The comic book company Marvel is best known for some of the most memorable superheroes. Iron Man and Captain America are just to name a few. One character the deserves more credit than he should is The Incredible Hulk. And just like every good superhero, Hollywood has found ways to turn Marvel’s creations into cinematic gold. But when you try to turn The Incredible Hulk into a feature length film, it just seems like a big mistake. Case in point: 2003’s “Hulk” directed by Ang Lee, best known for the 2000 critically acclaimed film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”. The movie tries really hard to be a comic book film is confusing, disjointed, and overall boring. And while it does have some good moments, “Hulk” has a misguided production that ruins it from being entertaining.
The plot of the film has Bruce Banner (Eric Bana) getting exposed to gamma radiation while trying to same another fellow scientist. Now, every time he gets mad or angry, Bruce transforms into The Hulk, a monstrosity of unlimited proportions. The U.S. military, headed by Gen. Thunderbolt Ross (Sam Elliot), wants to capture and terminate The Hulk as he sees it as a dangerous weapon. Meanwhile, Bruce’s father, David (Nick Nolte), wants to harness the strength of The Hulk, or something like that, for his own purposes.
“Hulk” is… a mess. Why? Well… let’s try to figure that out. The writing gives the audience way too much exposition for them to handle, as well as makes it confusing. Speaking of confusing things, the writers did not create a memorable villain. Out of all the Hulk villains, they chose to go with the father being the villain. Real nice.
Ang Lee is not the best choice to direct a comic book movie. Universal studios saw “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and put Lee into this movie thinking he could do a comic book action flick. How wrong they were as the actors have no clear motivation, some of the performances are over the top, and the character of the Hulk is basically a walking piece of destruction that changes moods from time to time.
The music by Danny Elfman is nice, but at certain moments the music turns into a piece of Indian music.
But what really kills the movie is the pacing. The movie goes very slowly and there are two reasons behind this. First, the film takes its by giving the audience these long scenes that serve no purpose whatsoever. The second and major problem with the editing is that it tries to act like an actual comic book by using comic book style transitions to see more of what’s happening. This is not amusing, it just tries to make the movie look cool.
Now, with that said, is there anything good about the movie? Well… the special effects are good, and the desert chase scene is awesome. That’s about it.
In conclusion, “Hulk” could have been improved greatly had it been in the right hands. Luckily, with 2008’s “The Incredible Hulk” and the recent adaptation of “The Avengers” show that the Hulk can be portrayed well. As for this movie, this is a case of disappointment and unoriginality.