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 Hulk’s 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 father’s 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 couldn’t they stick to the original story, which was Dr. Banner being hit by the gamma radiation during a bomb test? That’s 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 Raimi’s faithful adaptation of the Spiderman story, this movie was more about Ang Lee’s take on the Hulk story than the story itself.

4) There was way too much preliminary crap before getting to the Hulk’s transformation and subsequent smashing. Again, let me compare to Spiderman—the 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 (that’s all I kept thinking about him; not to mention that he’s 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 Ross?

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 he’s 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 couldn’t 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:

  1. I liked that they captured the Hulk’s strength adequately.  I loved the scenes in which he pulled the tanks apart and smashed them to pieces.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

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