Now, I confess...I've never watched the television show, nor heard the radio show. However, the television show had Bruce Lee...so that counts for something, right? The trailers looked good, and I know a few of the guys were jacked for this film. Unfortunately, it does not live up to standards, at least in my book.
The problem begins with Seth Rogen. In fact, he is the major problem of this movie. I felt like I was watching Seth Rogen's Green Hornet...instead of what I thought the Green Hornet either would be, or should be. The trailers made it look like he's a party-boy ass, and then his father dies, and he straightens out, and becomes the Green Hornet. Well yes, he is a party-boy ass, and yes, he becomes The Green Hornet after his father dies...but he's still an ass. He's just an ass who is now the Green Hornet. He played the character for laughs far too much, and the problem is, and this has been consistent, Seth Rogen just is not funny. He thinks saying crude or stupid things in a smart-aleck way is funny...but it's not. Most of the time, it's annoying. I didn't like him as Britt Reid...he is better as The Green Hornet, but he's an incompetent schmuck...this is even mentioned in the film!
Kato is better, and I like Jay Chou, but his character also suffers under the script. Kato appears to be trying to be more cool and hip in this movie, which instead just makes him seem a tad pathetic. I also did not like Kato's relationship with Britt Reid. He has too much fun at Kato's expense, and one of the big fight scenes in the movie involves Kato fighting Britt! Why are they fighting? The rest of the cast in non-descript. Cameron Diaz is the obligatory girl both our heroes are panting after, Christop Waltz is fine as the main villain, but doesn't have a lot to do, and becomes sort of a caricature of a villain by the end of the film. There are a couple of surprise cameos, but overall, the cast struggles under the crappy writing.
The plot is pretty pedestrian. I wasn't expecting it to be any great guns, so it didn't really bother me, but I don't like The Green Hornet being so stupid! Cameron Diaz is the brains of their operation! They have no idea what they're doing! Like...I thought Seth Rogen got rid of Stephen Chow because he wanted too much comedy? But I think it's more along the lines that Rogen didn't want an Asian comedian upstaging him. That's why he went with Chou, who plays along with the Rogen's mugging, and stupidity.
I will say that the last 15 minutes of the movie were pretty good, and should have been the whole movie. The action shots are clear, and you can see what's going on. I liked the Kato vision, and Chou has some pretty nice moves. The Black Beauty was sick beyond belief...that car was the real star of the movie! The Green Hornet and Kato appear in costume more than usual for an American super-hero movie, so that's a plus as well. I don't want it to seem like I hated this movie...I didn't. However, I think the potential was greater than the end product that was produced.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars (would have been 2.5, but Black Beauty was too good, and the action in the last 15 minutes saved the movie).