Will the ‘Green Hornet’ trailer win over fanboys or scare them further?

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Hard-core superhero types have always been a little worried about Sony’s “Green Hornet” -- which, with the likes of Michel Gondry and Seth Rogen, isn’t overspilling with superhero veterans -- and we’re not sure they’ll be appeased by anything in the new trailer, which appeared online today.

There’s a lot of wisecracking from Rogen, who plays the titular character, the playboy son of a newspaper baron (aren’t they all?) who resorts to gadget-minded superheroism after his father’s murder. From the trailer, Rogen plays the part with that gee-whiz, kid-in-a-candy-store face that he worked to perfection in “Knocked Up,” an overgrown adolescent who just seems to be delighting in it all (with “it all” here a hip-hop, “Kick-Ass"-style of splashy cartoon violence).

The Green Hornet has never been as rich a character as, say, Batman, and fans (OK, commenters on YouTube) could be heard from miles away lamenting that the film seems to have gotten the lighter treatment instead of the dark fantasy touches that mark much of Gondry’s previous work.

Of course, while studio Sony may be concerned about fanboys, there’s a much wider audience out there that’s not especially preoccupied with fanboy mythology, and they may be more inclined to take notice of this film now that it plays cheeky.
That doesn’t necessarily mean the movie will be good -- the pairing doesn’t exactly smack of the second coming of Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr., another unlikely star-director pairing that imbued a forgotten character with life in “Iron Man” (Rogen doesn’t have nearly the range that Downey does). And the character may have warranted something slight, but more serious. But at least it doesn’t treat a storyline that was created in early 20th century radio and film serials like the Sermon on the Mount.


-- Steven Zeitchik



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