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Friday, February 4, 2011

The Green Hornet

American actor Edward James Olmos.Image via Wikipedia
Cameron Diaz – the most high-profile star of the show – is peculiarly relegated to the role of eye candy, both in the context of the movie and for the audience. Her character has no actual role to play in the storyline other than perhaps to shoehorn some irrelevant romantic rivalry that never seems convincing.

Cringeworthy, too, is a bizarre conversation about Diaz' (movie) age. In it her character defends why she's temping for a businessman at 36, when she's clearly overqualified in terms of her knowledge and value to the business. The same question could well be asked of why she chose to be in this movie. Again, you're never sure if this is a nasty but clever intentional parallel with the real world, or if it's just ... you know... in the script.

Christoph Waltz is wasted in a ridiculous parody of a crime überboss (again, when did pantomime come into this?), and so is Edward James Olmos, who somehow retains his hard-earned dignity in his few moments of screen time.

Perhaps the confused silliness of The Green Hornet can be summed up in a quote from the movie. When Kato asks whether Britt Reid knows Shanghai, Reid answers: "Yeah, I love Japan."

Some might find that funny, but the punchline is discomfiting when delivered by a supposedly likeable rich industrialist. The film may well be saying that actually, this guy is just a dumb, rich dickhead who gets all the credit for minority labour. And then again, it may not.

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