By Brad Barth
When the news first hit Hollywood that lovable schlub Seth Rogen would not only be penning the script to The Green Hornet, but also masquerading as the undercover superhero, comic-book fans everywhere instantly spouted the same ugly term: "vanity project."
But perhaps a comedic take on the relatively obscure crime-fighter is just what the Green Hornet (aka newspaper publisher Brett Reid) needed to set himself apart from the likes of the Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Hulk, and for that matter all those other non-lime-tinted superhero franchises.
Paired with Taiwanese actor-musician Jay Chou, who plays Britt's resourceful sidekick Kato, Rogen has turned Hornet into an outrageous buddy comedy featuring bone-crunching fistfights, clever gadgetry, and of course the super-cool Black Beauty, a mid-1960s Chrysler Imperial tricked out with some heavy-duty weaponry. In fact, the heavily modified car was parked just outside the Manhattan movie theater where the film was screened late last week, eliciting more than its fair share of stares.
Ultimately, the movie may not be able to win over the most deeply entrenched Green Hornet loyalists who prefer a more faithful adaptation of the old-time radio broadcasts, comic books, movie serials and '60s television show (which starred Bruce Lee as Kato, you might not know). But despite these hard-core objections, as well as some last-minute casting changes and frustrating production delays, Rogen remains confident that he has delivered on his vision. As to whether that vision was "I want to create an entertaining action-comedy for the masses" or "I wanna get to play a superhero in a movie," or a little bit of both, we'll let you interpret that for yourself.