Green Hornet fans have been anxiously awaiting the squeal of Black Beauty's tires as their masked heroes careen into local theaters this weekend.
Enter Seth Rogen — not exactly the Hornet that radio fans were introduced to back in 1936. Rogen, as Britt Reid, delivers a bumbling slacker/playboy, who ends up inheriting a powerful newspaper when his father dies.
Clueless, Brit seems more interested in the quality of his morning cup of coffee than the responsibility of his business empire.
It's the controversy surrounding that very cup of coffee that brings the mechanical genius and martial arts talents of family employee Kato to Brit's attention.
Brit decides the two should become masked crime fighters helping to rid the city of evildoers and increase circulation of the paper. Cameron Diaz stars as Brit's secretary, who, thinking she's doing research for the paper, is actually helping the duo focus their vigilantism.
This all leads to the notorious gangster, Chudnofsky, who creatively dispatches anyone who threatens his stranglehold monopoly on crime. Christoph Waltz is chillingly funny and even bizarrely endearing as this cold-blooded killer.
Well, with everyone — including the cops — out to get the Hornet and Kato, will they be able to accomplish their semi-noble goals?
Other films based on comic book heroes decide, at some point, what they really want to be — a comedy, a drama, a delicate mix of both or just a plain old spoof. That's the problem here: "The Green Hornet" is all and none of the above. The purists will be shaking their heads, and those who want wall-to-wall Rogen comedy will be left short.
The slapstick shtick between Kato and the Hornet is reminiscent of the old Laurel and Hardy and Three Stooges routines. Rogen and Jay Chou, as Kato, certainly deliver some hilarious moments, but there's an overload factor on the shtick and under-delivery on the plot.