That The Green Hornet is an action-comedy devoid of excitement or laughs is depressing; that it’s a Michel Gondry film with only faint traces of idiosyncratic style, however, is just about unforgiveable. The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Science of Sleep auteur helms this modernized take on the masked crime fighter with lots of swooping cinematography, thumping hip-hop and CG flash. Yet aside from a brief split-screen sequence and a few deft special-effects (such as a recurring bullet-time gag in which enemies’ weapons glow red), there’s almost no sizzle to this goofy take on superheroics, which concerns the efforts of know-nothing playboy Britt Reid (Seth Rogen) and his trusty martial-artist and tech-genius sidekick Kato (Jay Chou) to stamp out the city’s bad guys – and, thus, to live up to the legacy of Britt’s newspaper tycoon dad James (Tom Wilkinson) – by posing as criminals. Running a thoroughly excessive 119 minutes, the duo’s origin story (written by Rogen and Evan Goldberg) is a concoction of affable banter and gadget fetishism – the latter centered around their weaponized black car, Black Beauty – that never manages to actually engage, which is also true of their insecure kingpin enemy Chudnofsky (Christophe Waltz). The fact that levelheaded Kato doesn’t function as immature Britt’s conscience but, instead, is an equally gung-ho participant in their wild do-gooder quests is a minor cliché-avoiding plus. Their eventual bickering over an intelligent secretary (Cameron Diaz), however, is painfully perfunctory, and the film’s hectic climax unpleasantly recalls the enervating guns-and-explosions finale of Rogen’s similarly tongue-in-cheek Pineapple Express.