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Hulk, The

Universal // PG-13 // June 20, 2003
List Price: Unknown

Review by Shannon Nutt | posted June 21, 2003 | E-mail the Author
There are some critics…some noteworthy critics for whom I have always had a great deal of respect…who are praising Ang Lee's HULK as a deep cinematic experience full of psychological drama. For those critics (whom will remain nameless), I can only suggest they get some psychological help of their own, because HULK is a horrible movie. Not just bad or cheesy or uninteresting – but horrible. I've been a consistent movie-goer since I was about seven years of age, and I would gladly sit through any marathon of bad movies again – Waterworld, Howard The Duck, Wild Wild West, Godzilla, even that only seen on video version of Captain America– before I would sit through HULK again. In short, HULK isn't only just the worst superhero movie ever made, it's one of the worst films ever made period!

Never before have I seen a movie where the actors literally looked like they were making up dialogue on the spot. It made me wonder not only if there was a script ready by the time production began on the movie, but if there was ever a script ready at all. It was like watching a humorless improv night at a backstreet club. For starters, Eric Bana was a horrible choice for Dr. Bruce Banner – and although I suppose some will say his repressed monotone delivery of dialogue is a sign of his character's inner torment, I just saw it as a sign of an actor not knowing what the hell the scene was supposed to be about and not getting any guidance from the director, who I'm guessing wasn't really sure either. Jennifer Connelly doesn't fare much better – she's a fine actress, it's just too bad the movie doesn't give her anything interesting to do or say. Poor Sam Elliot (who admitted on a morning TV show that he took the job without seeing a script because he wanted to work with Ang Lee) spends the entire film with a big grimace on his face as if he can't believe the inane dialogue he's been asked to deliver. And as for Nick Nolte, I, for one, could understand why someone would go into rehab after working on this movie – this is easily the worst performance he has ever given, although his character at least overacts so much that it invokes a few laughs from the audience…something the movie doesn't otherwise provide.

It's kind of funny though. Prior to the film's release all the "fanboys" on the Web and elsewhere were concerned about was whether the Hulk would look realistic or not on film. And you may be happy to hear that for the most part, yes indeed, he looks pretty good for a CGI character. But what we all should have been yelling and screaming about is making sure they did justice to the character by making the story good. Sadly, they didn't even come close. Ken Johnson, don't worry my friend, your legacy among Hulk fans is safe and secure.

Now if most of you are like me, you'll probably be reading this (as I did with many of the other negative reviews) and be thinking, "well, he wasn't ready to see a movie that was more about psychological drama than big action sequences" or "the film was probably too intelligent for him or most of the audience members to understand". I thought the same thing going into HULK, as I'm sure many moviegoers will during the first few weeks of release. So by all means, don't take my word for it…go spend your $7 and get yourself a comfortable seat (you'll need it!)…but don't say I didn't warn you!

The only real anger that HULK invokes is the anger coming from the audience, who can't believe Universal spent $140 million making this movie. I'm guessing there are some people at Universal who can't believe it either.



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