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Hulk (Widescreen 2-Disc Special Edition) (2003)

A film directed by Ang Lee

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Hulk (2003)

  • Jun 13, 2008
  • by
Rating:
+5
4.5/5 stars

"Hulk" 2003 is very different from what you would expect from a typical summer popcorn creature-feature. From the advertising campaign it appeared to be a mindless special effects extravaganza with little to no plot whatsoever; AKA Summer Fun. For those who went to see it with that mindset it was undoubtedly a not so pleasant surprise. Most of whom who saw this on its initial theatrical release obviously had not foreseen Ang Lee's philosophical drama, and they instantly retaliated causing Hulk to fail in most ways.

I was surprised, but not in the way these common viewers were, because I loved Hulk. It is a superhero movie unlike any other comic based film in the last twenty-five years. This is a film that is filled with heart and emotion and delivers it fully in ways no other film of this genre has done before it. The art direction and special effects are astounding, and helps bring this comic character to life and oh so much more.

The plot starts off rather simply with David Banner, a geneticist who has been studying regeneration, experimenting on various animals and finally ends up injecting himself. Eventually the mustached scientist has a son - Bruce Banner - who has apparently inherited his father's lab created gene.

We now skip forward several years as Bruce begins studying exactly what his father had all those years before: regeneration. This only ends in what can only be described as disaster as an exposure of "Gamma Rays" causes his inherited gene to emerge transforming him into the not so jolly, green behemoth known as the Hulk. From there we are thrown into several well done action sequences as the military under the command of Gen. Thaddeus 'Thunderbolt' Ross (a very human and well-crafted performance by Sam Elliot) begins an attempt to capture Bruce/Hulk to obtain this gene. Only complicating Bruce's hectic life is the reappearance of his crazed father who also cares more about the studies of his past opposed to his son's well-being which goes beyond abuse before finally leading up to an enormous CGI confrontation between mutated father and son.

The Hulk does lack in the category of CGI at times with quality going up and down during a few cuts, and an adrenaline junkie will not enjoy the level of dialogue and drama that fills this plot that must have been a cinematic fusion between King Kong, Frankenstein and Marvel Comics. Ang Lee perfectly utilizes the split frame, thus turning this film into a living comic book and the entire cast does their part in moving the plot along. This isn't so much a superhero film as it is a doorway looking into the delicacy of humanity. You know and care about the characters, and you can certainly care about the man beneath the giant green muscled frame of the Hulk. That is what the movie is about, not a giant green man smashing things up for ninety minutes like so many 2003 movie goers were expecting.

Sadly this film didn't hit the audience it should've due to Universal's careless advertising that passed this off as a popcorn film. If you're someone who likes emotionally compelling and ambitious tales Hulk (2003) may be the superhero film for you. If you liked Frankenstein or any of the King Kong adaptations Hulk will probably be a movie for you, just don't go in unprepared to think about the material you're viewing. This is one that one should defiantly pay attention to because it is probably the most underrated film of the 20th century.

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More Hulk (2003) reviews
review by . August 16, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
CHARACTER DRIVEN FILM DESERVES CREDIT
      HULK      People hate this film and honestly I don't know why, seriously I have no clue what the problem is. I will agree that this movie is not a classic but I really feel like every time I see it I have watched a truly entertaining film. I think this film is a lot like the comics or at least a lot like some versions of the comics, and it is really a great story. I think that this film has a lot of heart which is unusual for this type of film, most …
review by . August 04, 2010
HULK SNORE!!!!
You know, screwing up the Hulk is like messing up instant pudding.  With pudding, pour mix into a bowl, add milk, stir, let cool and then eat.  Hulk is a guy who when he gets mad, grows into a 10 foot green monster of a man who's super strong, can leap into low orbit and has boundless rage once he gets going.  It's a big green monster who smashes up anything in his path.  How do you mess that up?  Well heres one way to do it.      I would love …
Quick Tip by . August 05, 2010
Sleep inducing and arty piece of a comic hero that should be anything but. When the action starts, it's good but otherwise, pull up the blankie and pillow
review by . April 29, 2009
What could have been a great movie, slogs through the first hour at an excruciatingly slow pace.  Very weird directing where the screen splits into four different scenes, does more harm than good.  Bruce Banner, a child of parents that lived in a military base that tested nuclear devices like Los Alamos, grows up to be a scientist too.  When he is exposed to a dose of gamma radiation, the genetically mutated cells in his body go crazy and he is transformed into the Hulk using Shrek-like …
review by . June 20, 2006
True the movie starts slow, with admirable character development. By the time the Hulk appears, every one's motivations are known with each personality sharply distinguished. I have to admit that I was taking aback on how he look on screen. Alot of people describe him as "Shrek on Steroids" or "Angry Shrek," which I don't blame them because that's not the way we know the Hulk.     Ang Lee loves showing humanity and human frailty in his stories as he has done exceptionally in …
review by . May 12, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Special effects…     Cons: Special effects, acting     The Bottom Line: The Hulk suffered from an over use of computer aided graphics, and it destroyed the movie for me. I like my hero’s powerful, but somewhat human thank you.     Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie''s plot. As a young boy growing up in middle, well okay lower middle America, I dined on a regular menu of Marvel Comics. My favorites were …
review by . February 05, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
What could have been a great movie, slogs through the first hour at an excruciatingly slow pace. Very weird directing where the screen splits into four different scenes, does more harm than good. Bruce Banner, a child of parents that lived in a military base that tested nuclear devices like Los Alamos, grows up to be a scientist too. When he is exposed to a dose of gamma radiation, the genetically mutated cells in his body go crazy and he is transformed into the Hulk using Shrek-like animation techniques.The …
review by . December 17, 2003
Ang Lee is a great director...let there be no doubt. CROUCHING TIGER, ICE STORM, SENSE & SENSIBILITY. All TRULY outstanding films. So it comes as no surprise that he would try to bring greatness to a genre little familiar with greatness...the movie comic / superhero genre.On many levels, Ang Lee did a great thing. He attempted to REALLY delve into the emotional angst of his characters...to show use in a "believable" manner how Hulk could have come into being. The opening credits for the movie are …
review by . November 11, 2003
posted in Movie Hype
"Hulk" was a disappointment. I hate to say it, but it's true. This movie had so much potential, but it fell flat from the word go. The story dragged on for what seemed like a lifetime, and Ang Lee's comic-style editing became annoying after the first few minutes. The highpoint of the movie is, of course, the Hulk. If you are blessed with a DVD player, simply skip over the parts that don't include a CGI graphic, and you'll have a good time. Eric Bana didn't win me over as Bruce Banner, and as much …
review by . June 17, 2003
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Not Much     Cons: Bad acting, boring script, dull action.     The Bottom Line: A bloated excess of a film that is not only a waste of the fine talent, but a dull waste of time.     Raging inside Dr Bruce Banner (Eric Bana) is a monster waiting to be unleashed. Anyone familiar with the comic book or the TV series that starred the late Bill Bixby will be familiar with the setup of “Hulk” the new film version of the classic …
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About this movie

Wiki

When the Hulk gets angry, his movie gets good, so you wish he'd get angry more often. Accepting this challenge after the triumphantCrouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, director Ang Lee has created an ambitious film, based on the Marvel comic created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, that succeeds as a cautionary tale about mad science and traumatized children coping with legacies of pain. That's the Hulk's problem: After accidental exposure to gamma radiation, scientist Bruce Banner (Eric Bana) turns into the huge, green, and indestructible Hulk when provoked, and repressed childhood memories fuel his fury. Hobbled by the obligatory "origin story" (to acquaint neophytes with the character's Jekyll-and-Hyde-ish fate), there's room for little else in a sluggish film that struggles to reconcile Lee's stylistic flair (evident in his visual interpretation of comic-book technique) with the razzle-dazzle of a megabudget franchise. What's good is good (Jennifer Connelly essentially echoes her role fromA Beautiful Mind, and Nick Nolte is righteously tormented as Banner's father), but the movie's schizoid intentions remain largely unclear.--Jeff Shannon
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Details

Director: Ang Lee
Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: 2003
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: January 11, 2007
Runtime: 138 minutes
Studio: Universal Studios
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