I’d heard bad things about this movie, but still I wanted to see it. I thought so highly of Jennifer Connelly in The House of Sand and Fog and was interested to see how she fared alongside a much talked about Eric Bana whom I’d seen in Chopper before. Plus it’s Hulk by Ang Lee, that was enough to grab my interest.
What a mistake. It’s a bad, bad movie. Poor Connelly merely walks around looking bemused and misused with a terribly flat, two dimensional performance while Bana is dull, fixed and very out of place, it was as though he didn’t even try acting. Well done to Sam Elliott and Josh Lucas for giving it a good go, but they just can’t pull away from the very poor performances of the others. Even Nick Nolte is way over the top here, and it’s a comic movie, that’s saying something!
Performances aside, which really constitutes most of the mess, we have some ridiculous scenes for the Hulk itself. Attacked by a giant killer poodle, leaping miles in a single bound, and managing to reenter Earth’s atmosphere and crash into the water without much more than a splash and a shake of the head? Okay it’s Hulk and it’s comic, but come on now, this is a farce.
Most of the scenes with the Hulk himself are dark, and the killer for most of the fight scenes is that it’s too dark and you can’t see what’s going on. This is really evident when we see him fighting the killer dogs, then again with the final fight against the main creature of the movie.
The whole contrived storyline with this creature is bizarre, the fact that it takes on the shapes of things it touches and absorbs but yet only when it suits the story. When it starts changing into rocks and water showing it can’t seemingly control itself is bizarre when not two minutes ago it was wearing clothes, walking around and sitting on a seat without ill affect. The whole idea of it turning into water is daft anyway, surely the Hulk would just stand there and just get wet? Again, not that you can see what’s going on during these scenes.
It deserves a mark for two reasons though. One is the editing and post production work that makes a lot of the scene transitions and framing feel like a comic book, I actually quite liked that as it wasn’t totally hiding from the source genre, it was embracing it and making it part of its own. The second is the work earlier on in the movie to build characters and try and focus on the inner angst of Banner, this was a good way to go but unfortunately the writing and the acting is just so two dimensional and weak that it just seems to be wasting yours and the movies time.