I grew up on a steady diet of Disney and 1966 Batman. My parents tell me stories of me waking them up at ungodly hours to watch Adam West run around in tights. To this day, I still adore the 1960s Batman and all of its campyness. William Dozier who produced the series also produced the shortly lived The Green Hornet, which I also enjoyed, though not to the extent of Batman. The Green Hornet was similar to Batman in style and from a hero perspective – rich guy seeking justice. However, it was not as campy as Batman. But regardless of camp factor the show was still entertaining and enjoyable. When news of a Green Hornet film was released, I was excited, because I never felt like The Green Hornet got enough spotlight. That excitement lasted until heard that Seth Rogen was going to play Brett Reid. No, I have not seen a single Rogen film, until last night when I saw Green Hornet, nor had I ever intended to. His humor is vulgar and insulting, and an example of the degrading quality of cinema that exists today. When the trailer was released, things look up, because them seemed entertaining, maybe promising, along the lines of Iron Man, but the film itself proved to be a disappointment for the most part.
Rogen has turned Reid into a bumbling idiot with no skills or talents, who does not think before he speaks and whose only redeeming trait is that he demands justice in the world. The film takes nearly all of its cues from the 1966 television show starring Van Williams and Bruce Lee, where Williams proved to be an intelligent man and used his mind as a weapon, cunningly talking to the criminals of the city and scaring them into doing exactly what he wanted them to do. Williams’ Reid was also respectful and eloquent and the show refrained from anything that harbored along the lines of sexual harassment, however this is lacking terribly in Rogan’s portrayal. It should be noted that Rogan did write the film. Sometimes I could only drop my head in my hands and shake my head at the near blasphemy of the film.
One redeeming factor of the film is Christoph Waltz. Waltz is a highly entertaining actor, and I do not think his character was developed as well as it could have been in The Green Hornet. His talent was darn near wasted. One thing I did enjoy about Waltz’s character though was his choice of watch, which was a Ventura by Hamilton Electric, a watch that has a long line of famous wearers, including Rod Serling, Brian Setzer, Elvis, and yours truly.