Christian Living


The Green Hornet: Movie Review

Star Rating

Movie Info


PG-13 for sequences of violent action, language, sensuality and drug content.


Action/Adventure, Crime/Gangster


January 21, 2011


Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, Cameron Diaz, Christoph Waltz, Edward James Olmos, Tom Wilkinson


Michel Gondry


Columbia Pictures


CBN is not endorsing the films or TV shows CBN.com reviews. Our goal is to provide information about the latest in entertainment, both the good and the bad, so you may make an informed decision as to what is appropriate for you and your families.

The Green Hornet is an action comedy based on the radio show created by George Trendle in 1936. It borrows some iconic images and situations from the 1966 TV show, which helped make Bruce Lee an international movie star. Whether the addition of comedy helps this movie is each viewer’s call, but we found that too much of the comedy was over-the-top and should have been cut. There’s also too much gratuitous foul language. The foul language adds nothing to the story and actually takes away from the movie. As producer Ken Wales, has said, cursing in a movie just stops the story dead in its tracks, so it should be used very sparingly, if at all.

The movie, set in modern times, tells the story of the origins of the Green Hornet, a.k.a. Britt Reid, the great nephew of John Reid, a.k.a. The Loan Ranger (also created by George Trendle in 1932). It opens with Britt as a young boy getting chewed out by his father, a newspaper mogul. Britt tries to explain he was trying to stop a bully in a fight, but his father won’t listen. Instead, he tears off the head of the toy action figure Britt is carrying and throws it into the trash.

Cut to 20 years later in Los Angeles. Britt has become an irresponsible playboy. One night, Britt smashes a hotel window while his father writes an editorial slamming the city for letting a crime spree get out of control. The main culprit is arch-criminal Benjamin Chudnofsky, who has just blown up a rival’s nightclub and drug dealing hangout. Britt’s father is shocked about the brazen public nature of the crime, even though he’s friends with the district attorney.

The next morning, Britt’s father chews Britt out again when he finds Britt waking up with the girl he brought home the night before. Later that day, Britt’s father suddenly dies, leaving his son the vast media empire he built… (Go to movieguide.org for the full movie plotline – spoiler alert!)

Seth Rogen gives a loopy performance as Britt Reid (the Green Hornet). Though it’s a good idea to lighten up the superhero genre, the comedy here is sometimes too over-the-top. For instance, a jealous comic fight between Kato and Britt over the affections of Lenore goes on much too long. It may remind some viewers of the comical fight scenes in The Pink Panther movies between Clouseau and Kato. A little cutting might help this movie immensely.

Also, there’s way too much foul language in The Green Hornet. This is a bad idea, not only from a moral standpoint, but also from a box office viewpoint. Studies by MOVIEGUIDE® and other sources have shown that too much foul language limits box office return. Also, the action violence in The Green Hornet is a bit too strong. The movie’s sexual innuendos, though brief, includes some passionate kissing, an implied bedroom scene, and some references to looking at women’s rear ends. Finally, the Green Hornet’s crime-fighting gimmick requires him to deceive people, including the police.

All in all, despite some fun, exciting, and funny moments, The Green Hornet could use some re-working. MOVIEGUIDE® advises strong or extreme caution for the foul language. The Green Hornet plays too much like a lightweight juvenile fantasy, not a solid movie that can stand the test of time. There’s too much “Golly Gee!” and not enough “Wow!” The Green Hornet’s car is definitely cool, however.

NOTE from Dr. Ted Baehr, publisher of Movieguide Magazine. For more information from a Christian perspective, order the latest Movieguide Magazine by visiting www.movieguide.org.

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