When it comes to masculine characters, I don’t think many people would immediately think of Seth Rogen. In the many movies that he has starred in in the past few years, he has not played what we would normally call an adult male. His standard character is the man child – that young adult male who has not evolved past his teenage years of smoking weed, drinking alcohol and partying.
In his most recent role, as Britt Reid in The Green Hornet, Rogen again plays the same character…but with a twist. While Reid starts out as your typical man child, he evolves throughout the film. He learns what he needs to do to fulfill familial obligations. One of these obligations is running his late fathers company. The other is to save the city for crime.
The author of this article attempts to discuss masculinity as depicted in The Green Hornet. However, I personally did not see much in terms of masculinity being questioned or discussed.
Sure, Reid starts off as lay about, not taking care of family obligations, only to learn that he needs to be a responsible man. However, there is nothing new or interesting in the depiction or his change. It feels like your typical coming of age story for “heroes” – traumatic event in the life of a playboy leads him to become responsible. Yawn. Along the way, he sexually harasses his assistant, downplays/denigrates his friends masculinity, gets into fights he cannot handle on his own…etc.
The ending of the film doesn’t seem to show that he has really learned to be a “man”. While he accepts the consequences of his actions, he does so in a comical way, as if by not taking things too seriously he can still be the responsible playboy.
The film was a treat, in that it was Michel Gondry’s first action film. However, aside from interesting visuals, the movie felt flat.
Rebuilding American Manhood: The Green Hornet Circa 2011 < PopMatters.