Poor Seth Rogen. His announcement that he would be starring in The Green Hornet was met with the kind of awkward silence his movie characters typically receive when trying to hit on a girl. It seemed that no one wanted to see the affable comic take on a superhero role, even after he shed an impressive number of pounds from his cuddly physique to prepare for it.
As a fan of Rogen, and of Green Hornet director Michel Gondry, I was willing to give the project the benefit of the doubt at first. After all, fanboys aren't always right. Plenty of people raised their eyebrows over unconventional casting choices in the past few years that have turned out wonderfully, such as Heath Ledger as The Joker and Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man. Maybe Gondry and Rogen would find a way to reinvent the superhero genre, which hasn't produced any memorable hits since that glorious summer two years ago that gave us Iron Man and The Dark Knight. But now that the first trailer for The Green Hornet has debuted, we have a slightly better idea of whether or not Rogen is going to be able to pull it off. Here are some initial impressions:
1.) Rogen looks uncomfortable, not only in the few quick flashes of action sequences, but also as the Hornet's spoiled playboy alter ego, Britt Reid. This is the first time we've seen Rogen play a guy with money and it's clear that as much as he may want to, he doesn't quite know how to party like Tony Stark.
2.) With what appear to be equal skills in kicking ass and delivering quippy one-liners, martial arts star Jay Chou looks like he might steal the film as the Hornet's sidekick, Kato.
3.) Although she barely appears in the trailer, Cameron Diaz, who plays Britt Daniel's secretary Lenore Case, looks just as miscast as Rogen here. Superhero love interests are roles are for young, fresh, Hollywood ingénues, and Diaz has clearly moved on to bigger and better things in her career by now.
4.) Cristoph Waltz has officially cornered the market on crazy European super villains. Someone needs to lock him in for the next James Bond movie, if another one ever gets made.
5.) The slick look of everything in the trailer feels more McG than Michel Gondry. Would you have been okay with Rogen writing the script (along with his frequent collaborator Evan Goldberg) if they'd found someone else to play the title role? Are you excited about any of the supporting cast? Here's that trailer if you need a refresher ...