Bruce Banner, a scientist on the run from the U.S. Government must find a cure for the monster he emerges whenever he loses his temper. However, Banner then must fight a soldier whom unleashes himself as a threat stronger than he.
When a cure is found to treat mutations, lines are drawn amongst the X-Men, led by Professor Charles Xavier, and the Brotherhood, a band of powerful mutants organized under Xavier's former ally, Magneto.
Bruce Banner, a brilliant scientist with a cloudy past about his family, is involved in an accident in his laboratory causing him to become exposed to gamma radiation and Nanomeds (A tiny life-form that is supposed to heal wounds but has killed everything with which they have made contact). Confused and curious about his survival, Banner discovers that since the accident, whenever he becomes angry he transforms into a giant green monster destroying everything in sight in an act of fury. Bruce's mysterious past and the answer to why the radiation had this effect becomes revealed to him as his Birth Father David Banner intervenes with hopes to continue experimenting on him. Written by
Hulk is an excellent action/drama and science-fiction film based on the classic superhero (or antihero) The Incredible Hulk. Following the trend on the last years about recycling comic superheroes, Hulk's turn became a very interesting alternative to other formulas used in several of these adaptations.
Knowing that many people consider this movie as dull and boring, please let me state that it's far from being dull. After the critics towards Spiderman just scratching the surface of character development, and where other movies simply failed miserably (e.g. Daredevil), we should be grateful that we can finally see some depth in the main character as we're used in the good comics.
Ang Lee's direction shows his usual way of telling stories, in a sensitive and personal way. Instead of letting the movie drown in its limitless action possibilities, he conducted the story through a sensible path. The editing work, which remarkably resembles comic frames in many scenes, and contains some awesome transitions, is simply wonderful.
And all this not forgetting Hulk's main point: a green, angry mass of power and destruction. The movie has some of the best action scenes I've seen lately, which makes me wonder what is expecting some people who blame this movie for its lack of massive fights against entire armies. My opinion is that the action scenes of Hulk are perfectly balanced; more than showing Hulk's sheer strength but never going completely overboard. And also showing some of Hulk's main weaknesses, keeping the character real and not entering the area of fantasy.
One side of this movie that people also seems to throw tantrums about, is the refurbishing of Hulk's origins. The story of Bruce Banner's transformation has been updated with including today's technology, and making it in my humble opinion much more interesting and 'believable' than the original. Not being a huge fan of Hulk's comics, I didn't feel personally attached to the original story, so I actually liked it more. But I can understand that the purists or the die-hard fans will be disappointed by these changes.
Along with Hulk's origins, the plot includes good science-fiction elements. Don't misunderstand me; the stuff is in general barely believable. A scientist conducting advanced genetic experiments in 1965 (all by himself!) is not a good start... But in the end, it doesn't matter. This superhero adaptation is as good science-fiction as other excellent adaptations like X-Men (including its sequel X2), where others will just remain as good or bad action films with just some sci-fi scattered around. Where others lost their opportunity, Hulk didn't.
What other things are good in this movie? Well, the main actors all do a good work, specially Jennifer Conelly and Nick Nolte. The special effects are great, and while there are entire scenes made just of CGI, they're still not the strong point of the movie. The plot and dialogues aren't just bridges between computer generated action scenes, which I'm thankful for. Furthermore, the plot is also rich in references to the comic, Hulk's enemies and other subtle things. The movie is full of small details (has anyone noticed the frog over the hat in the final scene?) which reward you when watching it a second or third time.
The main down of the movie might be that followers aren't used to see Hulk in this way, a deep and sensitive character, and probably expected more action and enemy-smashing and less deep dialogues running after child traumas... Which could explain its relatively low rating and some bad critics. Maybe I just connected very well with this movie and that's why I put it so well, but I can also see that the elements of this film, taken independently, also have their merits and all together form a solid production. In my opinion, of all the comic superhero adaptations, Hulk is the most interesting and best quality one which I've watched to date. I just wish people would concentrate more on enjoying this different view of a superhero's life. But oh well, each one has different tastes.
And one final note. The soundtrack is absolutely wonderful!
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