Synopsis: The larger-than-life Marvel Super Hero the Hulk explodes onto the big screen! After a freak lab accident unleashes a genetically enhanced, impossibly strong creature, a terrifed world must marshal its forces to stop a being with abilities beyond imagination.

Hulk 7.0

A step up over the TV movies, but not nearly perfect.

For one, most of the cast is b-movie caliber – including Sam Elliot and Nick Nolte, who can be good but were just irritating here. Eric Bana is -yet again- an emotionally stunted/damaged individual, which leads me to believe he’s either already typecasted or… he can’t act. He’s got all the texture and flavour of plain, toasted white bread: stiff and bland. confused

Jennifer Connelly was a saving grace, however. She stole every scene she was in if only because she could emote in some credible fashion (unlike Nick Nolte, who could emote like a sledgehammer). Perhaps with a better cast she would have seemed quite conventional, but here she appeared to be rather good.

The movie was also a tad on the long side and the whole centre could have been trimmed some – especially the cheesy underground bunker set pieces that looked so fake I thought I was suddenly watching a no-budget ’80s action piece. Did they run out of money at this point? Or was the lighting just so bad that all the flaws were highlighted?

The Hulk also looked a bit fake. The problem isn’t his physique, which seems anatomically correct considering that he can press 100 tons. It’s in the motion – there were times when his movements weren’t lifelike. And he was obviously CGI: he didn’t blend in with the rest of the movie – a common problem with CGI. But all in all, he was alright and I’ve certainly seen a lot worse.

The framing of the movie in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio was also an issue. It would have greatly benefited from a more epic look, with a 2.35:1 or other wider ratio to make the film look grand, Hulk-sized. Oddly enough, this was really annoying to me throughout; I kept reframing it in my head as I watched the movie.

The biggest plus of the movie was its style – which, coincidentally, would have been affected by the aspect ratio. They decided to make movie comic book-like, and a large part of the movie was designed in animated comic book panels. This gave it a very cool -and sometimes corny- look and I kept thinking “wow” everytime they teased my eyes with this gimmick. I realize, sadly, that the movie would rate much lower if not for this element.

I guess I’m a sucker and the style overwhelmed some of the substance. Because there is substance – Ang Lee wanted to make it more of a psychological drama. And it almost worked: the dynamics between the fathers and their offspring were an engaging element of the story.

…that is, until the studio felt that there wasn’t enough action and forced Lee to add more. I’m sure they’re to blame for the stupid mutant poodles. Urgh shock

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