Hmm, maybe both, actually. So I’ve actually been to Spain and England and back since my last post – which frankly, I think just makes me look crazy efficient – and while my Fusion CD from Indievox continues to download, I thought I’d review Cowboy Jay’s big break into Hollywood cinema, The Green Hornet.
First things first: as you may know, I am not a fan of Cowboy Jay. Or maybe it’s more accurate to say that I’m an ex-fan – I still love and play his first five albums. I’m perpetually amazed at what he’s been trying to pass off as “original” music since then (with very few exceptions), and his occasionally grotesquely sexist or falsely humble comments in interviews simply turn my stomach. I continue to call the man “Cowboy Jay” (and not just “Jay,” “Jay Chou” or “Oh Overrated One”) because I don’t think he should be allowed to live this down quite so quickly. Now recognizing all this, here’s what I want to say about his role as Kato opposite Seth Rogan’s Green Hornet:
Jay was the best thing about that movie.
In some respects, this is a case of damning it with faint praise: it was not, after all, that great of a film. That said, it was probably better than the worst of the rumors: it had a few really good lines, and featured some cool fight scenes. There were also some fun innovations in presentation, like the “Kato vision” where everything slows down so Kato can mentally choreograph his fight, or the splitting screen as the gangsters get the word out about the hit on the Hornet.
Another thing I really liked was the fact that it made no attempt at the angsty inner turmoil that seems to have taken over other superhero films. I might be the only person on the planet to think this, but I despised The Dark Knight for taking everything fun about the superhero concept and making a movie that depressed me to very depths of my soul. I’ve seen Vietnam War films that were more cheerful. There is, it turns out, such a thing as too dark. So for me, the Seth Rogen/Michel Gondry take on the Green Hornet that skirts alongside camp without crossing over (well, usually) was sort of refreshing.
[Spoiler alert: from here on, I'm talking more specifically about the movie, including the ending. Read at your own risk!]