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'Green Hornet' Lacks Sting

RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

"The Green Hornet" goes on display in theaters this week, and our critic Kenneth Turan has this review.

KENNETH TURAN: The Hornet is technically not a superhero at all. Like Batman, The Hornet fights crime from behind a mask with just his ordinary human powers - plus some nifty inventions.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE GREEN HORNET")

JAY CHOU: (as Kato) We'll need a car.

SETH ROGEN: (as Britt Reid/The Green Hornet) Hells, yes. We'll need a car.

CHOU: (as Kato) With some weapons.

ROGEN: (as Britt Reid/The Green Hornet) Hmm.

CHOU: (as Kato) And armor.

ROGEN: (as Britt Reid/The Green Hornet) Cool rims. Spinning rims.

CHOU: (as Kato) I can do that.

ROGEN: (as Britt Reid/The Green Hornet) Kato, I want you to take my hand. I want you to come with me on this adventure.

TURAN: An unexpected death shakes Britt up. He teams with Kato, played by Taiwanese pop star Jay Chou, to form a crime-fighting team that is never quite sure what it's doing.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE GREEN HORNET")

ROGEN: (as Britt Reid/The Green Hornet) Kato, I think this was the greatest moment in my entire life.

CHOU: (as Kato) I know. Mine, too.

TURAN: The performer who looks really lost in these ruins is Cameron Diaz, playing the woman whose affections the boys ineptly battle each other for. Girls are such a bore, the Hornet proclaims at one point - not as much of a bore, however, as a hornet without its sting.

(SOUNDBITE OF "GREEN HORNET" THEME MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Kenneth Turan is the film critic for the Los Angeles Times and NPR's Morning Edition, as well as the director of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes. He has been a staff writer for the Washington Post and TV Guide, and served as the Times' book review editor.