I found it peculiar that Sony, known for its comic book action franchises like Spiderman and Men in Black, decided to release The Green Hornet in January. Everyone knows that action hero films are released in May – July in a frenzy of summer box office hits. Then it dawned on me. The folks at Sony probably couldn’t figure out how to market the film and didn’t want to risk a summer slot.
I can picture the lead marketing guy trying to figure it out. “Hmm, we have a great comedic lead in Seth Rogen (The 40-Year-Old Virgin), so it must be a comedy. But, the franchise definitely fits in the action, crime, thriller, type genres. And, director Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) is clearly a more heady feature documentary type director that can get too ethereal at times when he’s not shooting a music video.”
What a combination.
For those who love Rogen’s humor, they’ll enjoy the film half of the time. Those desiring some great comic book action will enjoy the other scenes. However, for those who want to just escape and not think at all, they’ll enjoy the entire film – But, might not be able to explain the plot afterwards.
That is not to imply bad writing, as the story was well crafted by Rogen and Evan Goldberg (Superbad). The two make a great comedy writing team, but in this case their brilliant comedy was convoluted in a plethora of action sequences to fulfill the needs of the comic book genre.
The real question for Sony is, “What were you thinking?”
Sony executives must have been reminiscing about the late 60s when the hit action-adventure/sitcom Batman became an overnight success and attempted to spin-off a more serious action-adventure Green Hornet. Since the Green Hornet didn’t succeed past its first season, Sony must have thought it would have fared better with the sitcom mix like Batman, because that is exactly what this film is.
In a time when a more serious Batman re-boot was successfully launched by Christopher Nolan, it takes a lot of guts for Sony to go retro and give The Green Hornet a shot at reviving the late 60s fad that has never been successfully replicated. With The King’s Speech growing by word of mouth and True Grit holding its ground, it will be interesting to watch where The Green Hornet lands at the box office, especially with chick-flick slots approaching.