The Hulk (DVD, 2003, 2-Disc Set, Full Frame Includes LAND OF THE LOST Movie Money)

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"We're going to have to watch that temper of yours."

Jul 16, 2008
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Most of the acting, most of the story

Cons:Pacing issues, Nick Nolte

The Bottom Line: Don't go out of your way to see it, but if you are interested, you might enjoy it.


When Hulk came out in 2003, I wanted to see it but never got around to it. Thanks to the new movie coming out recently, this one was on TV. I set my DVR and sat down to watch it. I knew going in that the movie had received a wide range of reviews. And every one of those reviews is right.

When David Banner (Paul Kersey) hits a road block with his experiments, he begins experimenting on himself. Unfortunately, his altered DNA transitions to his new son, Bruce as well. When things go wrong on the military base where he works, he is arrested and Bruce is sent to a foster home.

Fast forward 30 years, and we find Bruce (Eric Bana) working with Betty Ross (Jennifer Connelly). They are experimenting with gamma rays, hoping to prove that they can be used to help the human body heal. But then Bruce is exposed to an unusually high dose. He soon discovers that when he gets angry, he turns into a big green monster.

Naturally, this catches the attention of people. Specifically, Betty's estranged father, General Ross (Sam Elliot), wants to destroy The Hulk. And there's the mysterious man who claims to be David (now played by Nick Nolte) who wants to duplicate the process. Will Bruce get his wish to be left alone?

Just about every point I want to make about this movie has an equal and opposite counterpoint. Take the basic story. When it is working, it is emotionally engaging. But the pacing is way off. The back story slows things down at the beginning. And the final battle is too long and repetitive as well. So, while there were times I was really hooked, there were also times I was really bored. They could have easily cut half an hour and created a better movie.

The acting was also a mixed bag. Most of the cast did a decent job. I thought Eric Bana could have been stronger as Bruce, but he was fine. Sam Elliot was great as General Ross, but Jennifer Connelly was absolutely outstanding as Betty. I absolutely loved her character. On the other hand, there is Nick Nolte. He was so over the top with his character that it turned me off and threw me right out of the movie. A subtler approach would have been better.

Frankly, there isn't much to say about the CGI. There was plenty of it since The Hulk was all CGI. And most of the time, he looked just slightly off. Not horrendously artificial, but not super either. On the other hand, his interacting with the real world was amazing. I loved those shots.

There is a stylistic approach that is fascinating. They used lots of split screens or sliding screens to simulate the appearance of a comic book. It's similar to the approach 24 uses. I'll admit it took me a little while to get used to it here, but once I did, I really liked it. It added much to some of the later half of the movie, in fact.

And do keep an eye out for a brief cameo by Hulk creator Stan Lee and TV's Hulk, Lou Ferrigno.

I'm glad my expectations weren't too high, or I probably would have been disappointed with this movie. Hulk isn't anything amazing. But it is worth watching once if you are interested.

This is an entry in Elvisdo's first annual Funny Pages Write-Off.


Recommend this product? Yes


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