Review: The Green Hornet (12a)

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OSCAR-WINNING writer-director Michel Gondry has steadfastly refused to compromise his creativity on the big screen.

Conjuring some of the most memorable and quirky romantic comedies of recent times (Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, The Science Of Sleep) as well as a surreal tale of video piracy starring Jack Black and Mos Def (Be Kind Rewind).

Now, he helms his most expensive and high profile project to date: an action comedy based on the masked avenger from George W Trendle’s popular radio series.

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who penned Superbad and Pineapple Express, co-write the screenplay of this big-budget film version, which centres on James Reid (Tom Wilkinson), the most prominent and respected media magnate in Los Angeles.

When the tycoon dies in mysterious circumstances, his wastrel son Britt (Seth Rogen) reluctantly abandons the city’s hedonistic party scene to taken control of the media empire which includes The Daily Sentinel.

He forges an unlikely friendship with his father’s driver, Kato (Jay Chou), and together they decide to fight crime on the city streets by posing as criminals.

In his guise as The Green Hornet, Britt strikes fear into the heart of the underworld controlled by the nefarious Benjamin Chudnofsky (Christoph Waltz), aided in no small part by Kato’s seemingly indestructible car, The Black Beauty, which is outfitted with all of the latest gismos and firepower.

Sexy new secretary Lenore Case (Cameron Diaz) proves a valuable ally in the battle against injustice, but Britt underestimates the determination of Chudnofsky, who will stop at nothing to swat The Green Hornet and seize back control of Los Angeles.