Another Look at ‘Steve Jobs’

 

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Anthony Kirby finds a lot to like in Steve Jobs

 

Steve Jobs was something of an enigma. He easily packed five lifetimes into his fifty six years. Perhaps because of early rejection as a child, or a chemical brain imbalance, he lacked social graces and was inordinately cruel to immediately family and many of his closest associates. He had a genius comprehension of mathematical concepts and computer logic, spoke at sixty words to the dozen and had no interest in money or worldly possessions. At one point in the film John Scully (Jeff Daniels) C.E.O. of Apple Corporation visits Job’s home and complains that the company founder, then worth $44 Million, has only a king-sized bed and no other furniture.

In an aside about half way through the drama, Jobs, the son of an Iranian father and German/American Catholic mother, confesses that his first adoptive parents returned him when he was just a few months old. “They wanted a girl,” he said. “My mother wanted my adoptive parents to be university graduates. My adoptive father was a military and later civilian auto mechanic.” However, Jobs bonded with his adoptive father and loved building fences, etc. with him. His parents were Calvinists, which probably explains his work ethic and intransigence.

The film is more a pastiche of Job’s life than a biopic. A full accounting of Jobs would require twice the screen-time. The film does not cover Jobs’ period as Primary Investor and C.E.O. of Pixar Inc. or his interest in the Disney Corporation. The picture covers three pivotal points in the genius’ life. The launch of the original Macintosh in 1984. The NEXT Computer developed during Jobs’ period away from Apple and unveiled in 1988, and the original iMac of 1998. Each scene ends with Jobs at centre stage.

As a college student Jobs encountered Steve Wozniak and Chris-Ann Brennan. Jobs and Wozniak developed the Apple Computer in his garage. Chris-Ann who was briefly Jobs’ mistress had a daughter Lisa whom she claimed was his. Even following D.N.A. testing Jobs disputed this. In the film’s first  scene, shot in 16mm, Jobs is visited by fragile Chris-Ann (Katherine Waterston). She and Lisa, not able to live on the court mandated $385.00, are about to go on welfare. Jobs, preoccupied with the product launch, shouts at Chris-Ann and only backs down when his personal assistant Joanna Hoffman (Kate Winslet) quietly impresses on him that regardless of his animosity to her mother  there’s a five-year-old child who believes you’re her father and loves you.” Listening to this plea Jobs backs down, ups Chris-Ann’s monthly stipend to $500.00 and lodges enough money in her account to buy a modest house. However, he’s still angry and when little Lisa asks him “ Daddy did you call the Lisa computer after me? “ he replies “ No sweetheart, L.I.S.A. stands for Local Integrated Software Architecture” This to a sensitive five year old! Then when Lisa does an abstract drawing on the computer he says, “Picasso did similar drawings with paper and Indian ink.” Even allowing for the pressure Jobs was under this interchange showed how ill-equipped he was as a parent.

Jobs expected to be Time’s Man of the Year for 1984, however, on learning of Jobs’ dispute with Ms. Brennan, Time changed the story to a feature on Apple Corporation. Screen-writer Sorkin discussed his screenplay with Lisa, now 37, “she’s the hero of the film,” he says.

Act two of the film deals with the launch of the NEXT Computer. Lisa is again backstage. She points out that the NEXT Computer frame isn’t a perfect cube. She’s actually measured it with a ruler. Jobs takes time to tell her that “a perfect cube doesn’t photograph well with regards to television, honey.” Their relationship appears to have improved, however, when Lisa hugging him around his waist asks if she can live with him, he doesn’t respond.

Sadly the NEXT Computer isn’t a financial success selling only to universities. Jobs has other irons in the fire, which leads us into Act III.

Close to bankruptcy, Apple Corporation’s Board invite Jobs back as C.E.O. in 1997. He develops the first iMac, and begins the launch in the spring of 1998. Confident as everm he predicts sales of half a million units in the first month and 20,000 a month thereafter. An associate comes back stage armed with a top secret file not to be shown to Jobs: it’s from a business prediction agency. Jobs persuades the associate to show him the file. The business forecast agency predictions are the same as Jobs’.

Joanna Hoofman (Winslet), who is the only confidant who can consistently get through to him, intimates that if he doesn’t somehow make peace with Lisa she’ll leave him and hide somewhere never to be found. “I mean this, Steve, if you don’t make peace with Lisa, I’m history. This has gone on far too long.”

Steve Jobs does eventually make peace with Lisa who watches the launch of the iMac backstage. Later as Lisa goes to pick up her Volkswagen Beatle Jobs notes that she’s wearing a cumbersome Walkman. “Why are you still listening to music on that device, Lisa? I’ll make a listening device that can access 500 pieces of music.”

Arron Sorkin (The West Wing) is a master dramatist, however, this Hollywood style ending is the only scene in the film that doesn’t ring true to this reviewer but that doesn’t take away from a wonderful script that is directed to perfection and filled with great performances.

Fassbender himself forgoes a makeup makeover and doesn’t look like the real Steve Jobs. However, he brilliantly captures his genius and conflicted personality and gives a brilliant, nuanced performance.

 

Anthony Kirby

 

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Review: Steve Jobs|

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DIR: Danny Boyle • WRI: Aaron Sorkin • PRO: Danny Boyle, Guymon Casady, Christian Colson, Mark Gordon, Lauren Lohman, Scott Rudin • ED: Elliot Graham • DOP: Alwin H. Küchler • DES: Guy Hendrix Dyas • MUS: Daniel Pemberton • CAST: Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen

 

In regards to the biopic film, Danny Boyle and Aaron Sorkin’s Steve Jobs|is a breath of fresh air, albeit a breath that their actors seldom get in this backstage linguistic battle royale. Their portrayal of Steve Jobs doesn’t follow the tedious and meandering cradle-to-the-grave format, but actually abbreviates the narrative into three separate acts respectively – 1984, 1988, 1998 – all commencing minutes before a major product launch. And like the three acts of a stage play, this film relies on talking… a lot of talking. And like playwrights before him – Mamet, Chayefsky, Shakespeare – Sorkin boasts his own trademark dialogue.

Straight out the gate and we’re riddled with rapid Sorkin rat-a-tat spitfire, piercing and deflating any notion of exposition, as we play keep-up with Fassbender’s Jobs and his backstage world. We follow him, mostly by tracking shot, through corridors as characters from his work and personal life berate him about his lack of empathy. He talks down to his work colleagues, threatens his friends, his ex-girlfriend and daughter are on welfare despite his wealth – anyone who comes into contact with the man becomes miserable… I mean this guy’s a real jerk!

His closest confidant is Joanna Hoffman (Kate Winslet), a marketing executive, and in ways, his guardian angel, who acts as his conscience constantly urging him to do the right thing for his daughter and ultimately himself. Apple CEO, John Sculley (Jeff Daniels), is somewhat a father figure, a close friend until the Apple began to rot. Apple co-founder and friend Steve Wozniak (Seth Rogen) pops by before each of the three launches to support Jobs and ask him to acknowledge the Apple II team. The recurring sentimentality throughout the film is Jobs’ daughter Lisa, who at first he denies is his, but slowly builds a closer relationship with her throughout the years. A lesser films would have saturated the audience with this sentimentality, but luckily here the filmmakers keep their protagonist as unlikable as possible.  

The characters walk and talk in breakneck speed, accompanied by Daniel Pemberton’s lavish score – a fusion of operatic classical and techno burps – that sounds like Beethoven and Kraftwerk had a few too many and stuck the DO-NOT-DISTURB sign up. The high tempo dialogue always keeps the audience alert and on their toes. There’s a sense of emergence about it. Danny Boyle’s sleek, yet uncharacteristically subtle, direction compliments Sorkin’s pace and overall Steve Jobs’ minimalist style and vision. Boyle incorporates colourful visual distortions into the few moments of silence we get. Another little touch Boyle brought to the movie was filming the three acts in different formats -16mm, 35mm and digital, an artistic stroke that Jobs probably would of lapped up like a dog.

The style that Boyle and Sorkin convey is like that of an Apple product – compressed, precise, dynamic, icey, minimal – all subtle characteristics that Jobs utilised when marketing and releasing a new computer. As the most quoted line in the movie – “musicians play their instruments, I play the orchestra” – exclaims, Jobs was a man who needed to be in control. The film suggests that he was a man who was afraid to delve too deep professionally and personally. He felt in control about how he marketed and presented, the bigger picture, the vision, but when it got complicated in IT or with his ex-girlfriend and daughter he couldn’t cope or understand. He wasn’t a man of tech or science, but a man who knew how to manipulate the people, stay ahead of the curve and adapt his vision to the culture.

Fassbender doesn’t resemble Jobs physically, unlike Ashton Kutcher, whose personal admiration for the man and bad acting hurt his feature. What Fassbender brings to the role is sheer energy, whether firing off some Sorkin dingers or utilising great physicality to compliment the erratic dialogue. He doesn’t have to rely on his appearance for the role because he delves deeper in himself to find the character. He has a great cast to support him too, specifically Kate Winslet, whose subtle Polish accent is right on point. Seth Rogen’s performance is modest, which is a great relief and Jeff Daniels straight corporate demeanor fits the bill. There’s one scene in particular between Fassbender and Daniels that is the verbal equivalent of a western showdown. The volume of the score heightens, as cuts to flashbacks help push the argument forward, raising the dramatic ambience as the two characters scream at each other.

Critics have acknowledged the film’s Shakespearean overtones, but I haven’t seen anyone mention Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Jobs being the wealthy entrepreneurial-tech Ebenezer Scrooge, who lacks empathy and is visited by friends and enemies who either want a favour or want to help. Has a few flashbacks to a time before the megalomania and it take three acts to slightly redeem him. Or in more recent years, Sorkin’s Steve Jobs anti-hero characterisation can be compared to There Will Be Blood’s Daniel Plainview – another man so professionally driven that he becomes isolated from people.

Some have criticised Steve Jobs| of relying too heavily on style and cartoonish dialogue rather than conveying a true depiction of the man, as if all the epic sentimental biopics have it down to a tee. This isn’t a documentary, it’s a fictional film based on true events and the filmmakers made the right decision to narrow the focus down to three important events in Jobs’  professional career, whilst intertwining elements of his personal and ultimately pursuing a day-in-a-life portrayal of the man. Others have complained about Sorkin’s snappy dialogue, criticising it for being unrealistic because people in real life don’t speak like it. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to listen to tech jargon spoon fed to me in Bob Geldof mode for two hours. I want it razor-sharp and potent so it grabs me and pulls me into its accelerated world. I don’t want to remain docile, I need to adapt.

Sorkin has proved to be one of the most distinctive voices in television and film dialogue working today bearing a strong sense of high-speed energy within his body of work. For Boyle, this is a nicely understated return, abandoning his trademark kinetic visuals and adapting a more subtle approach in order to accommodate Sorkin’s writing. The result is  a well crafted and precise three-act farcical algorithm with a sharp silver tongue. iReally liked it (I am sorry).

Cormac O’Meara

15A
122 minutes (See IFCO for details)

Steve Jobs| is released 13th November 2015

Steve Jobs| – Official Website

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Cinema Review: Bad Neighbours

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DIR: Nicholas Stoller  • WRIAndrew J. Cohen,  Brendan O’Brian PRO: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen, James Weaver • DOP: Brandon Trost • ED: Zene Baker • MUS: Michael Andrews • DES: Julie Berghoff • CAST: Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Dave Franco, Lisa Kudrow

 

Trading in America under the simpler (if misspelt) moniker of Neighbors, this sporadic scatological comedy has had ‘Bad’ grafted onto it’s title in this territory. Probably for fear we mistake it for a feature-length take on TV’s Ramsey Street and its soapy residents.

This venture is set in an American college town where human Fozzie Bear Seth Rogen has improbably settled down with Australian goddess Rose Byrne. (She probably was the first to alert the producers to the title clash in her homeland). For once employing her native accent on-screen, Byrne is a foul-mouth delight throughout and sets the comedic bar for the rest of the cast. Sadly the remainder of the ensemble treat the bar as something to limbo underneath rather than something to vault over.

Rogen is quickly becoming comedy Marmite. His habit of yukking it up at his own jokes seems to be a reflex that he can’t shed. But surely a director and editor working in tandem could literally cut it out. Or cut it down a bit at the very least. Anyhow, for reasons too simple to not outline, a university fraternity moves in beside the couple in their tranquil suburban neighbourhood. Initially, the pair displays an odd, yet understandable, impulse to not be regarded as old and unhip by the teen army on their doorstep.

However, despite sampling the frat’s hospitality to the full, the home owners quickly tire of the incessant raves and ragers next door. When they breach a pact not to call the police, the leaders of the frat (Zac Efron and James Franco) seem both wounded and wound up by the betrayal. Soon open war has been declared with the students investing immense time, expense and effort into ever more elaborate pranks. While Rogen and Byrne’s characters consider minting a brand new definition for the word ‘fratricide’.

Or at least that last paragraph suggests what the pitch for this film must have promised. In truth, the escalation of hostilities is handled poorly enough. It’s all a bit spluttering and unsure of itself. One recurring gag about redeployed air bags was given away entirely in the trailer and limps to an uninspired conclusion rather than a comic crescendo.

Elsewhere the entire project smacks of a feature that never had its script nailed down and wanted to allow room for the performers to find the ‘gold’ on the day. Naturally, actors must love the exploration and spontaneity allowed under this method of work but increasingly it strikes me that audiences are getting a bit short-changed in this process. For the most part, comedy should be tight as a drum. Not meandering and poking around in search of the joke. And it must be placing a huge onus on editors to retroactively re-align story and character within the flux of this framework.

And here it shows. For instance, Byrne’s best pal apparently begins a mildly inappropriate relationship with a male student but it is so absent in the story that a late reference to its’ importance is utterly lost. Overall, Christopher Mintz-Plasse is featured so rarely that his absence or presence here is redundant.

Still, American high-school movies have always possessed the ability to depict parties on an epic scale that can only make Irish filmmakers drool in envy. Most Irish house parties on screen usually consist of three extras doing laps around a lava lamp. However, even in the hedonistic stakes Bad Neighbours is a bit tame. Again, the sense that more explicit material will be added in future released versions is omnipresent. You can already see the ads for the DVD having ‘a too hot for cinema’ edit with an extra ten minutes restored.

As it stands, the film is far from a dead loss and there are some great one-liners strung across the film like islands in an archipelago. In the end though, Bad Neighbours isn’t bad enough. Or offensive enough. And personally, I’m a little offended by that.

James Phelan

16 (See IFCO for details)
96 mins

Bad Neighbours is released on 2nd May 2014

Bad Neighbours – Official Website

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Cinema Review: This Is The End

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DIR: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg • WRI: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg • DOP: Brandon Trost • ED: Zene Baker •DES: Chris L Spellman • Cast: Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, Michael Cera, Emma Watson, Rihanna

Expanded from the 2007 short film Jay and Seth vs. The Apocalypse, This Is The End is the feature film directorial debut of long-time writing and producing partners Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Having first worked together on the US version of Da Ali G Show, the childhood friends have subsequently collaborated on a total of nine films, and while Rogen has also become a major Hollywood player in front of the cameras, Goldberg has continued to be an unassuming (but pivotal) presence behind the scenes.

They have enjoyed plenty of creative control on their films to date, but This Is The End finds them being given free rein in a way that must have seemed like a pipe dream just ten years ago. Thanks to their connection with the prolific Judd Apatow, they have come into contact with a number of rising and established comedic actors, and it is therefore no surprise to see the vast majority of them make some form of appearance in this $32 million budgeted comedy romp.

The trump card of this film is that every actor in the film is actually playing themselves, or at least a version of themselves. At the centre of the piece is Canadian actor Jay Baruchel – who featured heavily in Knocked Up and Tropic Thunder but had earlier come to prominence in Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby. He arrives in Los Angeles to spend some time with Seth Rogen, his fellow compatriot and best friend.

Not being a fan of the L.A. party scene, he hopes to confine himself to Rogen’s abode, but the Funny People actor has other ideas, and they instead end up at the home of James Franco, who is hosting a housewarming party. There they are accompanied by a plethora of Apatow alumni including Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Michael Cera, as you have never seen him before.

However, what starts as a typically rambunctious Tinseltown shindig quickly descends into something completely different. Initially oblivious to what is happening in the outside world (with the exception of Rogen and Baruchel who briefly exit the party), it some becomes clear to everyone that an apocalyptic disaster is happening before their very eyes.

Numerous guests are violently dispatched as the ground begins to crumble beneath their feet, and we are left with just six survivors – Franco, Rogen, Baruchel, Hill, Robinson and Danny McBride – who barricade themselves inside the luxurious house in an appearance attempt to fend off the horrors that await them should be embark into dangerous terrain.

When you are dealing with a concept like this, it can be all too easy for the film to lose sight of what it is trying to achieve, and it certainly is true that This Is The End has moments of indulgence and is often too self-aware for its own good. As the film moves into the final half-hour, there is a lot of discussion about how they need to be to stop being so selfish and need to treat one another with good will and charity, which could be potentially off putting for some audiences.

In an overall context, though, these are only minor concerns, as given the lack of memorable comedies that have been released during 2013, the main question surrounding This Is The End is whether or not it is able to reach sufficient levels of hilarity. It is a relief therefore to say that the film does have plenty of funny moments, and is particularly at its best when the participating stars display a willingness to send themselves up.

This is especially noticeable in the case of Franco, who has really enhanced his current standing as a truly unpredictable oddball screen presence with recent roles in Oz the Great and Powerful, Spring Breakers and The Iceman. The eccentricities that have often characterised his public persona are on full display in this film, whether it be his unique art collection or peculiar choice of food and household beverages.

Credit must also go to Hill, who does a fine job of pitching his performance somewhere between suspiciously amiable and outright sarcastic. Rogen, Baruchel and Robinson all bring their customary level of comic timing to the fray, but McBride proves to be the ace in the hole as he starts off as the most troublesome and self-centred of the group and actually becomes progressively worse despite the obvious benefits of him being the polar opposite.

With improvisation high on the agenda, the stars riff off each other to telling effect, and as they try to keep themselves occupied while the world as they know it changes irreparably, they try their hand at making an amateur sequel to the popular Pineapple Express, which featured Franco, Rogen, McBride and Robinson in lead roles.

Though much of the action remains confined to the inner sanctum of Franco’s home, the biblical implications of the film dictate that they must eventually be taken out of their comfort zone, and thanks to their reasonably sized budget, they have enough to clout to develop some eye-popping special effects, and although it intends to satirise the current trend for apoca-blockbusters, it does its level best to match them in terms of scale. Whether or not this film will go down as the cult classic that Rogen and Goldberg are clearly hoping for remains to be seen, but come the end of 2013, it will certainly register in the memory banks of cinema-goers to a much larger degree than all the comedy films that have preceded it this year.

Daire Walsh

106 mins
16 (see IFCO website for details)
This Is The End is released on 28th June 2013

This Is The End – Official Website

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Cinema Review: For a Good Time, Call…

 

DIR: Jamie Travis • WRI: Lauren Miller, Katie Anne Naylon • PRO: Josh Kesselman, Lauren Miller, Katie Anne Naylon, Jen Weinbaum  DOP: James Laxton • ED: Evan Henke • DES: Sue Tebbutt • CAST:  Seth Rogen, Justin Long, Mimi Rogers

Sex and comedy go together so very well. The awkwardness of the ‘that happened to me once’ moment. The hilarious disgust of the ‘oh no I could never do that’ scene. More hilarious metaphors and expressions have been created to describe sexual acts and functions than perhaps any other aspect of human society. So while American comedies have managed to make several great jokes about sex over the years, it is weird that there is still no great comedy about the business side of sex.

Where Zack and Miri Make a Porno failed, call girl comedy For a Good Time, Call… fails only slightly less. Determined to break down barriers about female insecurities and sexual repression, it instead becomes patronising and confused (like its protagonists), and only sometimes funny.

Relative newcomer Lauren Miller plays Lauren; dowdy, inhibited, unwittingly dull. When her boyfriend dumps her, she is forced to find a roommate, and must move in with old college acquaintance Katie (Ari Graynor); bubbly, confident, seemingly slutty. The two hate each other, because a flashback tells us so, but soon come to terms with one another after Lauren learns Katie runs a phone sex line. When Lauren loses her job, she becomes the management end of Katie’s sex line venture. Lauren is determined to remain the woman behind the curtain, but long before the film’s climax she is helping their customers with climaxes of their own.

Hoping to be a BFF girl power comedy about sexual liberation and friendship, For a Good Time, Call… gets lost in its own ideas. Is it for or against a life as a sex-line operator? It seems torn on the matter. And what about the underlying lesbian nature of the women’s relationship? It flirts with addressing it, but bails out at the last moment.

None of this would matter of course if the film were funny enough. Sure, there are a handful of great turns of sexual phrase, but often the film relies on women saying ‘cock’ or ‘balls’  for its laughs. Katie’s decision to date one of her regular customers results in a deluge of rape jokes. The visual gags fare better; the girls decorate their apartment for a party with dildos and banners made from the ‘used’ panties they post to their most enthusiastic customers. The script, by Miller and co-writer Katie Anne Naylon, reeks of rewrites, with scenes and jokes ending abruptly and certain plot threads left dangling.

That said, Miller and Graynor make a good team, and have enough chemistry to keep the film buoyant. They each make their character sufficiently vulnerable to paint over the more forced cracks in the screenplay. Support is offered by Justin Long as the girls’ shared gay friend – let completely off the leash to adlib as he pleases, Long gets almost all the film’s best lines, but most of its weakest also. It’s a real shame his best joke is lifted straight from an episode of Modern Family. Cameos offered up by the men behind Zack and Miri briefly inject energy and laughs into the film, but given the topic at hand it seems unnecessarily gimmicky.

The feature-length directorial debut of Canadian filmmaker Jamie Travis, For a Good Time is a competently handled affair, but it has none of the ambition implied by its concept. All it needed to be great was to carry a strong message or be very funny. It didn’t manage either.

David Neary

Rated 16 (see IFCO website for details) 

85 mins

For a Good Time, Call…  is released on 2nd November 2012

For a Good Time, Call… –  Official Website

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qigVz5l8v9Q

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The Green Hornet

The Green Hornet

DIR: Michel Gondry • WRI: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg • PRO: Neal H. Moritz • DOP: John Schwartzman • ED: Michael Tronick • DES: Owen Paterson • CAST: Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, Christoph Waltz

Nothing elicited more excitement and anticipation of The Green Hornet more than Michel Gondry’s attachment to the project, raising hopes of a tongue-in-cheek action hero dealt with artistically and amusingly. Promos for the film diluted the enthusiasm somewhat, showing a hackneyed script and predictable story arc, and previews were proving less than amazing. After many, many revisions to the release date, The Green Hornet finally arrives to our shores a little bit late, and a little bit anticlimactically. Despite the addition of 3D, at great expense and delay, it proves itself to be little more than a slightly-funnier Spiderman, and a less action-packed Batman.

Seth Rogan is to blame for quite a lot of the film’s inadequacies. Despite slimming down and buffing up for the role, he is still, essentially, portraying the same character he has been playing since his erstwhile chubby face first graced our screens. Throwing in a bromedy relationship (or perhaps a ‘bromance’ – who can keep up with America’s obsession with ‘bro’ anything!) with his valet, Kato (Jay Chou), does little to alleviate the sinking suspicion that Rogan is making no effort to move outside his comfort zone. Cameron Diaz arrives onboard playing her standard role of ‘object of all men’s desires’ and it’s palpably obvious that even she has become bored with this duty – her comedy quips and sultry pouts are becoming just a little bit forced. Half-transporting the story of the Green Hornet from 1930s America to modern-day LA hammers another nail in the coffin of believability and adaptability. Add to this a script that is just that little too much self-aware, and the result is a middling movie that raises itself above average far too few times in its not inconsiderable running-time.

The story is loose enough, and for those who know the Green Hornet, dutifully aligned with the original idea – i.e. Britt Reid (Rogan) becomes a masked vigilante after the death of his media-emperor father, along with his kung-fu and techno-whizz chauffeur Kato. In this day and age of constant superhero adaptation, however, even the ‘twist’ of the Hornet instigating himself as a criminal, in order to infiltrate the underworld more effectively, falls on numbed and deadened ears. Held against the beautiful shadows of The Dark Knight, or even the action-packed pace of Spider-Man 2, it falls short of giving this decade a superhero to hold on to. Even casting the fantastic Christoph Waltz – one of the most enjoyable Nazi’s ever onscreen – as LA’s super villain fails to live up to standard, as the banality curse falls upon him as much as on Rogan.

Despite its many, many flaws, however, The Green Hornet manages to be entertaining at a level enjoyable to younger viewers. Kids will lap up the action scenes and Chou’s energetic kung-fu – though for adults, it will always be compared to Bruce Lee’s turn as Kato in the television series. Children are also less likely to be so weary of seeing Seth Rogan bumble and mumble little ‘comic’ asides at every opportunity – a tactic he has been employing in the mistaken assumption that it makes him more cuddly and likeable. An out-and-out kid’s movie, The Green Hornet fails to excite beyond that level, and though not a torturous event to sit through with younger filmgoers, it falls too far short of being consummately entertaining.

Sarah Griffin

Rated 12A (see IFCO website for details)
The Green Hornet
is released on 14th January 2011

The Green Hornet Official Website

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