out of 4
All-Reviews.com Movie/Video Review
Review by Susan Granger
3½ stars out of 4
This is a mythic comic-book movie about a man at war with himself and
the world. Brilliant scientist Bruce Banner (Australian actor Eric Bana) has so
many acute emotional problems that he's alienated his co-worker/girl-friend,
Betty Ross (Oscar-winner Jennifer Connelly). Yet it's not until he's
accidentally blasted with gamma radiation during a nanotechnology experiment
that the mean, green Hulk, who's lurked inside of him since birth, emerges as
Banner's powerful alter-ego. ("You're making me angry," he warns. "I don't think
you're gonna like me when I'm angry.") But that's only the superficial plot.
Then there's a complex, multi-level struggle involving Bruce's ex-con
renegade-scientist father (Nick Nolte) who altered his genetics, Betty's
estranged military-commander father (Sam Elliott) and a larcenous rival
researcher (Josh Lucas).
Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the Hulk first appeared in Marvel
Comics in 1962 and spawned a TV series (1977-82) with Bill Bixby and Lou
Ferrigno. But it's taken the lyric sensibility of Oscar-winning director Ang Lee
("Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon") and writer James Schamus to forge an
emotional connection between Bruce Banner's inner turmoil and his repressed
childhood memories and to invent a poignant ending that invites a sequel.
Stylistically, Ang Lee adroitly utilizes montage sequences and splits the screen
into panels, showing several images at once. And while ILM's 15'-tall,
rage-filled Hulk is reminiscent of King Kong, don't expect a CGI character with
the depth of the Gollum in "Lord of the Rings." On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1
to 10, "The Hulk" is an unexpectedly intense, engaging 9. It's not only this
summer's blockbuster creature-feature but it also cleverly fuses pop culture
Copyright © 2003 Susan Granger
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