“This is so weird for me. Long weekend, and only one movie outing planned. There’s a couple of maybe movies, but none are playing at the Fenway, and none are worth a trek. Im still trying to convince myself that I really dont need to see every flick that I’ve ever heard of that’s playing. Especially when I just shelled out sixteen bucks because the showing I went to happened to be the RPX one.
When I got there, it didnt seem to be the most promising theater experience. As I said after Tron, Im not completely sold on the value of RPX. I didnt check beforehand which screen time it was, or even if this was the RPX film (although I knew it had to be). I just went with the one that fit my day best. I had a lil time to hit the arcade. I needed to replace some laundry quarters the roomie borrowed, so instead of just using the singles I had, I decided to put my five in the change machine…and then noticed that I was given tokens instead of quarters. FML. I blew a few on the crane game (that still decides on occassion to drop the crane when it feels like it), then played a bit of Indianna Jones pinball. I actually started doing really well on my second try at pinball (despite dealing with the right flipper that sticks), to the point where I missed a good chunk of previews.
Back to the movie, or more accurately, gonna start in on the movie now.
Once again, its the expectations game. I think we’ve established I go to the movies A LOT. Therefore, its safe to say Ive got a pretty good handle on the whole thing. I bring this up to illustrate that I know how the movie schedule tends to work. Your big budget action movies get released in the summer, typically starting with your big franchises in May and your franchise hopefuls July maybe. January is used for two things: award hopefuls and subpar action flicks. If you’re releasing an action movie in January, it means that you wouldnt expect it to hold up against a (hopefully) explosive summer. But if its released in Jan with no competition in its genre, it might do okay. Knowing this, it tends to set the bar a little lower when I walk into a Jan movie. Therefore, expectations were cautious. All that said, I did enjoy the film, and I do feel it was released at the right time. I liked it for what it was, and I feel it may have been a slight disappointment in the summer (although it may have done well in August, the last chance summer spot)
It did take the film quite a while to ramp up. The first 3/4 of it was decent, but nothing dazzling. During that time, I really liked when the fight scenes shifted to Kato’s perspective. Otherwise, nothing was really wowing me. I wouldnt say I was bored, but I was dangerously close. Then it just lightened up like whoa once we hit the climax action sequence. There was a lot more humor (best performance by a USB drive ever!), and the stunts were intentionally over the top (think one notch below Planet Terror). I felt that suited the film a lot better, especially since it was led by Seth Rogen.
Casting Rogen as Britt Reid really puzzled me. I expected him to be really outta place, and he almost was. There were aspects of the character that fit him, and others that were kinda forced. He fell into the swing by that shift at the end, which would be a great jumping off platform if they plan to turn this into a franchise. Notably he also co-wrote the screenplay with Evan Goldberg (his cohort behind Superbad).
For me, though, it was all about Jay Chou’s Kato. Great combination of deadpan and badass. I dont wanna say I didnt care about Britt Reid, but he wasnt nearly as interesting as Kato. I just got a thought of how awesome it’d be to pair Chou with Jackie Chan. Their styles are very compatable.
Loved Christoph Waltz as baddie Chudnofsky. While I often knock Oscar winners for the inevitable “”big budget action movie”” they do soon after their win (totally contradicting my sentiment that I have mad respect for them to be able to juggle both sides of Hollywood), I feel this was a good choice for him. Fun role (again, love seeing that) that will get him on track to being more recognized in Hollywood. Even though Im apprehensive of the film itself, I really cannot wait to see him in God of Carnage next year.
Major buzz points go to the hardest working man in Hollywood, Mr James Franco, for his brief appearance at the beginning. Definitely the best surprise in the film for me. If you dont believe me that he’s the hardest working man in Hollywood (I know that phrase is cliche), EW had an article recently that included his schedule for this one particular day. He was filming until 3 AM, woke up a few hours later, filmed something he was also directing, went to PhD classes at two different schools in two different states, and some other miscellaney.
Overall, how did this action flick hold up for a die hard action junkie? It was enough of an adrenaline fix for this time of the year. Again, kinda lukewarm for most of the film, but the last big sequence totally made it worthwhile. The same goes for the 3D. It wasnt utilized to its potential up until that point. This is one of the few 3D’s now where you are actually given a choice for the third dimension, and Im gonna say its (marginally) worth it. Dont rearrange your plans if the 2D time works better, but there’s some cool stuff if you spring for the shiny one.
The Green Hornet – \m/ \m/ \m/