metropolis (1927) and Film Noir with Scarlet Street (1945).

This remake of the Swedish film ‘Låt den rätte komma in’ directed by Cloverfield’s Matt Reeves shuffles the story around a bit but remains faithful to original.

A look at the making of Alien³ from its early conception to its troubled production. Also featuring images from Vincent Ward’s wooden planet vision.

Directed by John Landis and starring Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis, this comedic take on the real-life 19th century mass murderers is just what the doctor ordered!