A rich businessman who owns a newspaper is introduced as being quite cruel to his son. When the son grows up the father is killed by an allergic reaction to a bee sting. While moaning to each other about how terrible the father was, the son and a mechanic end up playing with an amazing car. From this the Green Hornet is created.
The Green Hornet/Britt Reid himself is an awful person, he’s a disrespectful ego maniac who never becomes likeable throughout the whole movie. He has no superpowers and is given a sleep gas gun because he has so little skill in combat.
Kato, the mechanic is the real hero of the story. He’s a lot more likeable than the Hornet and actually has skills which a hero would need. Engineering, hand-to-hand combat, time slowing abilities and threat identification eyes are all at Kato’s disposal.
The Hornet starts out with the wild night messing with a fancy car where they fight some street thugs. After Britt’s newspaper recruits a new assistant who’s also a criminologist, Britt decides that the easiest way to not gain a villain to counter him he must be seen as a criminal. This obviously upsets the local gang boss, between the gangs and police the Green Hornet makes plenty of enemies. Hornet and Kato keep getting advice from their criminologist to the point where she’s unknowingly masterminding the whole thing.
The combat in this movie is actually quite good with a mix of martial arts and guns. The Green Hornet’s car is one of the coolest I’ve seen, armed with guns hidden everywhere including missiles and a flamethrower, ejector seats, bullet reflection and front wheel drive that creates a really great death for the big bad, it’s an awesome vehicle that could take the Batmobile in a fight. The car makes the heroes as powerful as they are and is probably the best thing about this film.
With gangs being the enemy they needed an overall leader to be the big bad. This is sort of a let down. He’s got a silly name and his only real motivation is that he wants people to find him scary. He’s got a cool double-barrelled pistol but he does mostly come across as silly. He’s also not really the big bad.
I would have liked this film more if the main hero hadn’t been actively trying to make me dislike him or if he’d have had some more meaningful growth. Other than the Green Hornet himself and his enemy gang boss I found this film to be a fun one to watch and the car was fantastic, the plot was clever but could have been done better. Overall, decent.