Feature

The Green Hornet

The radio-serial hero makes his feature-length film debut in 3-D.

Directed by Michel Gondry(PG-13)

*

The Green Hornet “wants to be something other than a dumb big 3-D movie,” but that’s exactly what it is, said Dana Stevens in Slate.com. The hiring of French filmmaker Michel Gondry and schlubby comedian Seth Rogen to bring the masked vigilante to life once seemed like a sign that this franchise was going to be anything but ordinary. But Gondry’s talent for “visual whimsy” and Rogen’s knack for writing and delivering “amiable guy-on-guy repartee” barely register here. The “dull commercial imperatives” of the superhero genre overpower such gifts, said A.O. Scott in The New York Times. As a rich playboy who dons a superhero’s mask to fill his time, Rogen achieves a “loose, kinetic chemistry” with his “manservant” sidekick, played by Jay Chou. But the script Rogen co-wrote with Evan Goldberg simply feels “pointless,” except as “further proof” that popular culture needs a break from superheroes. Even the film’s best moments seem “more thrilling in concept than execution,” said Keith Phipps in the A.V. Club. The actual movie we get is instead “shapeless and rarely satisfying.”

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