Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Green Hornet(2011)

The Green Hornet movie is not new to some who grew up with it. It's a pulp classic since the 1930's. For those who have no idea what's so unique about the Green Hornet here's a background. The Green Hornet started out as a radio drama production that first aired in January 31, 1936 and was created by George W. Fender and Fran Striker. That explains the choice of fashion for the Green Hornet: Fedora hat and trench coat. He's also similar with DC Comics' Sandman, who also have a gas gun but the Green Hornet was more popular and cooler. Before the Batman had a new darker image as the The Dark Knight, the Green Hornet already had that darker image when it was broadcast. The Green Hornet already had that outlaw superhero image. He is fighting crime outside the law who treats him on equal status as a criminal. By daylight, He's Brit Reid,publisher of Daily Sentinel. His secret was only shared to Kato, chauffeur and crime fighting partner, Lenore Case, his secretary, and a district attorney. The Green Hornet also had a movie back in the 1940's of the same name and had a sequel, The Green Hornet Strikes Again.
ABC production of Batman with the Green Hornet guesting

In 1966-1967, ABC, the same producers of Batman, produced and aired The Green Hornet TV series starring Van Williams in the title role and Bruce Lee as Kato. There was even a Batman episode guesting Van Williams and Bruce Lee as Green Hornet and Kato. When I watched that classic episode, I enjoyed seeing Bruce Lee kicking Burt Ward's behind. But the show was aired only for one season. The pulp hero Green Hornet continued in comic books. Bruce Lee became an instant Hong Kong superstar after the series.
Green Hornet Comics

Here's additional trivia: Kato's nationality during the 1936 radio broadcast was Japanese but when the United States entered the war in 1941, there was racial tension about Kato so he was turned into a Filipino character to avoid the radio show's cancellation. Before the Seth Rogen movie, there was already a French short film also titled The Green Hornet in 2006. The Green Hornet music theme is actually The Flight of the Bumblebee by Nikolai Rimski-Korsakov. The Green Hornet theme was trumpeted masterfully by Al Hirt. It was also used in one of the scenes of Kill Bill Vol. 1.

Review: As a fan of the Green Hornet, I expected it to be a serious character. Since it was Seth Rogen's production, I figured it was going to have a comical approach. Seth Rogen being Brit Reid is not really what I have in mind since Brit Reid was portrayed as handsome and a person who's in authority and a good decision maker not like Seth Rogen portrayed. I predicted before watching the movie that Jay Chou, who played Kato, will also steal the scene from Seth Rogen. I expect quite a future for this Chinese actor. The character of Kato has evolved more than just the Green Hornet's aide. Christoph Waltz played the gang lord Benjamin Chudnofsky. Although I expected Waltz on the same level as what he did in The Inglorious Basterds, he played the role of Chudnofsky very well. I really like how the rolling arsenal, The Black Beauty was conceptualized. If ever there is a sequel, I expect Seth Rogen's Brit Reid will have a more serious character. The Green Hornet is distributed locally by Columbia Pictures Phils. The Green Hornet opens in January 19 in both 3D and 2D cinemas.
With the guys from the Robo Rock Radio Show during the Green Hornet premiere

Thanks to SM Cinema for the Green Hornet Red Carpet Premiere last January 17 at the Megamall Cinema 1

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