Sunday, March 13, 2005

Movie Review: 'The Hulk'

The Hulk is a hulk of a movie at 138 minutes and feels that long, too! Ang Lee, the director of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon shows he is capable of making a film of lesser quality. The Hulk is based on the Marvel comic of the same name and tells the story of David Banner (Nick Nolte) carrying out genetic experiments on animals to try and find a way of regenerating human tissue after injury. Because the military decide his experiments are unethical he injects himself with a concoction, causes a genetic aberration in himself, which he then passes on to his son, Bruce (Eric Bana) when he is born. Dad is put away, by the military, for 30 years while Bruce grows up and becomes a specialist in the very same field his father worked in. Bruce has been told that his father is dead. After Bruce is accidentally irradiated in the laboratory the latent genetic aberration makes itself known -- when he gets angry he turns into a massive green hulk who weilds destruction. There's the obligatory romance that is reminiscence of King Kong, the nasty military, the anarchistic father who wants more power, and Bruce/The Hulk who has every Freudian complex under the sun. The Hulk looks like an animation, which would be ok if the rest of the movie had the feel of a comic, but it takes itself to seriously. There's little, if any, genuine humour and, compared to comic adaptations like X-Men and Spiderman, left me dissatisfied. The plot of the movie is highly fragmented, particularly in the first half with unnecessary split screens. The best part of the movie is the opening titles. The only thing that can calm The Hulk down after a rampage of destruction across half of America is Betty Ross (Jennifer Connelly), bringing to mind the old sexist belief that, if it wasn't for women, men would go wild. A Hulk of a movie which leaves a Hulk of disappointment. My Rating: *** (out of 5) Best Review 'A movie likely to rally huge audiences who want to take another roller coaster ride. And though it may disappoint a few of them, it's also a film that gives you something to think and feel sad about. It smashes you -- gently.' - Michael Wilmington/Chicago Tribune Worst Review 'In future Lee can best serve his versatility by never doing anything like this again.' - Stanley Kaufmann/The New Republic Content Warnings Sci-fi action violence, some disturbing images and brief partial nudity. Related Link Christianity Today review Buy The Hulk DVD from

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