The Paw Print
This year, action comedy films are starting off with a long-awaited live action version of a classic radio show, the Green Hornet. The film follows the development of a man whose father was murdered and his vigilante claim to justice even when he is seen as a villain to the police and criminal element.
Britt Reid is the slacker son of James Reid, the publisher of the newspaper The Daily Sentinel. When his father is suddenly discovered dead, Britt is suddenly in charge of his father’s newspaper. In a fit of fury, Britt comes to discover a man named Kato who was his father’s mechanic and an inventor. He develops a quick friendship with Kato and the two get drunk together. Finding a mutual hatred for Britt’s father, the two visit the graveyard to cut the head off James’ memorial statue as revenge. After successfully getting away with the defacement, they come across a couple being mugged and inadvertently rescue them. Britt and Kato are mistaken by police for criminals and chased after, but the pair evades them and returns to the mansion.
Feeling the rush of their good deed and the excitement of crime fighting, Britt convinces Kato they should become crime-fighters who pose as criminals in order to infiltrate real criminals. Kato begins to develop further additions to a car outfitted with several gadgets and weapons, which then becomes known as the Black Beauty. Britt then sees an avenue to step up and use his newspaper, and begins having articles printed in the Daily Sentinel as a vehicle to establish a base for the “high-profile criminal” the Green Hornet. Britt even hires Lenore Case, a secretary who has a degree in criminology, as his assistant and researcher, to use her advice to raise the Green Hornet’s profile and plan of attack against the criminal element of the city.
Meanwhile, the Russian mobster Chudnofsky is uniting the criminal families of Los Angeles under his command when he sees that the Green Hornet has come into his city and is causing issues among his business and control. Britt and Kato have been busy destroying several of his meth labs, leaving calling cards so Chudnofsky can reach them. This infuriates Chudnofsky and the mobster begins a lethal plan to use his enemies to eliminate themselves…
For many who are interested and aware of the Green Hornet through the various other renditions of the character throughout the years, this movie is certainly one that illustrates the duo in a completely different light. While the premise of the film goes along with the original characters from the radio show, the characters are given a comedic element that tends to lead the audience to not take the characters seriously. While the action sequences are unique and specialized in a fashion that stays true to the Green Hornet’s style, as well as the planning and incredible crime deterrents that are second to Batman alone, this film downplays the character’s real ability to make an impact on the crime in his city and elevate himself among the criminals as a true negative force. Overall, the film has its funny moments as well as action, and does let the characters stand on their own two feet for the duration, which makes the film enjoyable to everyone; but true fans be warned, the Green Hornet of the past is staying there, for this film at least.
The Green Hornet runs 119 minutes long and is Rated PG-13 for sequences of violent action, language, sensuality and drug content.