Reel Critics: All the green spent on 'Hornet' can't save it

It's only January, but one of the worst big-budget films of this year is already in theaters. The decision makers at Sony were surely hoping that "The Green Hornet" would be a new comic book franchise in the "Spiderman" mold. Their expensive effort contains many obvious formula concepts and marketing strategies. But they forgot to create a movie that anyone would care about.

Bad acting and directing serve a childish screenplay with tons of mindless action. The rambling story could be an attempt to parody superhero flicks. But it falls so flat it seems to have no purpose at all. Lots of loud explosions and silly shoot-outs follow in gloriously unnecessary 3-D. It becomes a ludicrous demolition derby of a movie that goes nowhere fast.

Seth Rogen plays the Hornet and Jay Chou plays his sidekick Kato. They are competent but must embarrass themselves with dumb dialogue and the dumber decisions contained within the plot. It ends up being a lot of noisy sound and fury signifying nothing.


Don't ask, don't tell, don't bother

What would you do if you caught your best friend's spouse cheating? To tell or not to tell, that is "The Dilemma."

It's a premise with promise as director Ron Howard makes an effort to go back to his comedy roots in this bromance. Vince Vaughn and Kevin James are so great, especially at physical comedy, but it's time to dig up some new shtick. Correction: Make that new and funny.

There are some inspired moments, such as Vaughn making an embarrassingly rambling anniversary toast. Winona Ryder, recently of "Black Swan," seems to be carving a nice comeback for herself playing bitter. And I did laugh, at least the first time, at Queen Latifah's jock-ularity as an aggressive auto development executive.

The real dilemma as I see it, is will they ever really come out with a sexy electric muscle car as shown in the movie, and where can I get one?

JOHN DEPKO is a retired senior investigator for the Orange County public defender's office. He lives in Costa Mesa and works as a licensed private investigator.

SUSANNE PEREZ lives in Costa Mesa.

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