HUH. This should've turned out better.
Admittedly, it's not a fool-proof premise, but it is a promising one: Take a character from a long-forgotten '30s radio serial and a near-forgotten '60s TV series, hand him over to a brilliant director—Michel Gondry, he of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Dave Chappelle's Block Party, The Science of Sleep, and about a billion phenomenally clever music videos—and a talented comedic actor like Seth Rogen, cast the bad guy from Inglourious Basterds as the bad guy, douse the thing in crazy slow-mo and trippy 3D, and... you know. Sit back. Let that shit happen.
But The Green Hornet takes all of those elements and does... well, very little with them. Overlong, muddled, and surprisingly boring, it suffers from a pretty crappy script (by Rogen and Even Goldberg), distracting and unnecessary post-production 3D, and weirdly limp direction from Gondry. Sure, there are some great sequences in The Green Hornet—fight scenes that manage to be both funny and cool, the occasional moment where Gondry decides to have some surreal, inventive fun with 3D—but they're too few and far between. By the time The Green Hornet spirals into a loud, muddy climax, I was taking off my 3D glasses to rub my eyes, sneaking glances at my watch, and making a mental list of Michel Gondry music videos to YouTube once I got home in order to restore my faith in the universe.
The concept is more or less Batman: Spoiled, douchey playboy Britt Reid inherits his father's fortune and newspaper, and also inherits Kato (Jay Chou), an extremely helpful, extremely charming sidekick who tricks out cars, knows kung fu, and makes awesome espresso. Somewhat inexplicably, they decide to fight crime; utterly inexplicably, they also both fall for the annoying Lenore Case (the annoying Cameron Diaz). And so it goes: They fight crime, they squabble, Kato invents some inventions, Gondry sneaks in a cool sequence now and again, and none of it is as much fun as it should be.