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|Contributor||Josh Lucas, Eric Bana, Ang Lee, Sam Elliott, Jennifer Connelly|
|Runtime||2 hours and 17 minutes|
Ang Lee ('Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon') directs this special effects (CGI), blockbuster adaptation of the Marvel comic character. Dr. Bruce Banner (Eric Bana) is working in the research department of the University of California when he is accidentally hit by one of his experimental rays. This turns him into a very large, green monster which then goes on the rampage; destroying the lab and anything else that gets in its way. It transpires that Banner turns into this green hulk when he becomes angry. So when his despotic father (Nick Nolte) begins to use the rays to his own means, Banner's alter ego has to go to the rescue of a fellow labmate, Betty Ross (Jennifer Connelly). However, Banner is kidnapped by Glenn Talbot (Joshua Lucas), a wheeler dealer who recognises a money making scheme and manages to push Banner too far. The green monster once again rears its ugly head, going on another rampage through the streets of San Francisco. Is there anyone who can tame this beast?
- Product dimensions : 9 x 15 x 12 cm; 31.75 Kilograms
- Director : Ang Lee
- Media Format : DVD, PAL
- Run time : 2 hours and 17 minutes
- Release date : 4 March 2004
- Actors : Sam Elliott, Josh Lucas, Eric Bana, Jennifer Connelly
- Studio : Universal
- ASIN : B000CCQRNK
- Country of origin : Australia
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: 25,834 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- 19,739 in Movies (Movies & TV)
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Top reviews from Australia
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But for reasons that will forever escape me, somebody DID let Lee direct a movie about the classic comic book hero, the Hulk. And it is a disaster -- a ponderous, dull psychodrama entirely devoted to the Hulk's daddy issues. It's a prime example of how you can have all the best actors, but it does nothing if the director is all wrong. Seriously, who hired Lee for this? And what drugs were they on?
Years ago, scientist David Banner (Paul Kersey, and later Nick Nolte) performed strange experiments on himself involving genetic material from various sea creatures. He inadvertently passed this mutation on to his baby son Bruce -- and when his project was shut down, he blew up the lab and tried to kill his son.
Remember that from the comic books?
Present day: Bruce (Eric Bana) is a bionuclear scientist who is working with nanotechnology, along with his ex-girlfriend Betty Ross (Jennifer Connelly). But then a lab accident douses Bruce with gamma radiation -- and that night, he transforms into a massive green monster. Unfortunately this attracts the newly-freed David's attention, and he begins trying to find a way to get the Hulk's powers for himself. First goal: endanger Betty.
As Bruce struggles with his not-very-scary alter ego he also has to contend with Betty's fanatical father, General Ross (Sam Elliott) and the sleazy Major Talbot (Josh Lucas), who wants to somehow extract Bruce's power. But the biggest threat is Bruce's crazy hobo dad, who is determined to gain all of the Hulk's power for himself... and even more than that.
I get the feeling that Lee has a lot of contempt for comic book fans. Throughout all of "Hulk," it felt like Lee is spoon-feeding the audience, while also making sure that they are bored into a stupor by aspects of the Hulk that nobody cares about. At all. I do not care about Bruce Banner's crippling daddy issues, and I suspect no one else is either. I want to see him turn green and smash things!
Even Lee's usually-brilliant direction feels lazy -- he constantly uses frames to let us know "Hey this is a comic book movie! Not a REAL movie I'd put effort into!" and one character's death is completely ruined when he turns into a two-dimensional paper cut-out. And the torturously long prologue ends up destroying all mystery for the rest of the movie -- we're just sitting around, waiting for Bruce to catch up on everything we already know. So the "shocking" revelations are just dull and anticlimactic.
Lee also throws some stuff in that is so silly that it seems disrespectful. There is a Hulk rat and a Hulk poodle. A HULK POODLE. Silly haircut and all. And he can't even stick to the "angry=Hulk-out" formula -- there's a scene where Banner transforms for NO REASON other than a plot-convenient psychotic break.
Oh, and does the Hulk smash? Occasionally. It takes almost an hour for him to actually smash something, and even then it's the Hulk Poodle and its friends. The Hulk himself looks utterly ridiculous -- a too-smooth green balloon with huge woobie eyes, bouncing lightly across the desert.
One common defense of this movie is that it's a study of complex characters... but it's not. Banner is just a boring generic scientist, and Betty is a generic supportive love interest with little spine, despite Jennifer Connelly's best efforts. The good guys are pure of heart; the general, mad scientist and evil blond douche (I don't know why he's even in the movie!) are evilly evil with no virtues whatsoever.
The one good aspect of it is that the actors, bless them, are trying. They're trying really hard. Bana and Elliott seem to be pouring a lot of effort into making their characters work, but it's a futile effort.
If this were the first Ang Lee movie I'd ever seen, I would assume this man had no talent or knowledge of filmcraft, and was bribing critics to praise him. This movie is resolutely idiotic -- give it a pass, and check the 2008 reboot.
Top reviews from other countries
I really like this version of the 'Hulk' and Eric Bana really nails the role as a man in conflict with his inner good and bad. This blu ray version is very good with both picture quality and sound. As a movie it's entertaining and a good reminder of the universal human struggle in life. I also like that the movie is action packed.