I’ve been a Green Hornet fan for a very long time now. He’s a great character, and while he predates comic book superheroes by some time (he was originally a radio character), some of them owe a great deal to him. Let’s see: animalistic code name, masked hero with masked side kick, wealthy playboy secret ID, specialized car for crime fighting… sound familiar? Besides, on the (deservedly) short lived TV show, Bruce Lee played Kato, and really, how much cooler than that do you get?
A Fan’s Dilemma With Green Hornet
Random trivia fact: Bruce Lee himself joked that the only reason he got the role was because he was the only Asian in Hollywood who could actually say “Britt Reed,” the Hornet’s secret ID.
Recently, Dynamite comics started a Green Hornet title by Kevin Smith, which has been fantastic. It’s a modernization of the character, with various updates and a new hero with a new partner, but they’ve kept the core of the hero intact, and the new one works quite well. It’s actually one of my favorite titles right now, and I strongly recommend you check it out.
But that isn’t why I’m writing this. In January, there’s a Green Hornet movie coming out. I’ve seen the trailer, and a few clips, and some interviews, and all I can think is… “Are you kidding?”
Jay Chou looks ok as Kato, he seems to have some good moves, and the filming is good for an action flick. But really.. .Seth Rogen? No one’s idea of an action hero, the usually comedic actor looks buffoonish at best as the title character. It doesn’t bode well for the movie when one scene in every trailer is him gassing himself with the hero’s gas gun. There are lots of comedic heroes out there, and I like most of them: Spider-Man (oddly stripped of his trademark wise cracks in his movies), Static (done well in his cartoon at least), and Plastic Man (there were rumors for years of a Plas movie starring Jim Carey… that would have been great) among them. But the Hornet isn’t supposed to be comic relief. He’s not one of the funny heroes, and he’s not a joke. I’m supposed to get excited about a movie where the hero seems to show the most excitement when he sees a traffic camera blown up?
So, here’s my problem: I really do like the Green Hornet. I think he’s a great character who could use more exposure. But I’m really having trouble justifying to myself forking out the money for Seth Rogen as a clown sharing the hero’s name.
I have a month to make up my mind, a bit more really, but I strongly suspect I’ll be catching this one on cable with alcohol nearby.