The Green Hornet (DVD)
The buzz around The Green Hornet comes from the collision of weird talents involved: Seth Rogen plays the crime-fighting hero and writes the movie with his Superbad bud Evan Goldberg; pop star Jay Chou plays Kato; and the whimsy-headed Michel Gondry directs. Toss in Inglourious Basterds Oscar winner Christoph Waltz as a super-villain highly self-conscious about his brand, and you've got a blockbuster that definitely isn't going for the normal. And for a while, the movie's Apatovian comedy and bromantic tendencies supply some definite fun; plus, Waltz and his double-barreled revolver (along with an uncredited cameo by James Franco) launch the picture with a giddy opening action sequence. At some point, though, you want all this stuff to mesh, and The Green Hornet keeps zipping about in three directions at once, never quite maintaining its early comic zip, but not grounding itself in an engaging enough crime-fighting plot, either. And there's little to do for nominal female lead Cameron Diaz; although both millionaire playboy Britt Reid and Kato make half-hearted passes at her, it's clear their main interest is each other. You just knew a franchise that began as a radio serial in the 1930s (and took a brief but memorable detour into TV in the '60s) would end up being part of that unavoidable 21st-century genre, the male-bonding comedy. Of course, it's really a triangle. Their boss car, Black Beauty, also gets a lot of love. --Robert Horton
*This product is recertified and packaging may be substandard.