The Flick Chicks

Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

Hulk

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Judy Thorburn

Hulk

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Flick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil

“HULK” IS BIG, GREEN, AND HAS THE BLUES

He’s big and he’s green.  But, this mutated fellow is definitely not the jolly green giant. He’s just the latest Marvel comics character to be adapted to the big screen. But, don’t expect Hulk to resemble the TV version (that was titled The Incredible Hulk) from the late seventies that starred the late Bill Bixby and body builder turned actor, Lou Ferrigno, as his larger than life man creature alter ego. The new movie incarnations are something else.

Director Ang Lee (Ice Storm, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon) utilizes split screen images, fade outs and multiple panels that gives  the film a look of a comic book coming alive. It’s clever and very eye catching, but it doesn’t detract from the melodramatic and rather disturbing story. To call Hulk (the The is left out for some unknown reason) a super hero is a misnomer.  He surely is super strong, super fast, and has other super abilities, like self healing and the ability to bounce enormous distances  But, having a goal, like trying to save the world from evil - I don’t think so.  Yes, he shows up to save a damsel in distress, but basically, this poor guy is angst filled, and having a bad time fighting off and outrunning  hunters who are trying to bring him down..  I certainly wouldn’t put him in the same category as Superman, Spiderman,  Dare Devil, or the X Men.

Hulk, unlike the TV version, is a completely computer generated giant  who takes over the screen, and delivers all the action when mild mannered scientist Bruce Banner (Australian actor Eric Bana, Black Hawk Down) gets a little too angry. The reason for this incredible transformation goes back to Bruce’s father, David Banner, a mad scientist (Nick Nolte, looking like he stepped right out of rehab), who worked for the government during the early years of nuclear testing in the Nevada desert.  After using himself as a research guinea pig, Daddy Banner’s tampered DNA was passed down to his son with an unexpected genetic alteration.  Years later, when Bruce is exposed to a heavy dose of gamma radiation during a lab experiment (isn’t that always the case), the result of his Dad’s sins begin to surface. Repressed memories and pent up rage cause the beast within to emerge as the ultra strong, mega angry Hulk.

Jennifer Connelly is Betty Ross, Bruce’s beautiful fellow scientist and love interest.  She also happens to be the daughter (contrived) of a high ranking General (Sam Elliott) who put Bruce’s father away for thirty years for his nasty doings, and sends in the military to stop Hulk in his massive tracks. Connelly is impressive as the compassionate, loving woman who has to stand and watch helplessly as the man she loves suffers from inner turmoil. However, her role is too reminiscent of her Oscar winning performance in A Beautiful Mind.  Another evil nemesis that is thrown into the mix is a conniving government contractor (Josh Lucas, Sweet Home Alabama) who wants a piece of Hulk, but instead, gets his just dessert before too long.

Bana is attractive and handles his human live action part well.  But, the audience came for the Hulk.   And, he doesn’t appear until almost an hour into the story.  With the film running nearly 2 and ½ hours,  it’s a long wait before some real action gets going. Here’s the good news.  The animation experts are to be commended for delivering a creature, when seen in close-ups,  that conveys emotional depth without uttering a word. But, when it comes to the distant shots of the green guy, the CGI effects, although state of the art and visually exciting, is not as believable. Sure, animation artists get to show off, creating action scenes where Mr. Hulk bursts through walls,  tosses helicopters and tanks like they were toys, and even grabs onto the back of a fighter jet as it soars beyond the atmosphere. But, do we really need to see and hear a disturbing, graphic and violent fight to the finish between the “green guy” and mutant monster dogs?  Definitely not necessary, nor advised for the younger set. Bad, bad, bad.

So, Bruce Banner has issues. His problems originate from his freaky dad. And his emotional instability mixed with some radiated DNA, equals a troubled out of control green giant.  Ok, so let’s get the show on the road! Enough talk, move up the pace and omit the pretentious speeches and ridiculous showdown between father and son that was undecipherable and made no sense. They are NOT Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. And don’t leave me hanging with a dropped subplot.  What happened after lovely Betty, as a child, witnessed a bomb test? We are thrown a bone, but it goes nowhere.  I just hate that.

Like Jeff Goldblum’s character in The Fly, I found Hulk a tragic figure in both human and morphed form. There a few messages that supposed to be thought provoking, but I found them pretentious.  Cut the overdrawn melodrama, pump up the action and show some more Hulk.  A sequel is a sure thing. I hope it’s better.  In the meantime, with all anticipation and hype for THIS flick, the filmmakers are likely to see lots of GREEN at the box office. It would be nice if that transfers to more GREEN ON SCREEN the next time around.