Australian Council on Children and the Media

Green Hornet, The

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Not suitable under 13, not recommended 13-15 (violence; coarse language)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Green Hornet, The
  • a review of Green Hornet, The completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 23 January 2011.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 Not suitable due to violence, disturbing scenes and coarse language
Children 13-14 Not recommended due to violence
Children 15 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Green Hornet, The
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Action violence and coarse language
Length 119 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Britt Reid (Seth Rogan) is the son of the wealthy newspaper magnate James Reid (Tom Wilkinson). The film opens with his father’s funeral and the unveiling of a statue in honour of his dad. The newspaper, ‘The Daily Sentinel’ is a family owned business which should pass to Britt but he is doesn’t care whether the newspaper continues or not.

Britt bonds with Kato (Jay Chou), the newspaper’s very talented chauffeur, mechanic and coffee-maker, united by the fact that Britt’s dad never praised or acknowledged either of them. They decide on a posthumous revenge of sorts and in the dark of night they cut the head off James’ statue. While doing this they manage to save a couple from being mugged and when they get home they find themselves on TV, not for saving the couple but for vandalising the statue.

In an unusual flash of creativity, Britt decides that maybe by pretending to be baddies they can in a backhanded way become heroes. Thus they create roles for themselves as ‘The Green Hornet’ and his faithful sidekick. They are assisted (at first unknowingly) by Britt’s newly appointed secretary Lenore Case (Cameron Diaz).

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Death of a parent; crime; superheroes

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is frequent, and often intense, violence, sometimes played for comedy. Examples include:

  • numerous shooting scenes, including people being shot while driving, in buildings and by machine guns
  • several martial arts scenes where Kato fights criminals,  involving kicking, punching, hitting with sticks etc.
  • fleeting but brutal scenes, gangster Chudnofsky, decides to let the other gangs know that he is in charge and is seen sawing people’s hands off etc. There are also images of his gang murdering anyone who is wearing green and shots of the bodies lined up.
  • Kato and Seth are buried alive in their car. They manage to blow themselves out and the car lands on a gang member whose arm is shown sticking out of the wreckage.
  • Chudnofsky shoots both a drug supplier and his right hand man. There is slight humour in the way this is done but they are still unpleasant scenes
  • Kato kills Chudnofsky by stabbing him through both eyes.
  • several car chases that end up in flames

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

Much of this movie is likely to scare or disturb young children

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Much of this movie is likely to scare or disturb young children

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group are likely to be disturbed by a number of the violent scenes and the bullying of the younger James by his father as seen in flashback scenes.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Some children in this age group may also be disturbed by some of the above-mentioned scenes.

Product placement

There is product placement including:

  • Chrysler and a number of other vehicle brands
  • Beers and other brands of alcohol
  • Branded sportswear
  • Sony

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • discussion between Seth and Kato of Lenore being “hot” and about sleeping with her
  • references to sex and genitals, at times accompanied by suggestive gestures

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Seth attempts to kiss Lenore
  • women wearing bikinis and other revealing clothing

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • frequent alcohol drinking by the main characters
  • criminal drug manufacture and dealing

Coarse language

Frequent coarse language includes “shit”, “dick” and “arse” used in a number of ways, “bitch”, “balls” and “bastard”.

In a nutshell

The Green Hornet is an action adventure based on characters who have been seen in various comics, films and television programs since the 1930s.  Unlike characters like Superman, these superheroes are ordinary people who have access to extraordinary technology. The film is likely to interest fans of earlier versions, and teenage boys and young adults attracted by the superhero theme. It is definitely too violent for primary school-aged children and younger teens.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with older children include:

  • team work
  • understanding before judging
  • the value of friendship
  • treating others as equals and not trying to be better than someone just because you were born in an advantageous situation
  • recognising and respecting the skills of others

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • the use of violence to solve problems

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