Wow. The Green Hornet is a fucking DICK, right? I mean, I get that that’s kind of the point of the Green Hornet—this is Kato’s story, or at least it should be—but it’s not easy to watch. In case you’re not up to speed on the story line here, Britt Reid (Seth Rogen, who also produced and wrote the screenplay) is the drunken gadabout son of a billionaire newspaper editor (HA!). In a clumsy opening scene that screams “BACKGROUND EXPOSITION!!!” a prepubescent Britt is chastised by his asshole dad: “Here we are again. Sent home after another schoolyard fight. I know you miss your mother. So do I… Not a week goes by without you finding yourself in some kind of trouble.” Cut to a decade or so later, and Britt has taken his dad’s words to heart and become just what was expected of him: an irresponsible, troublemaking, model-banging, hyperentitled nothing.
When Britt’s dad is found dead from a bee sting (later, in a funny scene, Britt unsuccessfully pitches “THE GREEN BEE” as his possible supermoniker), he teams up with Dad’s chauffeur/mechanic/barista/ride-pimper Kato (he’s basically the Xzibit of Shanghai, you guys) and starts trying to “fight crime” like a complete dumbass. Their journey is ignoble and meta—the dudes don’t care about helping people so much as getting attention and blowing shit up, and the whole thing is as much a comment on the silliness of superhero legends as it is a superhero legend in itself.
Basically, the structure is this: Britt runs around making obnoxiously stupid mistakes, then Kato (Jay Chou—funny, deadpan) bails him out. Then Britt, ever ungrateful, yells at Kato for no reason. Then Kato invents some insane rocket launcher thingy to stick on top of their car. Then Britt tells Kato that he’s a stupid piece of shit. Then Kato saves Britt’s ass again. KATO. LISTEN. THIS IS AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP. You can do better! You don’t need this, man!
Anyway, eventually (right when you’ve reached your limit) Britt goes through the old epiphany-remorse-redemption cycle and figures out how to be a person. And in the meantime, there are enough genuinely funny, self-aware gags and throwaway lines to keep you entertained even when Britt is murdering drug dealers in cold blood for sport (seriously, guys?). James Franco cameos as a meth dealer with a see-through piano. Actual LOLs.