Hulk

Film

Science fiction

 

Time Out says

'Extraordinarily intense, emotionally draining ... mythic in its grandeur and pathos,' proclaimed Screen International. 'Conveys some fascinating insights into genetic mutations, radioactive exposure and primal rage,' Variety surmised. And some say it even cures gout. Nice as it would be to report that Ang and his co-writer/producer James Schamus had regenerated the summer blockbuster, we gotta poop the party: The Hulk is was long-winded, dull and ill-conceived. For a start, now that po-mo irony's been wheeled off to the rest home, its replacement consists of monstrous thickets of earnest verbiage. Act One isn't so much a tease as a cold shower of expository scientific mumbo-jumbo spanning two lab-coated generations, which sets up Bruce Banner (Bana) with repressed childhood memories, latent mutant body chemistry, and a lab-partner ex (Connolly) whose daddy, an army general (Elliott), doesn't trust him. Finally, something gives, and it's the attempt at sense. Act Two lets loose the computer-generated green plasticine with little rhyme or reason, but at least some cartoon kinesis. Bounding across the Nevada desert, our hero resembles a rubber breakfast-cereal freebie on a pogo stick - and this is as fun as the film gets. Act Three is unhinged guff. You can see the ambition. Nolte, playing Banner Sr like a loony street preacher and Lucas as a military industrial poacher vie to upstage the special effects with flesh and blood bombast. Ang acknowledges the film's roots with comic-book split screens, and nods to Kong, Frankenstein, Jekyll - yet it's reminiscent of nothing so much as Paul Verhoeven's Hollow Man, another lumbering travesty of 20th century sci-fi folklore.
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Release details

UK release:

2003

Duration:

138 mins

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