Now, in the interest of full disclosure, Comic Riffs is a sucker for a debonair newspaper publisher as much as the next ink-stained writer. That and ever since our days in a dojo, we'd wished we had the moves of Bruce Lee's Kato. Put simply: The new "Green Hornet" will have to get a lot wrong for us to write it off.
In recent hours, though, the studio has released a trailer from the new "Hornet" (due out next January) and we've got to say: We're still not seeing Seth Rogen as the right man to wear the mask.
As long as we're disclosing fully, Comic Riffs will admit that we like Rogen's comedy. Sometimes quite a lot. Ever since he and Jason Segel and James Franco caught our attention in Judd Apatow's early "Freaks and Geeks," through "Knocked Up" and "Superbad" and even how he worked with Kevin Smith. But now we wonder: Was the uneven "Observe and Report" just the beginning of Rogen's desire to kick a little butt onscreen.
Actually, we should clarify: We can see Rogen as the responsibility-shirking scion. Bottle in hand, he doesn't have to suppress his sly humor and great machine-gun chuckle. So in his transformation to superhero, Britt Reid's character doesn't require having Superman's gravitas, and Reid can be lighter and more flippant than Bruce Wayne. But Rogen as the fleet, crimefighting Green Hornet, the mask-wearing nephew of the Lone Ranger who hit the radio airwaves nearly 80 years ago? We're retaining our reservations till we see more.
Or perhaps it's just that every time we hear gunfire, we're blown away by the cognitive dissonance of then hearing that very machine-gun chuckle.
Is Comic Riffs being too hasty, too limiting, too "judge-y." Guns ablazing, feel free to fire away. (And you can bet that Rogen will be sold heavily to fanboys at next month's San Diego Comic-Con.) Meantime, let us add: Jay Chou (as Kato) and Christoph Waltz look poised to steal this movie as quickly and surely as superheroes posing as villains.