- Reviewed by: The Moose
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Current Rating 6.4/10 | 60 Votes
The most recent example of this theory is the $210 million domestic gross of X2: X-Men United and the critical acceptance of the film as well. But sooner or later, one has to admit, the dream can only go so far. Whether we liked it or not, the American public will receive a superhero film that does not live up to their expectations. The only question is what film will that be? Universal hopes that it is not their adaptation of the big green behemoth, The Hulk. With a $135 million budget and several rewrites on the troubled, Ang Lee hopes that his version of The Hulk will continue the superhero trend but will all that hard work end in failure for the promising director?
The story goes that Bruce Banner is just a normal man like everyone else. He was adopted as a young child and has no remembrance of his past life as a young child. But nothing really seemed to set him out from the crowd outside of the fact that he was very quiet and always bottled up his emotions preventing him from feeling any real connection to anybody. That may be the reason why he and fellow scientist Betty Ross recently ended their relationship together. But the end of this relationship is just the beginning of the troubles for Bruce Banner. The father he never knew comes back after Bruce has a freak accident in a lab experiment involving radiation. He reveals to Bruce that he is unique and that the world will never accept him for what he is. Bruce still fails to understand what he is but that doesn’t last for too long. Every time Bruce feels emotional anger within, he looses control and becomes The Incredible Hulk. Bruce must learn to control his emotions before he is eliminated by the army. The story for The Hulk is mediocre at best but what can one do when there isn’t much story around The Hulk to begin with. Sure there is the story of his origin but outside of that it is just basically, “Hulk get mad! Hulk smash!” Ang Lee tries his best but those attempts end in failure. There is no consistency with the story as it is either too slow or too fast in some parts of the film.
The cast of The Hulk tries its best to make due with what is given to them and some cast members work better then others. New comer Eric Bana, who stars in WB’s summer 2004 tent pole, Troy, is actually quite good as the human form of Bruce Banner. His look, which is quite similar to Orlando Bloom, seems just right and the way he tries to control his emotions makes the character all the more sympathetic. Bana is probably the best member of the entire cast as he plays his character to perfection. Jennifer Connelly, fresh from her Academy Award winning role in A Beautiful Mind, is moderate as Bruce’s love interest, Betty Ross. She tries her best to bring some emotion out of the character but there really anything that strikes a cord with the audience. The problem is that she is crying in every other scene. There is suppose to be connection between her character and Bana’s but there just isn’t one that we can clearly see but that is not all her problem. Rather it is the problem of the story. Nick Nolte is great as Bruce’s father, David Banner. The only problem with his character is that he seems to just disappear for moments of the film and then reappear. There is no clear distinction on what the purpose of his character is. Is he really just a misunderstood loving father or a power hungry psychopath? No clear answer is given. Josh Luca’s character, Glenn Talbot, seems just pointlessly placed in the film. What does his character have against Bruce that makes him attempt to kill him in his home? A highlight within the beginning of the film was the cameo of Stan Lee, the creator of The Hulk and Spider-Man, as a security guard. It is nice to see him appear in each of the films based on his famous comic characters.
Overall, The Hulk tries so hard to prove itself a success that it just ends in dismal failure. There are so many problems with this film that they can’t all be named at one time. The comic book styling of the film with split screens and cuts and wipes was just ridiculous. One does not go to a film adaptation of a comic book character expecting a comic style to it. If one wanted something like that then you could just pick up a comic book and read. A film adaptation is expected to bring a comic book to life rather then just incorporate the comic into film. The story is also a big problem. Either the actions are going too slowly or too fast. There is no sense consistency at all for the film. Many questions are also left unanswered. Why did Bruce’s father not kill Bruce? He killed his wife but only accidentally. He had the opportunity, why not take it? His father is sent away for 30 years but how does he escape and get back to Bruce? How is he able to work at the lab, even just as a janitor, without them knowing where he is? And what is the deal with him at the end? How is Bruce able to change back from being The Hulk to being normal Bruce? Nothing is cleared up correctly for the audience to clearly understand what is going on. Based on the issue of the special effects, the CGI is moderate. The Hulk seems pretty realistic at night and when he is slightly hidden in shadows but looks absolutely ridiculous in the desert and in broad daylight. The chase scenes are nothing more then an attempt to show off the CGI Hulk. Those scenes do nothing but make the story go around in circles. One doesn’t see a problem with a giant green monster flying through the air? Ang Lee is a great director with his work on Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon but The Hulk is just a huge mess from beginning to end. Guess not all comic books characters are meant to be brought to the big screen.
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