A must miss

2011-02-07 00:00

THE superhero genre seems to have come to the fore in recent times, and this time around it’s a big budget flop of a comedy in the form of The Green Hornet. It’s really not surprising, seeing as the film went through director changes, script re-writes and recasting of its actors.

In the end, the film is less of a whole than the sum of its parts. Director Michael Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) has put together a lackadaisical attempt at a satire (at least we’re led to assume that’s what it is), which doesn’t quite gel. Rich kid Britt Reid (Seth Rogen, who also co-scripted the film) and his sidekick Kato (Jay Chou) get drunk and spontaneously go out “to do something crazy”. In the process they save a young couple from getting mugged and subsequently decide to become superheroes.

Reid assumes the mantle of the Green Hornet, but the skills department is all Kato’s. Together, they’re up against the conniving politician Scanlon (David Harbour) and criminal boss Chudnofsky (Christoph Waltz).

Aside from Kato, Reid’s only ally is his secretary — a cheerful Lenore (Cameron Diaz), who is blind to his secret identity until late in the proceedings. It all ends quite predictably.

The only local theatre in Maritzburg isn’t a 3-D offering, so it strikes out on that score.

The story is based upon the radio show from the 1930s, but the hype around the show is clearly not harnessed into anything coherent or enjoyable in this plodding 108 minutes.

Rogen’s goofiness is overkill, and we’re probably expecting too much from Waltz after his bravado performance in Inglorious Basterds.

It’s too relaxed, too formulaic … and life is just too short — a must-miss. *

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