Hulk Ang Lee
Published Jun 01, 2003The competition to create the grand comic book-based film that all filmmakers will have their work judged against just heated up. When it was announced that the brilliant Ang Lee was set to take on the duty of bringing The Incredible Hulk to life on the big screen, the anticipation instantly began for a glimpse of what was in store. Most of the superhero pictures that are cropping up on the big screen like a plague are definite eye candy, with loads of special effects and big-name actors, but lack dramatic substance and true Hollywood essence. Granted, no one expects to walk into a Marvel Comics film and see a display of tour de force acting, though sitting through a two-hour music video isn't exactly what we deserve either. Thankfully, Ang Lee should be able to please both extremes with this action-packed adventure that also packs a dramatic punch.
There's something not quite right with our hero Bruce Banner (Eric Bana) and it probably has something to do with the biological experimentation his deranged father (Nick Nolte) conducted on himself that transferred to his son. As a scientist hired by the government to work on a cell-altering device, Bruce is blasted by a rather unhealthy dose of energy from a "gammasphere," which normally would have killed him. Though already possessed of unusual strength, he is able to absorb the explosion and it manifests itself inside his body. The only problem is that when Bruce gets a little testy he transforms into a mammoth green hulk on a rampage that no weapon can stop.
Hulk is one of those films where everyone knows the basic premise of the film and we're all waiting for the first time Bruce loses his temper so we can see a little Hulk action. This film really leaves you craving for this event to occur, as we don't see the impressive Hulk for quite some time, though the build-up is exciting and the payoff is worth it. First installments of superhero films need to delve deep into the origin of our heroes and Hulk has to be one of the most detailed accounts to date, but not boring in the slightest. It's this balance of a detailed story with substance, jaw-dropping action sequences and special effects that makes Hulk head-and-shoulders above other recent comic book films. The fully-computerised Hulk is visually stunning at times and not clunky or awkward, as the trailers led us to believe. The battles between the military and the Hulk are what everyone's paying to see, but the battles that Bruce Banner must deal with emotionally are what make this movie a success. (Universal)