Movie Mind Says: Wait for Cable
If You Like This You Should Watch: Hulk, Iron Man
Better Than: No other comic-book movie
Worse Than: Every other comic-book movie
Starring: Ed Norton, Liv Tyler, William Hurt, Tim Roth
How many times do you go back and try to correct your mistakes before you realize you may be better off just moving on and forgetting it ever happened? Let’s hope Marvel Comics decides to move on after making a sad attempt to correct the previous errors of Ang Lee’s 2003, Hulk. There is no way The Movie Mind could possibly handle sitting through another torturous session of this green mess. Every passing minute felt like an hour and it got worse as it went on. When Tim Roth’s character turned into the “Abomination”, I finally thanked the film for giving me the best word to describe what I was watching. That may have been the only good thing to seep through yet another summer blockBUST.
I was able to come to an agreement with my wife on this film because I was optimistic about how good some recent comic-book films had been and she was optimistic about Ed Norton. Unfortunately we were both thoroughly disappointed. When I say the acting was bad, I mean the acting was atrocious from Norton’s lead right on down to the extras. It’s a sad day for a film when a virtually inaudible Lou Ferrigno outshines the rest of the cast. When it came to the scenes with both Norton and love interest Liv Tyler (Dr. Betty Ross), it became clear the only chemistry that existed was the kind Dr. Bruce Banner was concocting in the lab.
The opening 5 minutes run through montages of newspaper clippings and pictures and if you don’t know the story of how the Hulk became the Hulk then you’re screwed. This opening set the tone for a cartoonish film. The next half hour or so actually manage to be somewhat intriguing, if nothing else. Unfortunately, that’s the best it ever got. There was so much wrong with this film it’s hard to list it all, but nonetheless I owe it to all of you to try! Let’s start with some basics: when you create a computer generated beast it would be a wise move to get his size and aspect ratio down. There were times when the Hulk looked like he was bigger than King Kong and at other times he looked like Barry Bonds with an extra foot of height. All of the computer animation (and there was a lot of it) was cartoonish and looked more like the intro to a video game than a movie. During the fight scenes between good Hulk (speaking of which, is there such a thing as good Hulk?) and the Abomination, I felt like I was watching a slightly more recent version of Rampage than a classic comic-book movie fight scene. By the way, you did not misread. I did throw out a reference to the classic arcade video game of Rampage where you play either the lizard or gorilla and smash buildings into oblivion while dodging helicopters and tanks. I preferred to play the gorilla. As you can tell, my mind wandered quite a bit while watching.
At the end of the film, right on cue to solidify this as one of the worst movies I have seen in recent history, Mr. Stark (from Iron Man) marches on screen and into the fray with one of the most shameless marketing ploys for another film I have ever seen. They could have run a Geico commercial and it would have been more inconspicuous. It was wedged into the film in such an aweful manner that it was like watching a dubbed cable version of Glengary Glen Ross. Knowing that, you can only imagine my bellowing laughter at the last scene of the film which left another not-so-subtle reference to a sequel. Do yourself a favor and avoid watching this film at all costs unless you are some kind of sadist who enjoys pain.
Interesting Cameo Appearance: Lou Ferrigno (aka The original Incredible Hulk from the late 1970’s TV show, and former professional bodybuilder) in a brief cameo as a security guard. Even Lou must have been appalled at the most recent installment of the frequent film failure.
Betty Ross: The subway is probably quickest.
Bruce Banner: Me in a metal tube, deep underground with hundreds of people in the most aggressive city in the world?
Betty Ross: Right. Let’s get a cab.
Gen. Thaddeus ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross: As far as I’m concerned, that man’s whole body is property of the U.S. army.
Samuel Sterns: I can give you pieces but not the whole Humpty Dumpty.
Emil Blonsky: We didn’t lose him. I had him in my sights and something hit us. Something “big”, hit us. It threw a forklift truck like it was a softball.
Gen. Thaddeus ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross: Use that thing soldier. Give him some help.
Helicopter Soldier: Which one?
Gen. Thaddeus ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross: The green one. Which one do you think?
Gen. Thaddeus ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross: Mr Stark.
Tony Stark: I hear you have an unusual problem.
Gen. Thaddeus ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross: You should talk.