The Green Hornet (Blu-ray)

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

I won’t get into the logistics of “The Green Hornet”, though I will say that its journey to the silver screen (again) has been an arduous one indeed. Ok, maybe I will get into the logistics of it. I do remember that Kevin Smith was attached to write the script and maybe he did, the thing is that that version never made it to the screen. Smith was attached to direct as well. I think. Well whatever the case, “The Green Hornet” finally debuted in early 2011 and was penned by star of the film Seth Rogen and longtime collaborator Evan Goldberg (who wrote “Superbad”). A different kind of movie? Yes. And for all of the superhero/comic book movies out there, I will say that “The Green Hornet” is actually one of the older ones, with roots back to the 1930’s and the radio broadcasts of the time. Flash forward 80 years and here we are.

Rogen plays Britt Reid, the playboy son of newspaper magnate James (Tom Wilkinson) who has never had to work a day in his life. Britt hooks up with supermodels, wakes up hungover and all in all is wasting his life. This all changes, however, when his father is mysteriously killed. Britt has now inherited the newspaper, but its day-to-day operations are left in the hands of Mike (Edward James Olmos). Having fired the staff at his mansion, Britt does lure back Kato (Tom Chen) and learns there’s more to this man than his great coffee. The two eventually set out to start causing some trouble and adorn their black masks. This attracts the attention of drug lord Benjamin Chudnofsky (Christoph Waltz). Enter Lenore (Cameron Diaz) who plays Britt’s over-qualified secretary and, well, you’ve got somewhat of a mess on your hands.

“The Green Hornet” was perfectly watchable. It’s got the mindless action that movies of this genre have in spades and I always enjoy Rogen in whatever role he’s in (usually because he plays the exact same character in every movie). The real star of the show is Kato (Jay Chou), whose calm demeanor is just what the doctor ordered for Rogen’s perpetual hyperactive on-screen presence. And in the realm of superhero/comic book movies, “The Green Hornet” might not go down as the worst adaptation, but it’s certainly far from the best. There’s a reason that movies like “Spider-Man”, “X-Men” and “Iron Man” have sequels – they’re well-made and well-written. Rogen’s got talent as a writer and actor, there’s no denying that, but something just fell short for me with this one.

Video: How does it look?

Visually “The Green Hornet” looks just as good as you might expect from a day and date release from a major studio. The 2.40:1 AVC HD transfer glistens and I was hard-pressed to find much, if anything, wrong with the way this looks. A majority of the action takes place at night and there’s not much compromised in regards to image quality. Blacks are strong and consistent, contrast is as well. We get a few of Kato’s “Matrix-esque” sequences which have a very unique look to them as well. Say what you will about the movie, but it looks great on Blu-ray.

Audio: How does it sound?

As impressive as the visuals are, the audio is right there as well. As expected, the DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack delivers on all accounts. We get a few car chase scenes and the signature Green Hornet mobile squeals its tires on more than one occasion. Bullets whiz by and activate the surrounds, LFE are heavily involved and they make for a very lively track. Dialogue is clear and focused as well, Rogen has a powerful, booming voice and we don’t miss a beat thanks to the sound mix. Very impressive indeed.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This Blu-ray comes equipped with a commentary track by Rogen, Goldberg and producer Neil Moritz in which the trio wax philosophic on the movie. Naturally Rogen as the star and writer has a lot to say and if you did enjoy the movie, this is a must listen. We get nine deleted scenes as well as a slew of featurettes. We start off with “Trust Me” in which director Michael Gondry discusses how he approached the movie. “Writing ‘The Green Hornet'” shows us the process that Goldberg and Rogen went through to script the, er, script. “The Black Beauty” focuses on the car in the film, its gadgets and the like. “Stunt Family Armstrong” shows us that this is truly a family business. “Finding Kato” shows us the casting process to find the Hornet’s sidekick. Finally “The Art of Destruction” essentially shows things, well, blowing up. This disc, like so many others, features Sony’s “MovieIQ” feature in which it’s linked into the IMDB for real time data. The second disc is a digital copy of the film for your device of choice.

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