The Green Hornet Strikes!!
In the days before television ruled the living room and the film industry was still in its infancy, radio was king and it was the radio serials of the golden age that introduced listeners to The Green Hornet.
Created by George W. Trendle and Fran Striker using the template of The Lone Ranger, The Green Hornet was meant to be a hero for the modern age. Together with Kato, Britt Reid, founder of The Sentinel newspaper; moonlights as a masked vigilante to fight crime. As the character gained popularity he was featured in a number of films during the 1940’s and a television show in the 1960’s. There have also been Green Hornet comics in production since the 1940’s.
Fast forward to 2011. The Green Hornet and his sidekick haven’t changed much in the costume department, but what has changed is how the hero comes to be.
In the film, Britt Reid (Seth Rogen) is the son of The Sentinel newspaper founder James Reid (Tom Wilkinson) and has little interest in his father’s business because; from Britt’s perspective, James has always looked down on his son. As a result, we are introduced to a Britt Reid who has nothing better to do than party.
The story takes a turn after a sad event which both Britt and Kato have an emotional reaction to and decide to go do something crazy. It is during this act of spontaneous chaotic deployment that Britt and Kato have an opportunity to be heroes. Unfortunately for them, the act of rebellion becomes the media focus, not the heroism.
They choose to use this misfortune to their advantage and pose as criminals infringing on the territory of the underground in hopes to eradicate that same crime syndicate. Thus, the infamous Green Hornet and his sidekick are born.
While the plot is a simple one, the action is the opposite. The fight sequences with Kato are ingeniously choreographed and the rest of the action is satisfyingly…explosive.
Seth Rogen and Jay Chou have a chemistry that is both funny and serious at the same time giving a cadence to the film that helps move the story along. Christoph Waltz is delightful as Chudnofsky, a crime boss aspiring to be scarier and more intimidating. At times Chudnofsky is oddly comedic, which gives a dimension to his persona that no other actor could have achieved. Cameron Diaz also appears in the film as Lenore Case, Britt Reid’s secretary.
In short, go see The Green Hornet. It is sure to sting you and you’ll just love that it did.
It’s A Wonderful Life, Shrek Style
That tag line pretty much sums up the premise of the movie, except that it isn’t Christmas, there is no angel named Charlie and Jimmy Stewart is not in it. However, the idea is the same.Like the late Mr Stewart’s character in It’s a Wonderful Life, our hero Shrek finds himself lamenting his life and wishing for the “old days” obviously taking all the good things for granted. As if mirroring that famous Christmas tale Shrek finds himself in an alternate universe in which he was never born. After that, the similarities cease.
As a matter of fact, Shrek doesn’t end up in the alternate version of Far, Far Away by some angelic magic, oh no. (Spoiler) Instead he gets tricked by Rumpelstiltskin into trading a day from his past in order to have a single day of nostalgia. Sure enough, Shrek gets his wish, but soon finds out exactly which day he gave up and to make matters worse, he only has one day to reverse it all. I’ll say no more of the plot as I don’t want to ruin the movie for those who have not seen it yet.
The film itself was as fun as I expected a Shrek movie to be. It had sight gags and the usual “punny” jokes, such as Donkey calling Puss a “Cat-tastrophe” and Puss retorting, ” And you? You are re-donk-ulous!” Honestly, it works in all its…um…cuteness. The 3D was done well and it added to the feel of the movie quite nicely. Overall, it is an excellent movie and a great addition to the quadrology-or is that Shrekology. Anyway, it is a lot of fun and great for a family night out.
My only critique of the entire film is that the ending is slightly anticlimactic. Everything ends as expected, happy ending and all. Not that I didn’t want it to end the way that it did, but it really would have been nice if there had been a bit more tension build up throughout the story so that it could end spectacularly. Maybe its just me and I prefer more drama in my films. Were I the director of Shrek Forever After I would have caused the audience to have a little more doubt in Shrek’s ability to succeed in his task.
In the end, Shrek Forever After does its thing and does it with true Shrek style and ultimately, the message is clear: It truly is a wonderful life, whether you’re Shrek, James Stewart, or just the average kid on the block.