Before I give my review on the movie, The Green Hornet, I should probably make one thing clear – I am a big Jay Chou fan.
When I heard that he was to replace Steven Chow as Kato back in 2009, I was instantly on board and waited impatiently for my favorite musician’s Hollywood debut. As January approached, though, I began to worry a little about how he would be received in the States or how he would be treated in the movie.
For instance, does he get any luck with the ladies? Would his English be understandable? Would he be shafted like just about every other supporting Asian male lead? Would this be a good movie for Jay Chou?
After viewing, however, I was relieved to see that he pretty much stole the entire show and this is a positive (for the most part) movie review of The Green Hornet.
Seth Rogen, the actual lead who plays the rich party-boy-gone-superhero and bumbled his way through fighting and flirting, was the comedic relief. While this is more or less natural for the real Seth Rogen, it was not a common role for a hero to play.
The “sidekick” Kato rose to the challenge and took over as the alpha male – from building super militant cars to kicking so much ass with “Kato-vision,” Jay Chou was the real hero.
He even grabbed the attention of Cameron Diaz, who asked him out while simultaneously snuffing Rogen. While their date didn’t go very far, I can assure you I still got giddy with excitement when that happened. But more on that budding AMWF romance later.
I understand that this movie isn’t all about Jay Chou, since it is actually titled “Green Hornet,” but I have to say how impressed I am with how well Jay Chou was treated.
In a recent interview, Seth Rogen knew from the beginning that Jay Chou was not someone who would be taking orders. As such, Rogen decided to make this movie more about their relationship and less about actual crime-fighting superheroes.
In my opinion? It made for a different, funny, and very entertaining film. So let’s delve deeper into this Green Hornet movie review!
Rogen and Chou become as close as brothers, or “shen-di” as the film progresses – so close that they beat each other up in a pretty amusing fight scene and decide to never see each other again. But that changes when the bad guys want Rogen’s character dead and asks the Green Hornet for help. Chou foils their plan almost single-handedly, in a sushi bar no less. In the end, Rogen gives the bad guy the final blow and actually saves Chou’s life, making them not superhero and sidekick but partners. Equals.
An Asian man and White man as equals? In a Hollywood movie? When did this happen?
And yet that was what they were trying to achieve. Even though Seth Rogen was the lead, they gave Jay Chou such a boost in the film that it’s impossible to think of him as just a “sidekick” in my movie review. At the same time, they didn’t want it to be just about him, so Rogen did have some victories here and there. It was a great balance and it gave the movie a unique charm that other superhero films greatly lack.
I found it interesting that, in the sushi bar, you can clearly see an Asian male/White female (AMWF) romantic couple eating next to Rogen. He may be the only other Asian male other than Jay Chou, but the fact that he was dating someone and that it was so prominent in the shot really gave me respect for the director. I haven’t seen this in too many other movies I’ve reviewed, and, even though they didn’t have speaking parts, the placement was just enough to try and make it seem normal, which it is and should be.
I was a little sad to see that Chou and Diaz didn’t get a real on-screen AMWF romance… Rogen’s character was too jealous to allow that to happen. He thwarted their potential love and made Chou seem like the bad guy.
In the end, Rogen asked for forgiveness, and Chou gave it to him, but I can’t say I’m not surprised it didn’t go anywhere. As forward-thinking as this movie is, they wouldn’t go as far as to let an Asian man have an on-screen kiss with a white woman – that’s not Hollywood’s way.
On the other hand, it almost seemed a little too true to life. On numerous occasions, I’ve had to do the poking and prodding to ask the Asian guy out or at least get him comfortable enough to ask me out. More often than not, he eventually warms up and takes over from there, but it seems to be that initial phase that is so difficult.
Why it is this way, and not just with Asian men but a lot of men, I will never know. But word of advice guys, you Asian Men need to start approaching us if you want to romantically more successful!
Overall, I think it was wise to cast Jay Chou as Kato. I believe this will not only make sales in Asia skyrocket but show Americans that, yes, he did martial arts and yes, he had an accent, but that Asian men can be witty, charming, and charismatic on the big screen. In other words, I’m reviewing this movie with two big thumbs up!
I urge all of you to go see it and support not only Jay Chou but Seth Rogen, as this respect that was given to Chou might never have happened without him.