Thursday Night Movie Club
star rating graphicstar rating graphicstar rating graphic
Release Date: June 20, 2003

Director: Ang Lee
Bruce Banner
Jennifer Connelly
Sam Elliott
Josh Lucas
Nick Nolte
Paul Kersey
Cara Buono
Todd Tesen
Kevin O. Rankin
Mike Erwin
Lou Ferrigno
Stan Lee
Eric Bana
Betty Ross
General Ross
Bruce Banner's Father
Young David Banner
Edith Banner
Young Ross
Harper (as Kevin Rankin)
Teenage Bruce Banner
Security Guard
Security Guard
Hulk movie poster Hulk movie poster
Eric Bana as Bruce Banner in HulkNot being a fan of The Incredible Hulk, in comics or television, I found this movie to be quite enjoyable, entertaining and surprising at times. It's a very good movie but not a great movie. Ang Lee is able to capture the carnage of the brute power of the Hulk without the Hulk being on the set. The Hulk character and most of the other effects are computer generated with live acton backgrounds. He employs a split-screen approach to the film. It is very illustrative of events going on simultaneously but from different perspectives.

A great sequence starts with the Hulk leaping across the deserts of the Southwest and changing into satellite photos and infrared tracking. Very well done from a technical and visual standpoint. The credit sequence depicts the story of a scientist at odds with the military regarding his research. Against their orders, he begins to experiment with himself as a guinea pig. He gets the surprise of his life to learn that his loving wife is pregnant and the changes to the father have been passed to the son. The father begins experimenting on his son.

Jennifer Connelly as Betty Ross in HulkFresh out of college, Dr. Bruce Krensler is working with Dr. Betty Ross and their assistant, Harper. They are trying to use nanotechnology, very small robots injected into the body, to repair wounds, cancers, etc. Krensler has a bit of a short temper and clearly is annoyed at the conniving of Talbot, a man who is "in it for the money." Talbot does not care who he crawls over to gain the power he craves.

While working to meet a deadline showcasing their achievements in nanotechnology, an accidental overdose of gamma radiation changes the life of young Dr. Krensler forever. Krensler should be dead! While recovering in the hospital, Krensler feels like a new man. Old injuries are mysteriously gone. He is visited by a janitor (Nolte) who calmly informs him that his real name is Banner and that Bruce is this man's son. With this shocking news, his accident and Talbot's interference, Bruce Banner's blood begins to boil. Not a good thing for those around him...the Hulk, a brutish monster filled with rage and the unquenchable desire to smash any thing and every thing.

HulkNext comes the manipulations of Bruce Banner. Once the Hulk makes his appearance, every one wants a piece of the action. His father wants to work with Bruce with further experiments. Talbot wants to clone the Hulk and create an army of super warriors. General Ross just wants to keep the Hulk from destroying the general population of the planet. Torn between all this and his growing love for Betty Ross, Bruce learns the truth about his forgotten past and his rage transforms him into a larger and more powerful Hulk.

Sounds like a really intricate, well-thought out story. Unfortunately, some things just don't work. The relationship between Bana and Connelly just doesn't seem real, as in Spider-man. As great as the effects are, the Hulk still looks like a computer generated character (maybe this was done on purpose). The movie has 3 separate endings which makes the movie needlessly long. The story got very complicated and needed to be wrapped up just in case there was no sequel. The filmmakers would have been better served leaving some questions unanswered. The third ending is a complete waste of time put in just to hear the classic "Don't make me angry! You won't like me when I'm angry!"

HulkNolte and Elliott are the best parts of this movie. They mightily chew on any scenery that happens to be nearby. Too bad the writers couldn't put them together at least one scene. The two actors that play them as young men are great at mimicking the mannerisms of Nolte and Elliott.

A final note on the current spate of Marvel Comics turned into movies is: Spot creator, Stan Lee. Hysterically enough, he is cast as a security guard at the Lab Bruce Banner works at. Stan Lee's partner is none other than Lou Ferrigno, the "original" Hulk from the television series of the late 70s. All-in-all, this is a fun summer movie to enjoy!