So the Green Hornet isn't that great, despite the presence of star Seth Rogen. Seth Rogen! His presence has to boost opening weekend box office numbers, right? Apparently not. Critics and potential audiences don't appear too enthused about this, admittedly, second-tier super hero title that aims to corner the theatergoing market this three-day weekend. What went wrong? Well, it could be the beginning of superhero fatigue, or confusing marketing, a bad script, or maybe it's just the "end of movies as we know them." That's too bad. Here's hoping "the chubby putz gets the last laugh."
These are the five reasons why the Green Hornet--if it fails--isn't Seth Rogen's fault:
- 1. It's Not His Fault That 'Peak Superhero' Occurred Around 2008 Remember that year? That really was the last vestige of a golden age of superhero movies, says The New York Times' A.O. Scott. It was the time of the Dark Knight, which "inflamed not only passionate comics geeks but also skeptical cinephiles with its brooding mix of horror, vengeance and digital bravado." But as wave after wave of daring superheros followed in Knight's wake the "winks of costumed avengers have become as tired as their glowers and righteous beat-downs." Green Hornet "adds nothing significantly new to the formula," Scott writes.
- 2. It's Not His Fault That the 'Green Hornet Will Always Be a Second Fiddle To Batman' Rogen got dealt a superhero that--aside from having a legion of comic book fans--the mainstream doesn't know that well (How many Green Hornet action figures have you bought?). This Hornet production suffers just as the 1960's version of the Green Hornet did when it went head to head with Batman on ABC in the 1960's, finds Pete Hammond at Box Office magazine, who mildly defends Rogen in his "superhero-as-buffoon" shtick.
- 3. It's Not His Fault That Everyone Associates Him With Stoner Roles Knocked Up. Superbad. Funny People. 40 Year Old Virgin. Alright, so Rogen has done more than a few Judd Apatow projects. Asks Jef Otte at Westword: "You ever wondered what it would be like if that guy who made Pineapple Express made a comic book movie?" Well, here's your chance to find out. Otte seems to think that the entire movie is a metaphor for marijuana, pointing to the circumstantial evidence of Rogen shooting himself in the face with a gas gun, the appearance of a Cypress Hill song in the soundtrack, "great stoner logic" used throughout the film, and, of course, the name Green Hornet. Otte thinks there has to be something there.
- 4. It's Not His Fault That the Movie's Marketing Was Confounding Is it an action movie? An ironic send-up of the superhero genre? Nobody knows--at least from the TV spots and trailers that have tried to sell the flick. Variety's Peter DeBruge (who gave a very positive review of the movie) conceded that "marketing has been a challenge, with Sony fighting bad buzz, date changes and confusion with other better-known, emerald-hued heroes (Green Lantern and Green Arrow)."
- 5. Okay, So It Is His Fault That He Co-Wrote an 'Unendurable' Screenplay The normally kinder Roger Ebert had very few nice things to say about Rogen's prowess as a screenwriter, arguing that he gives himself "way too many words, and then hurls them tirelessly at us at a modified shout." But it's not just the lines that Ebert finds unappealing, the entire pacing of the film seems suspect:"there are pointless dialogue scenes going nowhere much too slowly, and then pointless action scenes going everywhere much too quickly."