Usually when I’m writing about the buzz on a film it’s second hand - stuff I hear from people who have seen the movie or who are involved in some way with the movie. For this Green Hornet buzz, though, I AM the source, since I saw the movie this weekend at Butt-Numb-A-Thon.
The problem is that the assembled BNATers were asked not to review the film, so I won’t. But I can give you some basic impressions, and tell you how the crowd reacted. In fact, let’s start with the crowd: they seemed to like it. There were a number of scenes that drew applause, and there was plenty of laughter throughout.
How about me? I liked it! I have to admit that I walked in expecting a train wreck, so my expectations were low. But even so, I think the movie that Michel Gondry has made is energetic and fun and mostly works. There ARE some problems, which I’ll get into in my review, but they don’t sink the proceedings.
The MVPs in Green Hornet are Gondry, who does some fun and inventive things, and Jay Chou, who plays Kato. In fact Chou was who I rooted for the whole movie; Seth Rogen’s Britt Reid is kind of a dick. I saw the film in 2D, so I can’t speak to the post-conversion, but the Katovision stuff (which is used too sparingly) could look great in 3D.
A movie that we hoped would play BNAT but didn’t is Paul, the Simon Pegg/Nick Frost/Seth Rogen ET road trip comedy. That film has been screening both in the industry and for test audiences, and I’ve heard reactions from both sides of that divide - and they couldn’t be any more polar opposites.
Someone I know and trust saw the film at a test screening and loved it. Paul really connected with him as a geek, and he thought it was hilarious and a classic comedy/adventure movie. The praise coming from him was very high. But on the other side comes word from less geekily-inclined folks, who found the movie to be kind of insufferable.
And so you see the dividing line here - Paul looks like it’s going to play to people like you and me, but what about the rest of the world? And honestly, do we care about the rest of the world? I just want to like the movie a lot and I couldn’t care less if an average joe didn’t get the nerd comedy.