In the first film adaptation of the radio series-turned TV show, The Green Hornet has the best team of talent that anyone could hope for: the king of laidback comedy, Seth Rogan, who also produced and penned the script, 2009’s acting breakthrough Christoph Waltz as the villain, and French director Michel Gondry, who is known for his playful and highly imaginative style. Yet despite the creative talent, The Green Hornet is a straightforward superhero adaptation completely void of any style or energy.

Like most superhero stories, Britt Reid (Rogen), aka the Green Hornet, is inspired by a death in the family. In his case, it’s the death of his self-involved father, who had neglected him for most of his childhood. Unlike most superhero stories, his father’s death isn’t a wakeup call; but rather a green light for him to indulge in his childish tendencies. He fires most of his father’s staff, and toys around with the family-owned newspaper, turning the focus towards expletive headlines and insatiable news, almost discrediting the publication’s long history of respected journalism.

Britt then befriends his dad’s chauffeur, Kato (Chou), who turns out to be a mechanical genius and a martial arts master. Together, they roam the streets in search of cheap thrills. They accidentally rescue a couple from street thugs, and the thrill inspires them to pursue a more altruistic path. Together, they come up with the idea of creating the Green Hornet, a crime-fighting vigilante posing as a villain.

The idea itself is fun and exciting, but the film spends a great deal of time following Britt and Kato as they aimlessly stumble into heroism. Meanwhile, the central villain, Chudnofsky (Waltz), is too cartoonish and generic to pose any threat.

The movie keeps swinging between campy, playful and menacing, but it’s never able to combine them into one coherent tone. Aside from the opening scene featuring a hilarious yet daunting cameo by James Franco, the film never finds the balance between fun and exciting.

Ultimately, The Green Hornet is disappointing; particularly because of the wasted potential of its ideas and the talent involved. You’ll hardly remember that Cameron Diaz was even in the film, and you won't see any of Gondry’s usually creative visual trickery. What you’ll get is a mildly entertaining film, albeit a flawed and messy one.