tek's rating: ½

The Green Hornet (PG-13)
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This came out in 2011, but I didn't see it until 2022. It's based on a 1930s radio show that over the years has also been adapted into movie serials, comic books, a TV series, etc. I'm not familiar with any of that, though I've always kind of wanted to see the TV series. Anyway, it's kind of an action movie, but I consider it more of a comedy, even though I don't think it's quite as funny as it's supposed to be. It's still kind of funny. Most of the time. Some bits I didn't find funny at all, especially a few things that seemed kind of racist. But on the whole, I wasn't really disappointed by the movie.

It's about a guy named Britt Reid (Seth Rogen), a slacker who lives off the money of his wealthy newspaper magnate father, James, who publishes the Daily Sentinel, in Los Angeles. When James dies, Britt inherits everything, including the Sentinel. He has no interest in the newspaper business, though, so he leaves it in the hands of managing editor Mike Axford (Edward James Olmos). Meanwhile, he fires almost all of his father's staff at the mansion, but is upset when his morning coffee isn't as good as it usually is. So he finds out that his coffee was normally made by James's genius mechanic, Kato, and rehires him. The two quickly become buddies, and one night they go out to decapitate a statue of James. (Neither of them liked him.) After that, Britt witnesses a mugging/possible rape, and decides to intervene. But he's no match for the gang of criminals, who begin to chase him. Then Kato stops them all, as he turns out to be a badass martial artist.

Subsequently, Britt decides they should become vigilantes, but pose as criminals themselves, so that the real criminals of the city wouldn't think to stop them by threatening innocent people. They start wearing masks and suits, and Britt calls himself the Green Hornet. I want to say that while the whole point was to help people, we never see anything like that after the first night. They just go about busting small time criminal operations, eventually building their way up to the top crime boss in L.A., Benjamin Chudnofsky. Britt and Kato really have no idea what they're doing, so Britt asks his new secretary, Lenore Case (Cameron Diaz), who has a degree in criminology, what she thinks the Green Hornet would do. And then he and Kato go ahead and do that. He also forces Axford to publish stories about the Green Hornet, against his better judgement. Also there's a district attorney named Frank Scanlon (David Harbour) who is running for reelection, running on a platform of stopping crime. And he wants the Sentinel to refrain from publishing any stories that would make it look like he's been failing in that area. Which Britt doesn't want to do.

Well, it gets more complicated than that, but I don't want to go into any more details. I'll just say that Kato is much more competent and serious than Britt. He thinks of himself and Britt as partners, but Britt thinks of Kato more as a sidekick, which (along with both of them having a romantic interest in Lenore) leads to a temporary end to their partnership. But of course they get back together when Chudnofsky makes his move against the Hornet... and coincidentally, against Britt, for a reason I don't want to get into. I'll also say that I thought a lot of the action, often involving cars Kato had specially built for their crimefighting, was generally better than the humor, even if it felt secondary to it, IMO. And I don't know what else to tell you.

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