Directed by Ang Lee.
Written by John Turman, Michael France and James Schamus.
Based on the comic book.
Starring Eric Bana, Jennifer Connolly and Nick Nolte.
Release Year: 2003
Review Date: 6/23/03
The burning question for the new film “The
Hulk” is NOT how bad the idea was to computer-animate the lead
...the question is really: Is the token
scene in “The Hulk” the most shocking use of tokenism in the history
of token black guy scenes???
The answer: absolutely! My friends Liz and
Raymond were in town from Columbus, and we all took in “The Hulk”
last night. Now, when the scene comes up, you freakin’ KNOW that
the black guy is a goner. He’s a security guard, he looks amazingly
confused, he witnesses a character literally pass a hand INTO a
piece of machinery, and still looks like “Hey man, what’s goin’ on
around here?” Then, of course, he dies...and, he dies the worst
death in the film. Now, in a film where there are over 3000 actors,
could the casting director not find ONE OTHER MUTHAFUCKIN’ BLACK
Ang Lee’s update of the so-so Lou Ferrigno
TV show is entertaining, and the filmmaker does an incredible job of
presenting a fairly run-of-the-mill story about a scientist named
Bruce (Eric Bana) that seems to have a problem with his temper,
mostly due to gamma-ray exposure and his whacked-out dad (Nick
Nolte). But, with the help of his hot former girlfriend (Jennifer
Connelly), Bruce tries to figure out just what can keep his anger
from boiling over.
The presentation is aided by some of the
best editing in recent memory--I loved the comic-book style framing,
the fast pacing of the “details” (cool shots of helicopters, cutting
to soldiers on the ground, cutting to an underground base), sweeping
camera moves intercut with three angles of the same person’s face.
Lee and his team keep the film moving so well in the early going
that I almost forgot that I wanted to see shit blown up and torn
apart; hell, this IS supposed to be a film about a guy that smashes
stuff up to vent. You can tell that the aim is for something more
than just your summer popcorn film, and in the film’s first hour,
that is achieved.
In the second hour, we get the action movie
treatment and “The Hulk” loses some steam, especially as it tries to
come up with a decent ending...which it does not do successfully.
But, I do like to watch stuff get blow’d up and guns get fired, so
there are a few testosterone moments that keep it real. Some
question arose, though. Maybe I just didn’t pay attention to the
comic, but could The Hulk basically fly in the Marvel comic
treatment? He seems to be able to jump from mountain to mountain
with ease, and at one point, he seemed to jump so far that he ended
up somewhere in Egypt, not Death Valley. Also, maybe it is just so
that we don’t have to look at The Hulk’s wang, but could someone
explain how a man doubles in size and predictably shreds all of his
clothes...but can still keep his boxers on and in good condition??
Oh, and the token gets pummeled with a heavy piece of equipment, but
guys that are thrown inside of a tank come out with minor bumps and
bruises? A general (Sam Elliot) calls the President for “everything
we’ve got to take down the threat” of The Hulk...and all he gets are
four tanks and five choppers?
I’ll admit, it was cool to see the scene in
the film where the green guy shows up in San Francisco; I work
across from that building you see in the film that has the San
Francisco Magazine sign near the end. Who doesn’t love an
over-the-top angry guy performance from Nolte, the authority on
over-the-top angry guy performances? The film does have some cool
moments, and it really does need to be seen on the big screen. And,
I’ll also say that the CGI Hulk was a good call. The things that
the green guy is tasked with would only look stupid if you had a
human in front of a blue screen, so this definitely is a good
Even as I write this, the memory of “The
Hulk” is fading, but it does provide enough moments to warrant
dropping $6 or $7.
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard