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
Perusing the negative reviews of the film collected at the Rotten Tomatoes site, I'm stricken by the degree to which the negativity directed at it by allegedly professional film critics is based upon the fact that it dashed (rather than living up to) their rather low expectations for it. The assumptions underlying so many of the criticisms are that the film is supposed to be a brainless "summer blockbuster," but isn't. Another variation: that it's a film based upon a comic book, and that all such projects are supposed to be mindless rubbish for dazzling bumpkins (To those of us with some genuine knowledge of the field, this variant is particularly entertaining in that it's inevitably accompanied by a string of authoritative assertions regarding comics which demonstrate only the offended critics' abysmal ignorance of the medium). "Hulk," it seems, doesn't know its place; it commits the sin of aiming for something more than mediocrity. In a sense, this is a testament to the film's quality. It clearly doesn't cater to such low expectations.
Criticism of the film's CGI--a more common one at places like IMDb where there's far less pretense that a poster actually has anything of value to say--can be set aside as the superficial whining it is. In spite of what so many "summer blockbuster" fans seem to think, special effects aren't a story; they're just a means of telling one. The CGI in "Hulk" is competent. Beyond that, it doesn't matter.
Likewise the vacuous "it's boring" complaint. Modern viewers with no attention span be advised up front that you will find "Hulk" challenging, and would be better served by spending your "entertainment" budget on trash like "The Phantom Menace" and "The Day After Tomorrow," and leaving the real movies to the adults.
I don't insist that a fan of typical Hollywood summer fare actually offer some rational critique of the picture--I'm not a cruel man. I do, however, insist that, for anyone who expects to be taken seriously, "Hulk" must be accepted or rejected for what it really is. For my part, I think it's a misunderstood minor masterpiece, a film in the vein of "Blade Runner", "Excalibur," and "Once Upon A Time In The West"--all generally snubbed in their day, all now just as generally hailed as classics. I'd like to think I live in a society where this is the fate that one day awaits "Hulk"; it certainly deserves it. Time will tell, I suppose.
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