The Green Hornet

Rated 3.0

Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind) is the director but his presence seems only intermittently felt—in the action scenes mixing variable modes of slo-mo, as much as anywhere. Seth Rogen, who plays the title role and co-wrote the screenplay, may be the more relevant auteur in this case, especially given the film’s sketchy whimsy and galumphy comedy. Rogen’s Green Hornet is a buffoonish updating of the old-time superhero, with part of the joke being that sidekick Kato (Jay Chou) provides more actual superheroics than his blithely arrogant partner is able to fully recognize. Chou and Rogen both have some good comic moments, and the spectacularly rambunctious action sequences—car chases and high-powered gadgetry—have just enough visual dazzle to be agreeably entertaining. Cameron Diaz is good in a sort of genius Girl Friday role that the film doesn’t quite assimilate. Christopher Waltz’s comically neurotic villain never really gets beyond the sketch-comedy stage, and Edward James Olmos’ tough-guy newpaperman seems real and engaged in a way that nothing else in the picture is. Cinemark 14, Feather River Cinemas and Paradise Cinema 7. Rated PG-13