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6 Movies Featuring Butlers, In Honor of Lee Daniels’ THE BUTLER

Posted: August 16, 2013 at 2:00 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Movie #3: An Ass-Kicking ButlerThe Green Hornet

Year – 2011

To say that production on The Green Hornet was “troubled,” would be more than a bit of an understatement. The film hit theaters in January of 2011 but had been in development since the Bush administration…the first Bush administration. Seth Rogen plays Britt Reid (aka The Green Hornet), a trust-fund-playboy suckling at the teat of his family’s media empire when his father’s untimely demise forces him to assume control of the business. Left to his own devices, Reid quickly forms a bond with Kato (Jay Chou), his father’s personal mechanic.

Now, I know that a “mechanic” isn’t technically a “butler,” but Kato has historically been a chauffeur/man-servant. He was “Tonto” to The Green Hornet’s “Lone Ranger”. (Don’t forget that The Green Hornet began life as a Lone Ranger spinoff.) But Rogen’s version (which he co-wrote) smartly jettisons the tone of previous incarnations. The filmmakers, aware of the fact that Rogen has been cast against type, simply change the “type”: shrewdly re-imagining Reid as a bumbling, narcissistic gadfly who is woefully ill-prepared to embark on this adventure. Instead, it is Kato who is both the brains and brawn of this pair. It’s yet another wise move which takes the character beyond the racial stereotype/man-servant that the character is so often reduced to.