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The Green Hornet Trailer; or, How to Play a Sidekick Even When You’re the Lead

Ever since Michel Gondry and Seth Rogen announced they would be working together on a superhero movie, The Green Hornet, based on a script Rogen wrote, we’ve been wondering how they would pull it off. Gondry, the director of such idiosyncratic, antic films as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Be Kind Rewind, and the self-deprecating, if scathing everyman Rogen don’t seem like they would be interested in — or quite able to pull off — the personality-depressing, self-serious, man-in-tights action movie. Judging from the trailer for the Green Hornet, they’ve managed to thread the needle between what’s expected of a superhero flick — explosions, a semi-tragic backstory, gadgets, polish — and what’s expected of them, and especially of Rogen: no tights, lots of jokes. Rogen plays a ne’er-do-well rich kid, who, with the help of Kato (Jay Chou), an ultracompetent, ass-kicking Asian, and a tricked-out old car becomes the Green Hornet. Rogen is so affable, jokey, and incompetent that he seems more like Kato’s sidekick than the top dog — but then, it wouldn’t be a Seth Rogen movie, superhero or otherwise, if he didn’t have to put aside schlubby things and learn to rise to the occasion.