The Green Hornet Movie Review & AMWF Romances

by Heather · 22 comments

An AMWF Romance in the Green Hornet? Jay Chou and Cameron Diaz

An AMWF Romance in the Green Hornet? Jay Chou and Cameron Diaz

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.

Seth Rogen and Jay Chou as action heroes in The Green Hornet

Seth Rogen and Jay Chou as action heroes in The Green Hornet

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!

*SPOILERS*

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.

Jay Chou as Kato in The Green Hornet

Jay Chou as Kato in The Green Hornet

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.

  • Guest

    I was disappointed with the multiple homosexual innuendos there were between Kato and Britt. It was unnecessary and totally pointless to the movie.
    And Jay Chou had minimal martial arts skill…I suspect this is why all of his fighting scenes were in slow motion (the “Kato-vision” was just ridiculous) or from far away (aka stunt double). Not his fault, but he couldn’t measure up to Bruce even if he tried, which I think would’ve been the problem with anyone who was cast.

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  • Just saw it today. I liked it, better than Warrior’s Way. Yes, it is too bad about the lack of a fully explored AMWF romantic relationship, but it is a comedy-action movie (emphasis on comedy).

    I don’t know if it’s a trend lately, but given the high profile non-martial arts Asian actors, the trend seems to be highly stylized, digital effects martial arts and stunts. Where the Asian actors are singers/actors first and martial artists or stunt men second and thus the special effects make up for it.

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  • Puffysheep

    Good review! Although the movie could have been better, I liked the fact that this movie made Jay Chou look good. I agree that he wasn’t just a side kick in the movie. On second thought the movie should have been call KATO, not Green Hornet since he stood out the most in the movie. Really? There was AM and WF couple in the background at the sushi bar? I guess I must have missed that detail because I am a guy. Jay Chou did a good job as a Kato but I don’t think he was anywhere as good looking or cool as Bruce Lee was when he played that role. I guess that’s why Jay specifically told Seth since the beginning that he wanted just play Kato, not Bruce Lee. Overall movie was good and we need more movies like this or Ninja Assasin!

  • Hellfish117

    Theres a AMWF movie called “Never Forever”. Its about an American woman falling in love with an immigrant from Korea. WATCH IT.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCcPfL3ew7Y

  • guest

    Who did the cover for the CD or DVD or whatever it is? When it popped up on my screen, I read it as:

    “Why Asian Men behind can’t date White Women”

    Asian Men’s behind??

    • Heather

      I saw that – it’s “Behind Why Asian Men Can’t Date White Women.” Haha

  • mikeguest

    hello Heather

    I don’t plan to go see the “green hornet” movie. Seth Rogen definitely needs to lose weight and get a better haircut

    By the way, its so great that you are reviewing amwf romance movies lately.

    There are a couple more that i would like your reviews on, maybe in a blog post. There are quite a lot of amwf romance movies out there to choose from… Shanghai Kiss, Ramen Girl, Mao’s Last dancer (very nice amwf kiss in the trailer) to name a few…

    Anyways, thanks for the movie reviews!!!

  • I didn’t like the move that much, and I’m an Asian guy. Kato did steal every scene he was in, but the movie as a whole was poor in the writing. It just wasn’t that coherent or fun. A lot of people compare it to Kickass (which was a good movie). That whole Cameron Diaz / Jay Chou dating scene was so awkward to watch. It’s like he was kidding himself and then she does a complete 180 to support that. Really, she’d rather have fat sloppy Seth Rogen?? OMG! typical.

    Anyway, this is my first time here almost by accident when someone posted a youtube link on another forum. You really only date Asian guys? That’s so weird. I date any race depending on who appeals to me. I’ve never met a girl (a white girl) who literally only dates Asian men, but that’s cool.

    • Frank

      not to spoil the movie but she spurns rogan’s advances much harder than she does chou’s. i did appreciate the movie because they made the asian character cool. he’s a slick mechanic with a sarcastic deadpan sense of humor who you want with you in a bad neighborhood. he was much closer to pulling diaz than rogan’s character could have dreamed.

  • Guest

    I’m an Asian man, so I was expecting a lot from Kato in this movie – one of the very few movies that have a positive portrayal of an Asian man. Kato was 10 times cooler than I expected. Hopefully Hollywood is finally coming around!

  • Michael

    Lol the “Come on don’t be a pussy” part was hilarious in his accent. Better than Peter Chao. I agree that the overall light Jay Chou/Kato got was good in the movie

  • Jay

    I read Cameron was suppose to kiss Jay but she didn’t want to, because she didn’t want to deal with something I forgot what. But she seemed totally prejudice/racist she looked at him weird in interviews and wasn’t nice at all when they posed for pictures together she wasn’t next to him it was like she scooted away, she was a b/itch and she’s ugly too.

    • Kukudoss

      not true

    • Derrick

      Well…not wanting to kiss someone is no indication of bigotry or racism.  It may be she was ill, or she is not comfortable.

      For sake of argument, not wanting to date a specific race is not racism or bigotry either.  It’s romantic preference, that’s all.

  • Morgan Hayden

    This is a good review. I’ve watch the movie and it was awesome. Jay Chou really did a great job in this movie. He had cool moves and really smart. I actually notice him more than Seth.

  • I USED to like Jay Chou’s music but nowadays he tries to hard to be unique and half the songs on his recent albums are just plain horrible.
    In any case, I do agree with you that Jay Chou did a great job in Green Hornet and that it is VERY wise to have a AMWW romance.=)
    Though I still think Jay Chou is kind of a dbag in real life.

  • Capitalhighschoole

    Being a high school teacher for 24+ years, I have noticed racism in the United States is getting worse. Young asian men have little chance to get white girls for dates. Asian boys are stereotyped as nerdy, only good at math, ugly, short – you  name it. A great many white girls brag about their blue eyes and blond hair as the superior race. Most of them would have condescending, snide attitude towards white girls who are involved with asian boys. While I admire this website’s effort in remedying the situation, I am pretty pessimistic. I can safely say the trend has changed in the past 10 years and the U.S. whites have become more narrow minded and conservative.

    • You bring up a very interesting point. I think social media, cyber bullying and  other judgmental sites clearly spreads contempt like a virus. Therefore, most, especially in the age group that you’ve witnessed, would rather not be shunned as an outcast (against their attraction) and date within their race. As they grow to be an adult, those opportunities have closed for the individually strong that can look outside of race and chase happiness instead. Peer pressure is very difficult thing to overcome in a developing age where every day feels like months.

  • I enjoyed this movie (in fact, I worked on it) because it wasn’t a superhero movie. It was just a couple of dudes who are rich and bored and wanted to mess with a lot of cool toys. In regards to Jay Chou’s involvement…he was a very passable Kato. Not the same charisma as Bruce Lee, but still…very smooth. I like that he never backed down to Seth Rogen’s character. I think he saw this American playboy as a sad aimless person. And that he was more of a son to the father and much less a disappointment. I did like Jay and Cameron’s scenes together. And it was refreshing to see that he was very attracted to her and that she was also attracted to him. It was very honest to how AMWW relationships actually start. And it actually reminded me of how my friend and his white girlfriend met. Nice review, Heather.