…or in short, here’s my review of the first movie I saw for the year. And yes, sometimes I watch films accidentally, meaning I saw how horrendous the traffic was going home so I thought of killing time in a cool place and letting myself willingly suspend my disbelief for two hours or so in another time, place and dimension… aaah whatever. I’m blabbering. Just read my damn review. Chos.
You missed this, didn’t you? Yeah I know you did. Admit it. Hahaha joke lang!
d. Michel Gondry
s. based on the radio serials eons ago when radio was da bomb, plus perhaps a whole lotta comics stuff and of course the TV series where *the* Bruce Lee played Kato
c. Seth Green, Jay Chou and some great actors who should headline more films with meatier roles but were wasted here like Edward Furlong, Cameron Diaz, Tom Wilkinson and Edward James Olmos
Pitch: happy go lucky son of newspaper mogul inherits real-world responsibilities and then turns into a bungling superhero that smartens up in the end (what else is fucking new???) but is always saved by the Asian dude who can do kung fu and other brainy tech things!!!! hay naku…
Catch: Michel Gondry! What were you thinking directing such crappola of a superhero film???????? You can do better than this! Write the damn script next time!
Okay please resuscitate Michel Gondry and make him make better films, films we were so used to, and we liked a lot because of their brilliance and their heart! Not familiar? Think ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND and this super-funny “small” film BE KIND, REWIND which was so freaking hilarious even Jack Black was tempered here in order to fit the film. Read my review of that film in a previous incarnation.
And why do we need to slap Gondry here? Because this is the worst superhero film I’ve seen in my life!!! And he is such a freaking cool filmmaker. And that says a lot because I love watching superhero-themed films because I always like to see how they will treat the hero-ness of the “hero” and how they will explore his/her demons and travails and such before becoming a hero. (Plus I also like to escape to that comics-inspired visually appealing world of having extraordinary powers — another ball of discourse altogether; some other time. ) But of course, that all depends on how the filmmakers handle the material as well, especially the story, like how Christopher Nolan just handled THE DARK KNIGHT with such sheer freaking genius, with the help of the late great Heath Ledger of course, goddess bless his beautiful tormented soul. Or how Joel Schumacher just treated the George Clooney starrer BATMAN AND ROBIN so fucking queerly heheh. But I digress.
First off, I never could really remember the Green Hornet character Brett Reid as this happy-go-lucky super-konyo rich kid who was just wasting his precious time on earth with things that don’t matter to the world, like getting laid, partying all night with booze and not contributing anything substantial to the world. And then he gets thrust with the super-responsibility of being mature?????? Hay, characterization fail! Sorry but I grew up watching bits and pieces of the Green Hornet TV series reruns of the ’60s (replayed in the ’80s) where our coolest Asian idol of all time, one inch punch kung fu master Bruce Lee, starred as the caucasian superhero’s sidekick. Funny that I don’t remember much about the Green Hornet’s antics but I remember most of the Bruce Lee antics, especially the fight scenes. Well maybe it’s because growing up, I was such a martial arts fan (and trying hard practitioner, my asthma notwithstanding/hurdling) and I grew up watching many Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan martial arts-laden films, so I remember these things more than the other aspects.
But still, I don’t remember the Green Hornet being this stupidly crazy and bungling like how Seth characterized him. I actually remember him as some sort of simple yet somewhat Bruce Wayne-like-ish dapper dude. It was a huge disappointment for me. And this film reeks of a lot of uber-problematic discourses that I don’t even know where to begin! But okay, since there is an Asian in the cast, let’s start with the issue of race.
This Kato character, obviously having a huge deference to the Bruce Lee character, was thrice referenced with the Bruce Lee homage, where first, he was characterized as an artist who drew sketches of his tech designs and innovations while at the same time making figure drawings of humans like Bruce Lee. Second reference was seen when he was seen “practicing” kung fu moves a la Bruce Lee in the Black Beauty car while his stupid American caucasian boss was busy making a fool of himself outside. Third reference was the actual one-inch punch Bruce Lee was identified with and he actually did that during the rising action-to-climax scene where he met up with the thugs at the restaurant scene outside. For non-Bruce Lee fans, the one-inch punch is where one would make a fist and hit an opponent from one inch distance yet the punch is soooooo fucking powerful that even with just a one-inch distance, the opponent hit would freaking fly in orbit when hit! Yes, Bruce Lee could really do that and that was a big “secret” of his. But obviously, for this film, the one-inch punch was shot with state-of-the-art filmaking technology–meaning shot not in close-up and using wire harnesses to have the opponents fly to the air when punched. Sorry, I’m in on your special visual effects secrets, Hollywood! Been there, done that!
Anyways, aside from this, I was sooooo fucking offended as to how the white dude just treated the Asian dude with such disdain and disrespect that he was treated as just another fucking stupid non-excellent English-speaking Asian immigrant who makes up for this lack by his excellent display of sheer genius in designing technologically-advanced gadgets and stuff like the awesome car, the cool weaponry, and other awesome stuff only Asians in America could possibly think of, since Asians as a race are all lumped together in one minority category anyway and hence assigned this stereotypical Hollywood trait of being mathematically and scientifically gifted, even with their English being not so excellent. And how about that stupid pa-intellectual joke when Kato was narrating his back story as a youth growing up in Shanghai (in China!) then the stupid Brett slips that Shanghai is in Japan! What the fuck! That’s not even remotely funny! Sorry but any arrogant display of stupidity isn’t funny to me. Go back to world geography class, dude!
And by the way, why did they have to treat the Asian in a non-sexual way (again!), like he was the one whom the white chick Lenore character of Cameron was obviously interested in, but the fucking white supremacy of the Brett character just *had* to insert his way in that equation, again promoting that stereotypical sexless desire-less asexual Asian minority. Hay… like Fil-Am Jessica Hagedorn’s pioneering diaspora entitled fiction anthology echoed, Charlie Chan is Dead, you white American non-Asian immigrant loving Hollywood dudes! Get with the freaking diaspora program!
Yeah, it sucks big time that way. I should have bought more fucking popcorn!!! Sorry but this was a freaking superhero film! I wanted to be entertained! Waaah I should have just went on free wifi somewhere in Gateway Cubao and watched online porn!!! Nubeh!!!!
But as an aside, it’s also cool to note that the original origins of the Kato character is not even Chinese, or Japanese, but freaking Filipino! Okay I know it’s in wikipedia but still, the reference to Kato being of Filipino descent is fucking awesome to me! Hm so maybe that bit about nunchucks, which is a Japanese weapon if I am not mistaken, could have been arnis altogether, which is a Filipino martial arts practice/weapon, and actually my martial arts of choice (practiced it before and will pick it up again really really soon! Excited!).
And don’t even get me started with how they wasted real talent here, like the pretty Cameron Diaz who actually had better roles than this one, and with her character being sexually taunted all the time!!! Sorry but other superhero films treated women better! Aaaahhh! And no, sorry, that “I will sue you for sexual harassment” bit towards the end doesn’t count for female empowerment of a character! She was still treated here as a freaking bimbo! I mean, where else in Hollywood fiction land would a 32-year old journalism major with a minor in criminology apply for a temp secretarial job serving a good-for-nothing dickhead!!! She should have been Lois fucking Lane by that point in her professional career!!! Anubeh! Aaaaahhh my feminist film practitioner sensibilities smart!!!!!! Where’s the fucking popcorn!!!!
And the there’s Edward Furlong, he of the TERMINATOR 2 film kid, who turned out to be such a talent in AMERICAN HISTORY X (super-genius acting sessions here with another underrated actor, Edward “The Fight Club” Norton), and even that bout of his in CSI New York as the brother of a killed bartender. Oh my freaking goodness, how could you waste a talent like that and cast him as a fucking ordinary drug dealer who owns a meth lab and then gets killed by the drug lord after like 5 minutes of screen time!!!! Injustice!!!! He should have played the Green Hornet!!!! Fiercely! Like how Heath played The Joker!!! Fiercely!!!! Hay…
Puso mo, Bayli… breathe in, breathe out… wax on… wax off…
And do I even have to point out the stupid bromance moments that turned homophobic here (i.e. many references to man-on-man “more than friends/brotherly” love which were made into punchlines that weren’t remotely hilarious to begin with, but fucking homophobic and sexist)? No. Such a fucking waste of time. And please please please, don’t watch this on freaking 3D cinema like I did. Waste of money.
In all, you can do better without this crappola. Watch another movie. Maybe that Angeline Jolie-Johnny Depp starrer. Okay will report back when I’ve seen that one, okay?
But for now, there’s only one thing I could say about this: NEXT!