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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Destined to be re-evaluated as a classic.
Here's a funny thing. A film about a man who turns green and smashes stuff when he gets angry turns out not to really be about that after all.

When I first saw this film at the cinema I was left in a neither-here-nor-there frame of mind. I saw it was good but didn't fully appreciate what I'd just seen. It wasn't really a film about the Hulk but a film about...
Published on 6 Feb 2009 by G. Thomas

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Defies expectation
I think a lot of people were disappointed by this movie simply because they expected a feel-good action adventure, and essentially the other recent adaptations of Marvel comics have all provided that. In those movies the angst has been played down to be replaced by clever quips and sexual tension, which is great, but it isn't what The Hulk attempts. Instead, it looks...
Published on 18 Jan 2006 by Alex


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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Destined to be re-evaluated as a classic., 6 Feb 2009
By 
G. Thomas (Canterbury UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Hulk [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
Here's a funny thing. A film about a man who turns green and smashes stuff when he gets angry turns out not to really be about that after all.

When I first saw this film at the cinema I was left in a neither-here-nor-there frame of mind. I saw it was good but didn't fully appreciate what I'd just seen. It wasn't really a film about the Hulk but a film about relationships which happened to have the Hulk in it.
Now after the umpteenth reshowing on ITV2 I am finally seeing some of what I think Ang Lee was trying to show us in the first place.

It's a beautiful film about complex emotional issues transposed into a comic book world. Isolation, abandonment, love, familial duty, jealousy, emotional trauma and of course finally anger mixed with frustration at emotional impotence. In many ways it even serves as a metaphor for repressed sexuality. Have no doubt this is a tragedy of immense proportions.
Hulk is a distinctly brave and visionary film which has largely been dismissed as just another comic book film by some yet it doesn't pander to a casual audience either. This is possibly why it was perceived as a failure by so many.

Particularly noteworthy is Jennifer Connelly's performance. Unhurried close-ups of her face, subtly reflecting her changing emotional involvement become almost overwhelming the longer the camera intrusively lingers. I'm tempted to say that this is possibly her best performance in a movie so far even though she's been great in so many others. It's easy to portray such (comic book) supporting characters as caricatures or stereotypes (just look at the dismal 2008 Hulk movie for evidence of that) but Lee and Connelly bring such depth to Betty Ross that she somewhat steals the whole film.
Eric Bana is well cast as the emotionally distant and vaguely unsympathetic Bruce Banner not forgetting the excellent supporting cast including Nick Nolte and Sam Elliott.
Action scenes are handled deftly but similar in tone to the work of legendary director Michelangelo Antonioni, the action is the merely the device by which the larger picture is revealed, and not the other way around.

The difficulty obviously arises when you try to sell a film like this to an audience. Short sighted reliance on populist demographics is always going to fail with a work of this complexity.
So there you have it. A film that is neither fish nor fowl but adroitly occupies the no-man's land in between.

I feel certain that this film will eventually garner the level of praise and appreciation it truly deserves but probably only by future generations. Ang Lee constantly reaffirms just why he has earnt his place among the all-time directorial greats by constantly challenging audience preconceptions and never failing to create thoughtful and intelligent films whatever genre he works in.

"Hulk" a future classic?.......... I have absolutely no doubt.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good but flawed film in an excellent collection., 27 Nov 2003
By 
M. Young "Amuro Ray" (Liverpool UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I always had great hope in my heart at the prospect of a Film version of Marvels classic The Hulk. The story was so relevant to society, so moving and so exciting, perfect for the cinema. Yet i also worried that whoever made the film would ruin the look of the hulk or by making it all action, so when i heard Ang Lee had got the rights to make the film, my excitment increased. My expectations were not fully met. As a person who has no clue what makes "great" CGI and "poor" CGI, i personally thought the Hulk looks great. How else other than CGI could you make this monster come to life? A man in a suit and make up, i think not. Yet its not the Hulk itself that makes this film somewhat a dissapointment, but the over complicated story of the Hulks creation.
The original version has Bruce Banner saving a young man during a gamma bomb test, in which Banner himself gets poisened, making him turn into the hulk whenever he gets emotional. The film, rightly so, has a good story behind it of how Bruce has "issues", what these issues are and how they effect his transformations. But we also get, in great deatail, a story of biological research of his Banners father, how he was used in experiments and many other complex biological issues, and then all of a sudden........there is a mistake with a Gamma test and Banner has to save his assistent thus getting infected himself. What was the point of all the biological talk when in the end they just stuck with the original events?
Apart from this the film is great, if not too long, and mixes comic capers, good acting and serious issues well. The film itself only deserves 3 stars, but this excellent version gains an extra star as it has a great bonus DVD, comic replicas, extensive liner notes and of course comes in the great "hulk fist" packeging! Essential for marvel, film and Hulk fans alike
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hey,come on,it's not that bad..., 15 Oct 2003
This review is from: Hulk [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
A lot of people have slammed this movie. Never having been a great fan of the Hulk in any respect,I was not very excited about the idea when my seven year old son 'made' me take him to see this. To be honest,I quite enjoyed it. The special effects were (in this day and age) adequate,and the storyline,although not as upbeat as X-Men or Spiderman,was fairly straightforward, albeit a bit drawn out. The first hour of the movie is far too long,where it doesn't have to be. The persona of David Banner,(the Hulks dad) is unnecessary and shouldn't have been there. Along with mutant poodles and hanging around on jet fighters and (almost) flying into space,these bolted-on kiddy exciters have no place here. Marvel movies,really have one of two places,they cater to the adult audience (Blade,Daredevil - No don't laugh!) or Spiderman (which was fantastic!) for the kids. It seems that trying to cater to both tends to leave something missing from both. When The Hulk! finally gets in an appearance and starts leaping around the desert on well-muscled legs,the action is rivetting,and obviously you want more of this wonderful CGI US Army - bashing fun. This is great stuff. There just isn't enough of it,though. It soon degrades into unrealistic flights into the ionosphere and underground antics below the 'Streets of San Francisco'. The main thing that lifts this film out of the mire,though is the acting. Relatively unknown actor Eric Bana (not Banner!) is superb in his portrayal of the tragic Bruce Banner and Jennifer Connelly as Betty Ross also delivers the goods,showing that a poor script CAN be overcome by good actors. The ending of the movie is a total disaster and completely spoilt it for me. When The Hulk fights his nemesis (no clues!), it is done at night for some strange reason,and I for one,(even on the big screen!) could hardly make out anything that was going on. I am used to working nightshift and have very good vision,but I am going to buy the novel when it comes out,just to find out what happened!. See the movie,the entertaining bits are very entertaining.If you have the DVD or video,just fast-forward the rest.Needless to say,my son enjoyed the movie,too,although I found myself at a loss when he asked,"What happened at the end,Dad?"
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You're making me angry..., 7 Dec 2003
This review is from: Hulk [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
This film is brilliant, forget any bad reviews you may have read just watch it and see for yourself.
If like me you read the comics as a kid you’ll love it, it’s certainly much better than the TV series from years ago. The Hulk in this film actually IS incredible and HUGE! He rips tanks apart and throws them around like toys; he catches missiles, smashes up roads and is impervious to gunfire just like in the Marvel comics, Fantastic! All this is made possible because of the wonderful technique that is C.G.I. it is used in abundance and with great effect in this film. No, it isn’t flawless and there is the odd moment when things don’t seem to gel just right but that’s nitpicking and for the most part the effects are superb.
The only criticism I would make, is that the story does tend to drag on a little at first, but after the big green fella takes centre stage for the first time, it’s a blast!
There have been a lot of good films released over the last few months, and sadly there seems to be a lot of people who just want to criticise and give bad reviews for the sake of it, I speak as I find, and I found The Hulk to be thoroughly enjoyable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Poetic Treatise On The Suppression Of Rage & The Desire For Peace, 3 Mar 2012
As I said - A Beautiful Poetic Treatise On The Suppression Of Rage & The Desire For Peace

The editing is fantastic mimicing the implied movement of comic book frames. It a very layred film & only the most lazy of minds who wanted "HULK SMASH" & nothing else complain because it makes points far to subtle for them to take on board. For me it's what I crave - an intelligent comic book movie. A couple of things are a little abstract & I didnt get them the first time out & were mainly to do with Nick Nolte's transformation but Nick Nolte as Banners Dad is fantastic & the scene where he becomes pure energy after a taste of electricity it amazing & beautiful - especially for a Hollywood movie. Seeing the hulk racing through thunderous black clouds in almost still frames frozen by strobing lightening is mindblowing & layered as he is dragged by the power of his fathers uncontrolable rage & lust for imortality like a child barely able to keep up with an ingenious parent ending with him drowning under the weight of his fathers ambition & "LITERALLY" being smothered as a failed experiment that was put in motion before birth. The opening sequence is the most inovative set of images in any marvel film or any other film. It condenses all the experimental steps that lead to the birth of the hulk & what his father finally becomes in a frenetic & thrilling sequence of moveing microbial images. The sequence is manic & vivid & intoxicated by discovery & the search for perfection at the cost of a home life, it's just so dramatic & efficient. The Hulk "FLIES" almost & I personally think that is beautiful, it is his escape from pressure. During these desert sequences we see his affinity with nature & a desire to just be at peace & to enjoy the world away from bombs & weapons & rage only for that peace to continually be shattered by Bettys military Dad & his desire to own the hulk as a weapon, banner is just raw material to him. The "dogs" fight is NASTY & brutal & quirky & VIOLENT. I just cannot fault this film & never will at least not in any significant way. Its criminally underrated & the follow up by Letterier is simply empty in comparison but enjoyable none the less. I agree with the other reviewer here - this film will be rediscovered & get it's due some day, This is "The Dark Knight" of the Marvel cannon....
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well, well, well..., 12 July 2007
By 
Mr. M. A. Denton "Professor Yaffle" (Belper, Derbyshire, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Hulk [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
I put off watching this film for ages. Every review I'd seen or read said that it didn't cut the mustard, so it was with some trepidation that I coughed up £2 for it in HMV and sat back to watch it.

I was very surprised. This film is unique, stylish, well acted and superbly directed, but what it's not, is a kid's super-hero film.

The split screen usage was very well done (anyone who says this is confusing better stay away from The Andromeda Strain or The Boston Strangler!) and the CGI is quite remarkable. If you like films - not just super-hero films - then give this a go.

I'll be interested to see what the next one's like...
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Underrated? A blessing in disguise., 28 Mar 2005
Being an apparent critical and box office disapointment on cineamtic release, despite the (mis-aimed) publicity efforts of Universal, Hulk is and will remain as one of the great 'Comic Book' adaptations.
This film is all about pedigree in my book. Ang Lee, James Schamus, Bana, Nolte..... et al!
If you take a while to sit through the extra features on the discs, Lee lovingly describes his own approach to an unusual subject matter. His personal fascinations with the subtlety of life, his miniature 'Zen' gardens and his willingness to actually play the motion capture model for the Hulk all evoke passion and caring about his filmaking.
The actually metaphor behind the Hulk story (like all great marvel comics) is another ingredient that adds to the personal nature of this project, not only for the film makers but for the audiences' journey.
The Hulk lies in all of us (obviously story telling dictates extremities of emotion to create an interesting premise). We care for him both as Banner and Hulk, we follow his struggle and sympathise with the person who has this incredible weight on his shoulders. We despise his father for he is the one who has masterminded the whole episode for his own greed (which ultimately is his own demise). One scene featuring Bana and Nolte between two great electro magnets, each of their fates lay in the others hand. A wonderful dynamic and brillaint setup, so we focus soley on their words and actions.
There are so many scenes in this film un-characteristic of this genre, or atleast how we percieve the genre, that you often feel as though it is a melodrama. This is where the greatness lies, the unexpected approach, the Father-Son dynamic, the mis understanding of ones self and the greed that ultimatley destroys us. To put a cherry on top of all this psycological and subtle stuff you have some seriously good CGI effects coupled with inventive editing, a soundtrack thats is as subtle and bold as the film and a finish which despite its cliche ends with the last frame. A overhead shot of the rain forest, on closer inspection is it moss or lichens? (which feature throughout), is it the symbolic clue to the complexity and nature of the Hulk?
What ever the interpretation, it is yours and thats where the beauty lies. Also an added satisfaction is that not everyone likes this film, not all critics blessed it as a work of art and those reasons are enough to make this one of the most importantly underrated films in modern cinema.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't Make Me Angry You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry!, 29 July 2004
This review is from: Hulk [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
The origin of me becoming a big Hulk fan, comes from many years ago when i was a kid and used to love to watch both the many hulk films and the brilliant TV series, which starred Bill Bixby as David Banner, and Lou Ferringo as the Hulk. Having seen some of the earlier marvel comics that feature the Hulk, i now realise that in fact the films and TV series, were not as accurate as everyone seems to think, and this new film version of the Hulk, is much closer to the storyline of the comics.
A scientist called David Banner is conducting some important research and uses himself as a test subject. The result being that he is put in prison for thirty years. However when his now adult son Bruce Banner, also a scientist, is hit by power rays of gamma radiation, a beast is awoken inside him from the tests that his father did on himself before he was born. Now as anyone who has ever heard "Banner" and "Gamma radiation" in the same breath will tell you, this unleases Banner's ID in a big way, turning him into a nine foot tall Mr Hyde known as the Incredible Hulk. Oh, and he's green too, built like a brick outhouse and has a habit of throwing tanks in the air.
However, when the army hear of this green giant wandering about destroying everything, they start to track him down and when they do so he is taken to a top secret base where tests are conducted on him, and he has a chat with his father. However, the Hulk will not be contained for long and soon makes an escape.
I did really enjoy watching this film and one of the things that i particularly liked was the comic book feel. In many places, the director Ang Lee used a split screen which really gave the film a moving comic book feel.
I also have to mention the special effects in this movie. They are brilliant and having the Hulk computerised is the only way that they could get him to be as big as they wanted. Lou Ferringo was massive, but he had his limits, and this film really makes the incredible hulk seem that little bit more incredible.
Overall, this comic book style remake of what was a classic TV series, and five amazing films, in my opinion really holds its own and is as good as the originals if not better in some ways. I think it really repends on what your tastes are; do you prefer the hulk to be played by a bodybuilder and have that extra credibility knowing that when he lifts up a car and chucks it into a ditch, he really is lifting up and car and chucking it into a ditch. Or if you prefer a more cartoon/comic book style version with those extra muscles and power etc. The decision is up to you and depends on what your tastes are, but personally i would recommend this movie, especially if you want the kids to enjoy it as well becuase they will probably find this slightly more entertaining and exciting.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pushes the boundaries of the Superhero movie, 27 Sep 2004
By 
Matthew D. Phillips "zax93" (Outer Limits) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Hulk [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
Only just got around to seeing the Hulk after being put off by all the naysayers and bad press. It's an incredibly bold movie that dares to be different, featuring a story that resonates in a very real way. This is not your typical Summer action flick and only people willing to engage their hearts and minds should apply. The editing style is fantastic, making the film constantly engaging even in the quieter moments before the storm. People complain that the Hulk doesn't show up for 30mins, these complaints sadly reflect the lazyness of a modern audience - This movie reflects the Origin of the Hulk, I for one could have held out longer for his appearence. The highlight for the film for me was Hulk's battle in the desert with the military. This is one of the few modern CGI type scenes that has you feeling the action - this is straight out of the early Marvel comic books and is Great!!! The Origin is altered from the original story somewhat but the feel of the characters and emotions involved are true to Stan Lee's creation. Well, that's my opinion anyhow --- if you want to be wowed by amazing special effects & cinematography and experience a thoughtful and challenging movie at the same time then see the HULK!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Long winded, but good nonetheless., 10 Nov 2003
By 
M. Carter (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Hulk [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
If you're a marvel comics fans like me then you will have already seen the movie adaptations of Spiderman and the X-men. The Hulk, however, was directed by Ang Lee and this is apparent from the fact that it is a very different film from the other marvel adaptations.
My main gripes with this film are as follows:
- Slow pace. Ang lee is not your common-or-garden hollywood blockbuster director, and this film takes quite a while to really get going. I also felt that the way David Banner originally becomes the Hulk lacked drama or excitement, which is a shame.
- Confusing plot. The plot is pretty convoluted compared to Spiderman, for example. It's not helped by the fact that the original Hulk story has been altered, so even Marvel afficionados will be in the dark. The climax to the film is so surreal i'm not sure what happened. However, once i've watched this film a few more times i'm sure things will be clearer.
- Lack of humour. This film takes itself a bit too seriously, especially considering its comic book origins.
Now, the bits that I like:
- Ang Lee has a fantastic ability to evoke emotions in the audience/viewer. He did it in 'Crouching Tiger..', he did it in 'Remains of the Day' and he's done it again for 'The Hulk'. I really felt sympathetic towards the Hulk/David Banner's plight, particularly when he was being pursued by the army. Lee has managed to portray the Hulk as a creature with unbelievable strength, but with all-too human frailties and vulnerabilities.
- Special Effects. The actual Hulk is fantastic, exactly how Marvel intended him to be in their comics. This isn't Lou Ferrigno in green make-up, it's a gi-normous monster capable of leaping over tall buildings with a single bound and tearing a tank apart with his bare hands. It's a real pleasure watching him in action.
- Action. When it eventually gets going, the action is great and has you on the edge of your seat. The chase through the desert canyons is beautifully done, a real accomplishment in a Hollywood Blockbuster which only the likes of Ang Lee are capable of.
To summarise, this is by no means a perfect movie but it is still a very good one. Just don't expect to absorb it all in one viewing like 'Spiderman', it may take a couple of views to really appreciate.
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Hulk [DVD] [2003]
Hulk [DVD] [2003] by Ang Lee (DVD - 2003)
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