Film Review: The Green Hornet

Film Review: The Green Hornet

The Green Hornet RATING:  M DISTRIBUTOR: Sony RELEASE DATE: January 20The Green Hornet is yet another of those comic-book-to-film conversions aimed at the male market, filled with explosive action and emotionally challenged heroes. But for all its sameness it has something significant to say about what Generation Y thinks is heroic.Seth Rogan plays Britt Reid, the spoilt playboy […]

By Mark HadleyThursday 27 Jan 2011MoviesReading Time: 2 minutes

The Green Hornet
RATING:  M
DISTRIBUTOR: Sony
RELEASE DATE: January 20

The Green Hornet is yet another of those comic-book-to-film conversions aimed at the male market, filled with explosive action and emotionally challenged heroes. But for all its sameness it has something significant to say about what Generation Y thinks is heroic.

Seth Rogan plays Britt Reid, the spoilt playboy son of a tycoon newspaper owner. His father’s death brings into sharp focus the lack of direction his life has, and the consequent lack of respect his dad had for him. But unlike dilettantes before him, like Batman or Ironman, Britt doesn’t launch himself on a quest that transforms his character. He and his martial-arts-mad mechanic Kato (Jay Chou) begin secret lives as super heroes because they think bashing bad guys is super fun. Of course there are the benefits to the city but mostly it’s about the high-powered weapons and cool cars.

The Green Hornet is not only a battleground for the good guys and bad guys, but generations past and present. Britt Reid’s father, played by Tom Wilkinson, represents the stoic ‘Builders’ whose efforts constructed the empires their sons benefit from. His constant hounding of Britt to live up to his ideals – “Trying doesn’t matter when you always fail!” – comes off as a criticism of inflexible values and loveless relationships. Though Seth Rogan is clearly Generation X, he stands in as a representative of teens and twenty-somethings who have grown up believing that actions speak louder than ideas. Britt tells Kato, “It’s not dying you have to worry about, it’s not living in the first place.”

Britt and Kato aren’t worried that their plans to take down the city’s worst gangster are half-baked; the important thing is that they’re actually doing something. The hero that emerges for this generation is one who doesn’t have to understand everything to work for change: conviction and direction are enough to begin with. Spiritually speaking, this is a much lower bar than the generations who have come before. It suggests that Generation Y doesn’t need to understand every nuance of the Gospel story to act on it. It also means that they could be susceptible to any cause that promises to make a difference.

The Green Hornet is a great ‘mate film’ for the guys, though there’s less to appreciate from the female perspective – Cameron Diaz is less than half a character. But if you’re in your thirties and up, be prepared to be confronted with some champions that are a lot less familiar than the ones that came before.

 

Hope 103.2 is proudly supported by