First off, let me just preface my review with this: The Hulk sucks . I try to leave my opinions on a film out until the end of each review, but in the case of The Hulk, I just cant. Every time I try to recall something about this movie for the review, an overpowering disgust takes hold of me. Dont see this movie. REALLY, dont see it I'm not kidding. Anyway, if youre still interested, here we go (groans)
This bungling disgrace of a movie starts off in 1967 with David Banner (Nick Nolte). David works for the military studying ways to physically enhance humans into super-soldiers. Working alone and without the benefit of advanced lab technology, David is somehow able to accomplish the extraordinary feat of isolating specific DNA sequences in various animals, and then develops a serum that can be injected into humans to successfully incorporate these sequences into the human genome. The serum gives the user incredible powers, but also produces total loss of libido and completely random bouts of explosive incontinence. David wants to test the serum on humans, but his boss, General Thaddeus Thunderbolt Assman Ross (Sam Elliott), disagrees for some reason that I cant remember. Frustrated, David injects himself with the serum.
Bruce Banner (Eric Bana) is born. David observes his son and realizes that he has special powers. Im too tired to go into the particulars of this crap, and it really isnt that important, so Ill skip it. General Ross gets really annoyed at David and decides to terminate the super-soldier project. He rips up all of Davids papers and smashes Davids special microscope. David gets so mad that he gains access to a nuclear device and destroys the military base, probably killing hundreds of people. He also goes home and tries to kill his monster son with a knife, but his wife gets in the way, and she dies. David is arrested just a second later and thrown into jail for 30 years, and Bruce is sent to live with his aunt.
The movie flashes forwards to the present day. Bruce is a grad student at Cal-Tech. He works in a nanotech lab with Betty Ross (Jennifer Connelly), his former love interest. While hes not being terrorized by his lunatic father, who mysteriously appears working as a janitor in Bruces building.
Anyhow, one day a lab experiment goes bad, and Bruce is zapped with radiation, activating his latent genetic mutations, and before you can say This-movie-sucks-royal butt-like-none-other, he transforms into the Hulk. After this, the movie just basically becomes a ridiculous, repetitive blur of David turning into the Hulk, destroying stuff, and then reverting back to his hideous, pathetic, real-life form. He trashes the lab, then he fights with some genetically-engineered superdogs created by his dad (seriously), then he fights with some government guy, then he fights with some tanks, helicopters and airplanes, and he wrecks an army base. Finally, Bruce gets captured by General Ross and gets put into some kind of gigantic, atomic, electric chair (again, seriously). David manages to get in there too, and we are treated to one of the stupidest emotional scenes I have ever witnessed. Ross throws the big red switch, but instead of frying the two freaks, Bruce turns into the Hulk, and David is transformed into some kind of energy being. The two fight, and the Hulk wins.
Eric Bana cant act worth crap in this movie. He is just uninteresting, cold, and without depth. I never even heard the name Eric Bana before I saw The Hulk, and after seeing his ultra-weak performance, I dont have any interest in seeing him in anything else. Jennifer Connelly does a pretty crappy job, also. She was frustratingly slow and sedateclosely mimicking her performance in Dark City (an otherwise outstanding film). Its a far cry from the good work she did in Requiem For A Dream and A Beautiful Mind. Nick Noltewell, what can I say? This is Nick Nolte were talking about here. He acts like a psycho in this movie and looks like he went to the set every morning hung over and badly needing a shower. His performance gets so insane sometimes that its actually amusing and makes parts of this godawful film almost bearable. Sam Elliotts performance as a hardcore Army general was so absurdly overdone that it made me laugh. It seemed like every single scene featuring this guy ended with him hatefully screaming at everyone while the camera did a close-up shot of his face that showed all the veins in his forehead ready to pop out.
The dialogue is HORRIBLE in this movie. I really cant stress it enough. The whole first twenty minutes of The Hulk goes like this:
Betty: Hey. Whats going on?
Betty: Oh. Okay.
(Awkward silence. The two fiddle with microscopes and shuffle papers while audience members impatiently fidget in their chairs.)
I am dead serious. I wouldnt be surprised to learn that they improvised the whole damn thing. Actually, now that I think about it, I would be surprised because even two, profoundly retarded crackheads taken off the street could come up with a more interesting exchange than the sort shown in The Hulk.
Ah yes and then there are the special effects. This was the big selling point of this movie, and Im sorry to break it to Ang Lee, but the CGI was somewhat lacking. True, the military vehicles were done convincingly, but the Hulk just looked terribly fake. Not believable at all, in fact. And you dont get used to it either ,the Hulk just keeps looking as fake as ever to you throughout the entire movie.
I was laughing through the fight scenes because they got so ridiculous. I can buy that the Hulk might be impervious to small arms, but when hes getting cluster-bombed and shot by helicopter chainguns and tank shells without effect, we enter the realm of total bulls**t. It gets even worse later on when the Hulk grabs onto the wing of a fighter plane that carries him into the upper atmosphere until he finally falls off and lands in the San Francisco bay, several miles below. Needless to say, the Hulk is completely unhurt. Through all of this infantile crap, the Hulk manages to keep his purple boxers from being shot or ripped off. He even manages to survive a nuclear explosion at the end of the film. Stupid.
If director Ang Lee had any sense of honor, he would never make another film again. Unfortunately, I am certain this will not be the case, and Hulk sequels are almost a sure thing. The ONLY thing that saved this movie from the damnable ranking of zero stars was Jennifer Connellys sweet butt, and I am not kidding.
After having endured such insta-classics as Spiderman, Punisher and Daredevil, I didnt expect much from this movie. In my mind, the bar has already been set so low for big screen adaptations of comic book heroes that it is next to impossible for one to be disappointed. Surprisingly, almost unbelievably, I was wrong. Hulk caused me to rethink my definition of steaming dung. It was truly a waste of electricity for this film to be projected onto the screen of my local theater.
For starters, the pace of the movie was too slow. It was 25 minutes into the movie and halfway through a large popcorn before the first marginally interesting action sequence took place. The scene to which I refer is the first appearance of the title character. Still, I remained hopeful that the movie would pick up now that the Hulk had made his first cameo. Again, I was wrong. The story focused too much on irrelevant characters such as Bruce Banners father (Nick Nolte). His value to the story ended 5 minutes into the movie yet there he was taking up valuable screen time after the first hour.
There are multiple antagonists in the movie. They are all cliché and their actions are woefully predictable and unoriginal.
I found the movie to be rudderless and insultingand I was insulted. In fact, it was I, not Bruce Banner (Eric Bana) who was angry. Speaking of Eric Bana, could you have found a less appropriate actor to play this part? I think not. This guy is like a drone. His range of emotion (or lack thereof) can only be compared to Vanilla Ice in the movie Cool as Ice. Hes horrible.
Despite the movies lack of substance and entertainment value, Im certain that there will be a Hulk 2 in our future. Heres a thought for Ang Lees casting director: Make Hulk 2 a comedy and see if you can land Adam Sandler or Ben Stiller to play Bruce Banner. Now THAT is something I will pay to see. Also, can we get a higher body count next time?
I walked out of this move with about 15 minutes remaining so that I could sneak into 2 Fast 2 Furious in an effort to salvage my evening. I seriously do not know how this movie ended nor do I care.