I can think of at least 12 reasons why The Hulk is one of
the worst comic book movies ever made, not the least of which
is that they changed the story of the Hulks origin.
I won't worry about spoilers at this point, since the
thing's practically into video release by now.
1) Did Bruce Banner become the Hulk because of his fathers
genetic experimentation, or because of the nano-meds, or
because of the gamma radiation burst? Who knows? Why did there
need to be a combination of all three? That was confusing and
lame. Why couldnt they stick to the original story, which
was Dr. Banner being hit by the gamma radiation during a bomb
test? Thats plenty believable.
2) His father was a rather sympathetic villain. I guess he
was supposed to be some manifestation of the Absorbing Man. You
sort of liked him; so, it was difficult to root for the Hulk to
smash him. They needed a better "bad guy." I guess
that crushing his military assailants probably would have been
sufficient (this was how the original story went as well).
3) I felt that the Ang Lee-isms (picture within picture, et
al.) were okay, but they did little to advance the story line.
Unlike Sam Raimis faithful adaptation of the Spiderman
story, this movie was more about Ang Lees take on the Hulk
story than the story itself.
4) There was way too much preliminary crap before getting to
the Hulks transformation and subsequent smashing. Again,
let me compare to Spidermanthe origin storyline moved along
briskly so he could get on to his showdown with the Green
Goblin. There was never a dull moment in that flick.
5) When Bruce finally did change into the Hulk, there was
really no precipitating emotional event, except his dream-like
memories. They should have had him hit his thumb with a hammer,
or get beat up, or something, in order for him to change the
first time. Instead, it just happened.
6) There was no explanation for why the bad executive, Talbot,
played by Jake from Sweet Home Alabama (thats all I
kept thinking about him; not to mention that hes a clone
of Matthew McConaughey), would come in and start physically
assaulting Bruce. There was no escalating event. Did they have
history together? Maybe there should have been a
flashback to college, when Bruce beat out Talbot to win Betty
7) The guy playing Bruce (Eric Bana) was incredibly dull and
lifeless. The performance was too understated. I saw Bana on Jay
Leno and he was this funny, animated Aussie guy. But what a
dullard in the movie! He did not make you want to like him at
all. I think the late Bill Bixby (in his current state) would
have been better.
8) There was no explanation for why bullets bounced off the
Hulk. Although starfish can regenerate their limbs, bullets do
not bounce off them. They should have had a scene in which he
initially is shot by the police, and the bullets sink in, but
this makes him so angry, that his adrenaline level rises, and
he grows, such that the bullets pop right out, and the wounds
heal over. Then, at that point, he becomes impervious because
hes so large and angry!
9) While I liked Jennifer Connelly as Betty Ross, there
was too much focus on her. She was only a minor player in the
original Hulk saga.
10) They never had Hulk do his clapping thing.
That would have been very effective versus the helicopters.
11) Why couldnt Hulk talk? It makes him more charming
when he says, Me smash puny humans!! I know there was
that one dream sequence, but they failed to give that animated
green thing much charm at all.
12) Finally, the special effects were not that great. The Hulk
was very cartoon-ish looking, and not believable at all. They
need to take a lesson from the Lord of the Rings (e.g., Golem)
for how to integrate computer generated images into a film
without it looking like a cartoon.
In summary, I do not recall ever having looked at my watch so
often during a movie, waiting for it to end. This 2 ½ hour
nightmare was an incredible disappointment.
The only positives I found in this movie:
- I liked that they captured the Hulks strength
adequately. I loved the scenes in which he pulled
the tanks apart and smashed them to pieces.
- I liked General Ross a lot. Sam Elliott did a great
job in that role. He was every bit as good as J.K.
Simmons as JJJ in Spiderman.
- I liked the battle scene against the hulkish mutts. That
was pretty cool; although it was so dark, it was
difficult to see what was going on.
I am waiting for a movie about the ever-lovin' blue-eyed Thing
to come out!