I watched The Green Hornet with my wife over the weekend. I have no idea why she wanted to see it. Usually, she’s not much for the superhero stuff. But something about the trailers sparked her interest and we both laughed our way through it while agreeing that it doesn’t really come together as a whole as well as it should.

I think it’s a clash of styles. Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) serves as director to Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s loose, quippy script. There’s lots of funny stuff, to be sure, but I never got the feeling that Gondry keyed in on the tone the script is going for. Rogen gets to run around and say a lot of funny stuff, but Gondry’s camera is almost indifferent to him and often seems to just be waiting for him to be quiet so they can get on with it already. Rogen’s good in the role, but he needed somebody to pull him back now and again.

Despite that, where the movie really works is in how it handles the characters. The superhero, sidekick, girl and villain archetypes are ones we’re all familiar with, but they’ve never behaved like this before. To the man (and woman), every character is an inversion of what we’ve come to expect. The hero is incompetent and the sidekick (Jay Chou’s Kato) is hyper-competent. The girl has no interest in romance whatsoever and instead ends up as the unwitting brains behind the operation (many critics dismissed the miscast Cameron Diaz’s role in the film as “pointless,” as if a woman not in love with the leading man can have no other purpose) and the villain (Christoph Waltz’s hilariously named Chudnofsky) is wonderfully insecure. A lot of the humor comes out of that giant shift in dynamic. For that reason alone, it’s worth seeing.

The film serves as both a competent superhero flick and as a commentary on the same. In that way, it really is kind of the perfect film for a SuperFogeys fan. Anybody else had a chance to see it? What did you think?

See you on Wednesday with SuperFogeys 317!