Review By Liam O Brien, 1 out of 5 ?ou’re making me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.?
On the whole, summer 2003 was ok. We had gems like RELOADED or PIRATES, and even 2FAST2FURIOUS was hair brained fun. But, call it what you like- tragedy, drama, Ang Lee? attempt to inject art house methods into mainstream cinema didn? work. THE HULK is two hours that the acclaimed auteur owes me back, and, I must admit have been waiting for this to come out on dvd, if only to borrow a mates copy and see if it really was as bad as I remember. Sorry, its worse.
The jade giant was never going to be as big as the excellent SPIDERMAN, with DAREDEVIL and X2 raising our hopes for this movie. The fact that nothing happens for the first forty or so minutes is not really the way to set out shop, but it does start as it means to go on. I?e read reviews that claim this is cerebral stuff, blockbuster brain food. I don? like to think of myself or the esteemed Paul Mount (fellow SF reviewer) as stupid by a long shot, but neither of us could see the hidden clever bit. Maybe that? what Lee wanted though, in his craazy way. Sadly whatever he wanted to do didn? work. The action, when it finally comes lasts too long for its own good- seeing the Hulk smash tanks/rockets/helicopters over a sustained fifteen minute sequence gets old too fast. The finale is muddled and anti climatic- can anybody REALLY explain what the hell happened there?- but the problem is this is a film that feels tired from the start. Eric Bana makes a dull lead, and Jennifer Connoly is almost as bad as her leading man. Nick Nolte could have been an interesting character, but he seems to have been lost along the way.
Even the green goliath himself is a letdown. Yes he bounds about but, unlike LOTR? Gollum, we simply can? believe hes real. He does everything he should, but hes an effect that simply, isnt quite good enough yet. Lou Ferrigno all is forgiven! On the plus side, there are some clever ideas here. The directorial flourishes (the comic book panel movements from shot to shot, the dreamscapes) all work surprisingly well. But by reminding us this is a comic book movie gives us less and less reasons to take it seriously, as it really wants to be. Overall, a muddle of a film, it wants to be dramatic, when all it really achieves is taking a character that could have worked so well on the silver screen and showing how boring you can make him. Avoid.
THE EXTRAS: Again, dull! The main bulk of special features are made up of pre release documentarys- the sort where everyone sits down, tells us how great it was to work with each other and what a fantastic ride HULK will be! Poor, misguided fools. The docs on the creation of the CG hulk are an improvement, but couple this with Ang Lee?pretty sparse commentary track and you have a package worthy of the film it comes with. I.E- dull, dull, dull!
ONE OUT OF FIVE