“Thank God it’s Friday” Review ~ Hulk (2003)
DT’s Rating: 2/10
(or 3/10 for the mutant poodle and the fact Sam Eliot was in it)
I’ve never been a vast Hulk fan. While I’ve always loved Marvel, the Hulk was generally brutish, limited and dull for me. But heck it’s just what he was, so I didn’t let that cloud me as i sat down to watch ‘Hulk’, the infamously mixed-reviewed film that preceded the (non-sequal) ‘the incredible hulk’.
A lot of people hated it and ,frankly, I can see why.
For one, it’s genuinely a boring too-long, badly done film. But what REALLY got my goat was that the director/script writers / actors, were so pathetic because they were obviously trying so hard to be clever, and failed miserably.
Like an annoying aquintance who’s learnt a ‘funny’ bad joke and insists on telling it you again and again and again and again until you are FORCED to laugh just to get him to shut the hell up, so too did the director throw around cheap gimmicks in an attempt to get you to appreciate the film and make it ‘serious’ or ‘arty’. Uselessly pretentious camera effects were in abundance, including the incessantly irritating attempt at a nod to the comic book genre in the multiple screens that slid, floated and flashed everywhere, often inappropriately. The first time you think ‘oh’ (giving a bored smile at the attempt). By the 37th screen you begin to think of it as some sort of film-school masturbation.
The actors all spoke in a detestable Spaghetti-Western-come-‘Apocolypse-Now’ grunting rough whispers in a ill-fated attempt to give the story gravity and intensity, and not a single character was particularity likable.
The director or writers relied FAR too much on dream sequences. In novels this is often the indication of a bad writer, and it also applies to the film world. Less is more when it comes to dreams, yet this film had over 6 dream-sequences, all apprently pointless and melodramatic.
The opening sequence -true to every single Marvel based film- was overly long. I expected that. But this film took it to a new tedium. 45 minutes into the film and we’re still on boring near-dialouge-less backstory and Banner isn’t even the Hulk yet. Sure, it worked for the Iron Man film but that, unlike this, was good, so it instead serves only to confuse and bore. If I can be allowed a little personal whinge about the hulk character itself i suppose that it’s understandable – there’s not much that this superhero can actually do that can hold a film for over 2 hours.
The film was 138 minutes long. Over 60 of those minutes were pointless.
The bad guy was his father, which didn’t give enough animation and excitement to hold the film. While his dad’s superpower became superficially cool, the interest quickly wore off.
Many scenes were laughable, especially his mother’s death scene (pointless melodramatic grasping at a horizon, anyone?) and the attempts to make the Hulk into a more varied character power-wise ended up on showing him essentially pogo-stick-jumping across the american desert in a sad attempt to get him to almost-fly.
The special effects were inconsistant. Seemingly aware that they would need a crapload of thier budget to animate the main character, the majority of the film’s other effects were laughably bad.
However the film redeems itself a little. The hulk’s animation was pretty nifty, though looking at screencaps for the other film – ‘the increidble hulk’ – it could have been better. Sam Elliot as ever was a great actor. Also the notion of mutant-hulk-dogs, while ridiculous, led to some good animation – I pray that the mutant poodle was MEANT to be tongue in cheek. However, while inventive, the way the hulk broke a dog’s jaw by simply flexing his shoulder muscle was a bit trite. Also I had to laugh at how the dogs happily tried to bite the hulk’s privates off.
In short, then: The film is dismal. I’m sure some people will disagree with me, but that’s my opinion. Give it a wide berth.
Entry filed under: Reviews.