Green with Anger
The Hulk
Review by Ross Anthony

This is an odd film to review. Curiously created title credits inject into a fifteen-minute intro sparsely occupied by dialogue. Backstory: The hulk's dad experimenting on himself, causing problems with the military, little Bruce Banner confused and frightened. Not-so-fast-forward to his teens, which last only 45 seconds. Rather bland, this entire intro could have been edited out as to lend greater intrigue toward the "why" of the Hulk.

Furthermore, the intro is simply not very exciting, nor is the next 45 minutes or so, save for a brief cameo by Lou Ferrigno, which receives an equally brief applause from this audience. Ang Lee, it appears, seems to have revisited this whole first hour peppering it up with odd split-screen, picture-in-picture moments, and glossy transitions that seldom make any sense to the production. Up to this point (an hour plus) the picture is a B- even a C+. Some of your kids may have fallen asleep. No sign of the Hulk.

That said, the first appearance of the green guy is filled with fun and, of course, mayhem. This despite a strong likeness to Shrek on steroids. But the close on Hulk's face fills the screen with great strength and sadness -- very nice. And every subsequent appearance of the big green giant displays great improvement in solidity, impressive weight, strength, motion, and physical impact. His construction and animation are spectacular. The "dog fight" scene is incredible and incredibly carnage-riddled. Might be a tad rough for the youngsters unaccustomed to seeing a French poodle dismembered. Additionally, the Hulk's abilities to run and jump are sure to impress. And if not, the Hulk vs. Tanks scene is simply unstoppable and gorgeous.

The film over all is uneven, stale at the outset, with all the sugar at the bottom of the glass. Bruce is ever concerned with the "why" of his disposition, something we as the audience are already privy to, a beat the film could have employed by deleting the intro sequences. Further, I'd have much rather we contemplate the "how to deal with it now." Nor does Hulk offer much as a conclusion. Dark and suspenseful like a Stephen King thriller, this comic book movie is best watched by arriving late.

Interestingly enough, Hulk creator Stan Lee says, "When I was younger, I loved the movie Frankenstein, starring Boris Karloff as the monster, and I also loved Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. One day, I figured, 'Boy, wouldn't it be cool to combine the two of them and get a character who can change from a normal human into the monster?'"

  • The Hulk. Copyright © 2003.
  • Starring Eric Bana, Jennifer Connelly, Sam Elliott, Josh Lucas, Nick Nolte.
  • Directed by Ang Lee.
  • Screenplay by John Turnman, Michael France, James Schamus.
  • Produced by Gale Anne Hurd, Avi Arad, James Schamus, Larry Franc at Univeral.


Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:09:09 PDT